by David P. Greisman

Ava Knight won’t be competing on reality television to become a pro wrestler.

Knight, who is one of the best female boxers in the world, had been one of 40 finalists for the upcoming season of World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Tough Enough,” a reality series in which athletes and other aspiring pro wrestlers strive for a spot on WWE’s roster. She was one of more than 11,000 men and women who sent in audition videos.

She went to a tryout Wednesday to narrow down the finalists to the 13 contestants for the television show. Alas, she didn’t make the cut and was among the 10 people eliminated on the first day of the tryouts.

“Champion Boxer Ava had a great tryout but went down swinging tonight in eliminations,” wrote the WWE Tough Enough account on Twitter.

Knight took the elimination in stride.

“Not mad tho!!” she tweeted. “During the process I saw the fire these guys had for this & I frankly didn't feel it. My [heart] is boxing.”

Highlihgts from the tryout will be shown on the streaming WWE Network on Tuesday, June 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. This season of “Tough Enough” will then premiere on USA Network on Tuesday, June 23, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Knight, 26, is 13-2-3 with 5 KOs. She fought for titles at 115 and 118, losing to Ana Maria Torres in 2009 and fighting to a draw with Kaliesha West in 2011. Knight ultimately went on to win world titles at 112. She lost a decision to Ibeth Zamora Silva in 2013 and then came back last November, outpointing Guadalupe Martinez.

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at or internationally at Send questions/comments via email at