Northern Ireland boxer Cathy McAleer says she hopes to inspire women to pick up the gloves ahead of her next fight.
McAleer, NI’s only professional female boxer, will face Martina Horgasz at Aston Villa Football Club’s Holte Suite on Saturday.
The Belfast boxer has won all three of her previous professional fights.
“To get women’s boxing out there is brilliant because it doesn’t get enough exposure,” McAleer told Sportsound Extra Time.
“I’m the only female professional boxer in Northern Ireland, which shocked me at the start.
“I’m sure there will be a lot more coming on board now that I’ve started.”
McAleer’s debut win in November 2018 over was quickly followed by further victories in Belfast against Sonia Klos and Cristina Busuioc.
However, the 41-year-old has had an extended spell away from the ring having had two opponents drop out of fights last autumn.
“I was going to fight for a Commonwealth title and it was cancelled two weeks before the fight,” added McAleer.
“I’d been in a 12-week training camp and I was disheartened because to train for 12 weeks only to be told that event wasn’t happening, it was hard.
“But I managed to keep going, continued all through the summer, signed a new manager in Kellie Maloney and got a good fight in Aston Villa, so everything’s going in the right direction.”
McAleer’s bout with Hungarian fighter Horgasz will be the former karate and kick-boxing champion’s first since joining forces with Maloney, who previously managed former three-time world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
We just get on so well – McAleer on Maloney
However, as they prepare for the first fight of their partnership, McAleer admits their alliance came about after a hopeful, tongue-in-cheek request on Twitter.
“I knew I needed a manager to get me to where I needed to be,” said McAleer.
“I reached out on Twitter and said ‘what are the chances you’d make a comeback to boxing with Northern Ireland’s only female professional boxer?’
“I thought she was going to tell me to get lost, but she said ‘give me 48 hours’ so I phoned her 48 hours later and we just clicked and got on so well.
“I knew her expertise and her passion were still there. I have a lot of passion, too. I want to win a world title.”