Former world champion Jane Couch fears the introduction of transgender athletes into women’s boxing will ‘bury’ the sport.

The debate over male-to-female transgender athletes in sport rages on with the recent cases of Rachel McKinnon and Laurel Hubbard in cycling and weightlifting respectively continuing the conversation.

Couch, a pioneer of women’s boxing who became the first officially licenced British female fighter in 1998 after battling the British Boxing Board of Control in the courts, believes the debate will soon hit her sport, insisting there is a real risk in allowing trans athletes to compete against other women.

“It’s going to be an issue,” Couch said in a lengthy interview with NewsChain. “If you’re born a male and you compete in a women’s sport then you’re going to win.

“Males are naturally stronger than women. They’ve got more testosterone, they’ve got what women haven’t got. It’s a dangerous time.

“I used to spar with a few of the lads in Bristol and even the top amateurs used to hurt me with a jab – a jab! And then I’d stand and have wars with journeymen, stand and have proper gym wars with them.”

She added: “I think that’s going to be the next step which will then bury it (women’s boxing), the whole thing.”

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