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Chesterfield boxer Amy Greatorex makes her professional debut on December 9 at Barnsley Metrodome where she will square off against Nicaragua’s Wendellin Cruz.

It’s been a very long journey for Greatorex just to reach this stage. After a battle to win her boxing licence back as well as a late ultimatum that put December’s fight in jeopardy, preparation has hardly been ideal for her professional introduction to the sport.

It’s been a whirlwind past few years for Amy as she only started from scratch in the sport of boxing relatively recently:

“It is something I’ve got into quite recently. As a child, I did follow boxing; my dad was into boxing so that was always on the TV. But I was never a sporty kid. I used to be quite overweight. I was more than four stone overweight. I was a size 18-20. But I then started losing that weight and began going to a kickboxing class for fitness. I was then asked why don’t I try boxing? So I did that purely just for fitness but also found that I was not that bad at it and really loved it. It started taking over my life at that point. I had my first amateur bout three months before my 30th birthday. So I’ve only been boxing for the last six years.”

The debacle regarding Greatorex’s boxing licence was a long and draining one which extinguished her initial professional debut fight from going ahead:

“I’ve been trying to get to this point for over a year now. I had my first interview with the British Boxing Board of Control on the 25th of November last year as you have to have an interview with them first before you can be put forward for a boxing licence. That went all swimmingly. I then had my medical with the boxing doctor. I told him I suffered with anxiety and depression. I’m not medicated anymore and I’m a thousand times better than what I was – but the doctor didn’t put that down on my medical, so there was a discrepancy with that. So I was given my licence earlier this year in April but then it was suspended in June. By that time, I’d still not had time to have my professional debut. My debut was meant to be in August but that couldn’t go ahead any more. I was supposed to have a meeting with the Boxing Board of Control again to discuss the situation but they forgot about me. So that meant I was waiting again and I had to fight to get my licence back and prove that the discrepancy wasn’t my fault and that the doctor had forgotten to write this information down. I finally managed to win my licence back and I was training very hard alongside doing my normal job. A date was set for the ninth of December for my first professional fight – but a few days ago, that fight was also in jeopardy. So it’s been a bit of a crazy year!”

As if that wasn’t enough, Greatorex was handed an ultimatum from out of nowhere on Monday last week which once again put her professional boxing debut in jeopardy. Amy was told that if a huge increase in ticket sales did not come about within 48 hours then the fight would be pulled. A tweet later that day though from Amy appealing for help dramatically saved the fight and showed the good side of the power of social media:

“The original figure was actually £1,500. But I was willing to put money into that even though I’m self-employed and money is tight at the moment. I was willing to be out of pocket for this fight to happen. My promoter, God bless him, he believes in me and he was also willing to be out of pocket for this fight to go ahead. So the figure was then set at £700 but anything more would obviously have been a big help. I didn’t expect anyone to see my tweet. It wasn’t a cry for help as such because I didn’t think anyone would see it. It was just more just me venting my frustration. I think at that point I only had around 200 followers on Twitter and many of those were people I didn’t know. I used Twitter as a soundboard and like an online diary – so I tweeted what the ticket situation was and it all just went crazy! It got shared around…by Monday evening the ticket sales started to climb and then I reached my target. For it to have happened so quickly was just amazing.”

Amy agrees that the surge in ticket sales for her fight does show how much interest there is now in women’s boxing:

“I think it does, yeah. It shows what we can do. When I first started out as an amateur, I was told that I wouldn’t get many bouts because women’s boxing is not very big. But look at where I am now – I’ve turned professional. It just shows how big women’s boxing is becoming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still relatively small compared to men’s boxing. There’s still not half as many female boxers as there are male boxers. But I think we are really showing that we can be in there with the best of them. You do still get the odd comments – I still get comments saying ‘stick to the kitchen’ and all that kind of stuff. But they just go over my head and I use it as motivation to prove that we can do the same as men.”

Now that the out of ring distractions appear to have finally come to an end, Amy can now fully concentrate on inside the ring matters and her opponent who Amy concedes is a very talented boxer. However, Greatorex is very confident of her chances of victory:

“My opponent is Wendellin Cruz and she’s from Nicaragua. It’s going to be a tough fight especially for a debut professional fight. She’s got a winning record. I have seen her fight and she’s very full-on. She’s also world ranked. For someone to face a world ranked opponent in their debut is a rarity. So this also gives me the opportunity to be world ranked myself after my very first professional fight. So it’s going to be a tough one but I can win. I know I can.”

Amy has huge ambitions for her professional career and hopes that December 9 is the start of a special journey that will lead to a number of championship belts:

“I would love to have titles under my belt. I know my team are hoping that after just a few fights I can be competing for a Commonwealth title. Then hopefully that will lead to even bigger titles. It’d be lovely in five years time if I had a World title. That is the aim. Because I have come into this sport quite late, I feel like I almost have to catapult myself in there and get as much out of it as I can in a short space of time. For younger boxers, they can afford to take more time; whereas, I really need to be pushing it as hard as I can. One of my goals really is to make people aware that if I can do something like this then they can do something like it as well. Whatever you put your mind to, you can do it.”

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