Dara Torres

Jill Person/Haymakers for Hope

Photos from Dara Torres’ boxing debut

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Dara Torres was defeated in her boxing debut Wednesday night. The 12-time Olympic swimming medalist survived the three two-minute rounds, but lost a “hard-fought decision,” according to a representative from event organizer Haymakers for Hope.

Torres, 49, raised more than $19,000 to fight cancer (donate here).

Below are photos from the event. All photos are courtesy of Jill Person/Haymakers for Hope.

MORE: How Dara Torres trained for her first boxing match

Jill Person/Haymakers for Hope

Jill Person/Haymakers for Hope

Jill Person/Haymakers for Hope

Jill Person/Haymakers for Hope

Swimmer Dara Torres ready for boxing debut

Dara Torres
Getty Images
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Dara Torres thought her first boxing match would be fun.

Women don’t hit too hard, she believed, and boxing gloves are soft.

That mindset quickly changed after a punch from her sparring partner.

“I got hit so hard on the side of my mouth that I couldn’t close my jaw for three or four days,” Torres said in a recent telephone interview.

Torres, 49, is scheduled to make her boxing debut in an event for Haymakers for Hope billed as “Belles of the Brawl” on Wednesday in Boston. She has raised more than $18,000 of her $20,000 goal to fight cancer after losing her father, Edward, to colon cancer (donate here).

The 12-time Olympic swimming medalist discovered boxing as a way to get back into shape after knee surgery. Despite being someone who regularly attends 50-minute spin classes and swims for up to 90 minutes, Torres could barely finish two-minute rounds of sparring.

“Two-minute rounds are distance events for me,” said Torres, who completed all of her individual Olympic swimming finals in less than one minute. “I have to pace myself and not go too fast, too hard, too quickly or I’ll be exhausted.”

Torres solicited advice from Laila Ali, a fellow host on the talk show “We Need to Talk.” Ali, a former professional boxer and the daughter of Muhammad Ali, encouraged Torres to take advantage of her reach. Torres is about an inch taller than her opponent, Sue Bator, a chemical engineer.

“It won’t be easy to hit me because my arms are so long,” Torres said.

Torres is hoping that she will be fast enough to dance around the ring, since her knee issues will prevent her from ducking to avoid punches. But her trainer, Jessica Smith, keeps reminding her that she needs to land punches to score points.

“I’m not super aggressive,” Torres said. “But if [my opponent] does something to upset me, I think it will spark something in me to want to fight her.”

One of Torres’ biggest challenges has been to put on enough weight to reach 150 pounds. She has been drinking protein shakes and eating steaks, hamburgers and fries, but as of Monday afternoon, she weighed 149.2 pounds.

“I am still going to need to really chow down to make weight,” she said.

Torres expects to have 30-40 friends in attendance at the fight, including two-time Olympic swimming medalist Elizabeth Beisel. Torres compared her nerves to the feeling before swimming in an Olympic final.

“I think I’m going to be sick to my stomach,” she said. “I’m not in my element. My element is in the pool.”

Torres is confident that Wednesday’s fight will be her first and last boxing match. But she is proud that she has scarified so much to raise funds to defeat cancer.

“[Boxing] is something I don’t particularly like and it’s a hard, hard sport,” Torres said. “But it’s something that can bring more awareness and raise money to help fight this fight against cancer.”

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Workout #2 today….

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Dara Torres to Michael Phelps: ‘Welcome to the club’

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OMAHA — Dara Torres found Michael Phelps at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Wednesday night and had four words for him.

“Welcome to the club.”

Phelps, by winning the 200m butterfly at Trials, joined Torres as the only swimmers to make five U.S. Olympic teams. Those who made four — Amanda Beard, Jason LezakRyan LochteJill Sterkel and Jenny Thompson.

Torres, a 12-time Olympic medalist who retired twice before making the 2008 Olympic team at age 41, noted a similarity between her and Phelps’ fifth Games.

“He can share this with his son one day,” said Torres, whose daughter, Tessa, was 2 years old when she earned three silver medals in Beijing. “That’s the one thing I was excited about when I had my daughter in ‘08. When she is old enough to understand it, I can share it with her.”

Phelps and Torres have known each other since at least the 2000 Sydney Games, when Phelps was the youngest U.S. swimmer at 15 and Torres was the oldest at 33. Phelps jokingly called Torres “mom” while in Australia.

“I don’t even think he had hair on his body yet,” Torres said last year. “I’ll never forget, I still had the 50m freestyle left, and he swam his race [placing fifth in the 200m butterfly]. He was there the next day training. I was kidding around, and I went up to his coach, and I didn’t know Bob Bowman that well at all, but I said, ‘Doesn’t this kid ever get a break?’ He was like, ‘No, he’s training for 2004 now.’ I was like, oh my gosh. He was so serious, Bob was. I couldn’t believe it, but as the years went on and the accomplishments he made, you understand the psyche and why he was doing that.

MORE: Olympic Swimming Trials broadcast schedule

Torres saw Phelps again last summer at the U.S. Championships in San Antonio, where Phelps posted the fastest times in the world for the year in the 100m and 200m butterflies and the 200m individual medley.

She almost didn’t recognize him.

A man with a big, bushy beard walked by her at a hotel and said, “Hey.” Torres paused for a second in confusion before turning around and realizing it was Phelps (before he shaved for his races). They shared breakfast.

“He told me he was doing better and enjoying swimming again,” Torres said. “He was relaxed, mellow. Maybe he just woke up.”

MORE: Phelps watches 2012 Olympic 200m butterfly for first time