Sunshine began her fighting career in Phoenix, Arizona as an amateur kickboxer and boxer. She had begun her Muay Thai training in 1995 under Bunkerd Faphimai until meeting up with her long time Muay Thai and Boxing coach, Bob Karmel. She had trained consistently in the martial arts, starting with Tae Kwon Do at age 13, and moving on to various other arts until finding Muay Thai. Sunshine took her kickboxing career as far as possible, fighting at every available opportunity, which included bouts in Mexico, Ukraine and throughout the USA. She had also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and had her first MMA bout in 1997 in Phoenix, AZ. She won three Thai boxing titles, including the IKF Welterweight Muay Thai title. Her final two professional kickboxing matches were fought in the Ukraine with Sunshine being the only female member on USKBA Team USA in November 2001.
Sunshine had begun to supplement her Muay Thai training with boxing early in her career to combat the periods of inactivity she experienced in Muay Thai. She began training with Willie Borchert in Phoenix in 1996. She fought Arizona Golden Gloves and moved on to the Everlast Women’s National Championships, held in California, where she won the silver medal in 1998.
Sunshine began her professional boxing career on January 21, 2001 in Bakersfield, California. During this time, Sunshine was still training in Muay Thai with hopes of picking up more fights in that style. Along with her trainer, Sunshine decided it would be best to train full time in one sport or the other and had to choose either boxing or Muay Thai. She and her trainer realized that the two styles of boxing and Muay Thai were much too different and in order to be successful at one, she would have to give up the other. Sunshine, reluctantly at first, chose boxing simply because of more fight opportunities in that sport.
Throughout her boxing career, Sunshine was known for taking tough fights, and often in the other fighter’s hometown. She has fought the toughest boxers, including Lucia Ryjker and Anne Wolfe, and often took fights outside of her weight class. Sunshine has fought as low as 135 or Super Lightweight and as high as Super Middleweight, simply for the opportunity to fight. She has never been knocked down or KO’d in any of her bouts, boxing or Muay Thai.
Sunshine retired from competition in 2004 after having won three world boxing titles. She held the IFBA, WIBC and WIBF World Welterweight titles as a professional boxer.
Having coached Muay Thai and boxing at several gyms in the valley, Sunshine now owns Best Muay Thai and Sunshine Training Az in Tempe, Arizona with her partner, Bob Karmel. She is a coach for both boxing and Muay Thai and holds daily group classes and private lessons. Sunshine is also a certified personal trainer and leads her clients through detailed and customized plans of action that focus on weight loss or gain, strength, speed etc., depending on individual client needs.
She has trained many successful competitors, both male and female, including the current 151 pound men’s Arizona Golden Gloves Champion as well as the USMTA 159 pound State Muay Thai Champion. She looks forward to working with the athletes at Sunshine Training AZ and producing more champions!