As female fighters, the boxers competing in the Belles of Brawl in Boston get a lot of questions that men in the sport don't ever have to contend with. We asked some of the 2018 Belles how they field the silly, serious, and sometimes ignorant questions about women in boxing.

Does it hurt to get punched?

“Depends who’s doing the punching!” -Stephanie Rokitowski

“It’s an odd feeling — it’s not so much a sharp pain like you’d assume, but more of a pain in the sense that your body definitely doesn’t want it to happen again. And then it does.” -Sophie Morgan

Do you use makeup to cover up bumps and bruises?

“Nope. Battle wounds are part of the process.” -Carolyn Malloy

“Hell no! I earned those damn battle wounds from working hard! Might as well show them off and be proud!” -Michele Wescott

Are you worried about getting your nose broken?

“Absolutely. It’s on my list of fears behind getting knocked out and tripping getting into the ring.” -Sophie Morgan

Do you spar with guys?

“Pretty much all I spar with. There aren't many females available to spar with for training. It's a treat when we all get together.” -Stephanie Rokitowski

“Yes I do. It's good practice to learn to spar with different opponents. Any sparring practice is better than nothing so I take what I can get.” -Michele Wescott

Are you worried your arms are going to get too bulky?

“Never.”  -Denise Lavino

“NEVER! It's all about the sexy arms and back! Be proud and show them off!” -Michele Wescott

Do you ever cry in the ring?

“No comment.” -Carolyn Malloy

“Not in the ring!!” -Denise Lavino

“I cried for the first time this week. It’s hard to get in the ring and put your heart on the line, your emotions will inevitably come into play.” -Sophie Morgan

What do your family and friends think about you boxing? What about your partner? Could you win over him/her in a fight?

“Everyone thinks I'm absolutely crazy, BUT they are very proud of me for doing something so out of my comfort zone. They are all very supportive and think I'm going to CRUSH IT! My husband is not worried at all - he thinks I've trained hard and definitely can do it. And yes, I absolutely could beat him in a fight. He doesn't even want to hold mitts for me at times!” -Michele Wescott

“My parents are supportive to an extent. I think it’s hard for any parent to know their child is stepping in the ring and could potentially get hurt.” -Sophie Morgan

“They think I'm out of my mind.” -Carlyn Malloy

“My mother wishes I wouldn't. My friends are still in disbelief (until recently one thought it was fake fighting) and my boyfriend thinks it's kinda cool.... And yes I would definitely win in a fight.” -Stephanie Rokitowski

“Everyone has a different opinion and reaction depending on who you ask, some are positive, some are negative!!...My husband could not be anymore supportive & happy for me, he attends everyone of my sparring sessions!!...My husband is a big guy he would definitely kick my!!” -Denise Lavino

What are some of the questions you wish people would ask female fighters?

“People have asked me pretty much every question there is to be asked, whether it has been good or not so good...I just answer all of them with a smile.” -Denise Lavino

“What's your favorite/best punch to throw? How long did you train before getting in the ring to spar?” -Stephanie Rokitowski

“I wish they’d ask more questions about how we might be affecting others. We’re doing this in the wake of the #MeToo movement and fights for equal pay and equal rights for women, and it would be nice to see how some of our training and fighting has, or can, affect younger generations.” -Sophie Morgan

"What do you do for recovery days to help with muscle soreness? What is your biggest fear? What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? How do you keep all your hair up under your headgear? Do you embrace being covered in sweat and smell during training or are you mortified? -Michele Wescott