But that is exactly what Kathy Hutton did.
The 48-year old Sandy Springs resident, a corporate lawyer for a medical benefits management company in Duluth, made her competitive debut a memorable one when she won the women’s 160-pound weight class at the National Masters Boxing Tournament in Kansas City March 21 and 22.
Fighting for the Sandy Springs-based Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Club, Hutton won both of her three-round fights by decision to claim her national title.
For Hutton, winning her championship belt while facing live competition for the first time was an experience she will never forget.
“It was terrifying but thrilling,” Hutton said. “When you step between the ropes and get into that ring, you have to be really focused. Your opponent is coming after you and they’re swinging their fists, so you go out there and do your best. But I had trained a lot leading up to that, so I was extremely well-prepared and was able to fall back into everything I had been doing for the last year.”
The 6-foot, 155-pound Hutton was among the nine women and one of three in her 160-pound weight class in a total field of 65 participants who competed in the event, which featured fighters ranging in age from 35 to 74.
Using an effective jab, Hutton first defeated 46-year-old Gabriella Wyatt of Kansas City and then beat 56-year-old Annette Raible of Petaluma, Calif., to win the title belt.
Not bad for someone who had laced up the gloves for the first time only a year earlier.
Hutton joined a fitness boxing class at Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Club in February 2013 to get in shape and work off some aggression after a long work day.
However, she soon desired to step into the ring and fight competitively.
“I started taking group boxing classes and I enjoyed it very much,” Hutton said. “But I guess I wanted to hit somebody and apparently, they don’t allow that in the group exercise classes. So I went to the trainer and he said he offered personal training classes and I started that up in about April  and I’ve become addicted since then.”
Marty Hill, Hutton’s coach and the club’s owner, said Hutton has the physical attributes to be successful in the ring.
“She’s got some natural-given ability,” Hill said. “She’s tall and lanky. She’s got long legs and long arms and those are good attributes to have, because she’s able to keep her opponents at a distance and keep them away from her. She also has a very good skill set. She pays attention and makes adaptions very well. She’s very smart about what she needs to do in the ring.”
Hutton trains three days a week at the club, while running four miles a day on Saturdays and Sundays.
She said she is looking forward to continue her run of success at her next masters tournament in Miami in November.