Ching-Yee Wan spoke of her pride after being named boxer of the night at the maiden all-female Industry Boxing event at Clapham Grand on Thursday April 12.
Wan, 31, was voted the best of the 34 white collar boxers who competed in the three-and-a-half-hour event, which featured 17 fights and raised £8776.32 for Against Breast Cancer.
The night was a rousing success for the coaches, organisers and competitors alike, with Wan taking top honours after beating fellow competitor June Lam.
Wan said: “I feel proud, not just for me but for all the competitors who took part – most of whom had never been in a fighting competition before.
“Training for a boxing match is a challenge in itself, but there is also the added pressure of having a live audience too.
“Even the small things can seem daunting – from choosing an entrance song, to trying not to trip over the rope when entering the ring.”
The fighters came out to much fanfare from the 515 spectators in attendance, with a compare introducing them and a referee overseeing the fight.
Head coach Jon Durrant coached the blue corner and coaches Dave Martin and Amy Andrews manned the red.
Wan, originally from Stevenage, was in the blue corner and faced Lam in a closely-fought encounter that she won two rounds to one.
She spoke of pre-fight jitters but said as soon as she entered the ring she could only think about stance, guard and eye contact.
She said: “Each round was two minutes long but it felt like forever at the time.
“I knew I couldn’t stop going as my opponent packs a punch for her size and I couldn’t afford to be on the end of her hits!
“By the third round I started to feel tired and had to dig deep to keep my guard up, but with it being the final round I got a sudden burst of inner strength to push on.”
The boxers trained for ten weeks and were paired by the coaches on weight, skill and fitness three days before the fight.
In the run up to the event, Wan was training up to nine hours a week with a mixture of conditioning classes at Cobra Gym in Victoria, technical and sparring sessions at Durrant’s Gym, north London and one-to-one sessions with a good friend.
Wan spoke of her appreciation for both the coaches and the event organisers, Robbie Cave and Julian Holder of Xclusive Touch.
She said: “As an event manager myself, I know it isn’t easy setting up such a large event – Robbie and Julian did a great job in raising awareness and money for Against Breast Cancer.”
“It’s crazy to think back to the first week compared to how well the competitors performed tonight – I felt like I had been completely transformed from an event manager to a competitive fighter.
“I met some amazing friends and future sparring partners along the way – I would encourage anyone interested to sign up!”
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