"Are you tough?" she is asked. "I think so," Cherino says with a smile. Tough when I have to be yea."
Cherino started in karate earning her black belt by age 11, but soon boxing became her love
"I started boxing when I was 12 and it just stuck," she said.
"I've watched her come up through the amatuers. I have known her. The day she came to me, I actually said to my partner, this is our next amatuer champion right here," trainer Brian Pennacchia said.
By day she is a full time student at URI pursuing her doctoral degree in physical therapy, by night she is here at her other classroom at BP gym in Warwick pursuing her other passion.
"In undergrad I definitely put boxing on the back burner and was way more focused on school," Cherino said. "Now boxing has a much larger role in my life. It's good it give's me a balance."
At 5–7, 141 pounds, Destiny is the top ranked female in New England and will compete in the US boxing championships in Washington in January. A win there and she would move on to the Olympic trials.
"It is going to be very important because it decides the next step we take," Pennacchia said. If she can win the national championships then you know she is a national champ and that is where it starts. If you have Olympic dreams these are the tournaments you have to win."
"You know I never thought I would be where I am right now, so what's to say I can't keep going," Cherino said.