On Sunday, Anthony Joshua’s gym in Marylebone, BXR, is hosting an event to champion female boxers. In association with Haringey Boxing Club, ‘The Best of Female Boxing’ will feature a discussion panel exploring the challenges women still face in the sport, 20 years since they were first allowed in the ring. Below, five women of different weight categories, occupations and backgrounds share their boxing journey and explain how the sport has empowered them.
Amy Andrew, 33
Haringey Boxing Club
Full-time featherweight amateur
I signed up to a white collar charity fight when I was 29 because I wanted to get fit. I knew nothing about boxing, aside from what I’d learned from Million Dollar Baby. Eight weeks after putting gloves on for the first time I found myself fighting at the famous East End boxing Mecca, York Hall. I was totally hooked. It’s fun, fast-paced and outside the norm for women. I ended up quitting my job as a journalist at the Daily Mail to train full-time as an amateur. I worked my way up the ranks and it soon dawned on me that perhaps I could make a career in the ring.
After crowdfunding to represent New Zealand (I qualify through my mother) at the World Championships in New Delhi last year, I found myself sparring in the same room as India’s six-time world champion, Mary Kom. Fighting for Team GB was not a realistic option for me because of my age, but I qualified for the Tokyo 2020 pathway with New Zealand. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride which I’m entirely self-funding but one that I am throwing everything at. Sponsorship from BXR has been massive and everyone at Haringey has been so supportive. I’ve also been vegan for about four years, just because it really helps with keeping my weight down. The philosophy behind it is that there’s less calories in vegetables and it’s not as heavy to digest.