Making her professional boxing debut in a little over two weeks, former world kickboxing champion Katie Healy will begin a new chapter as she fights in Sheffield on the 21st of May writes Noah Abrahams.
With women’s boxing the most popular it has ever been, the BCB super bantamweight athlete shared her ambitions for the future and thoughts ahead of featuring on a stacked undercard.
Fighting for the first time in over three years, the Midlander exclaimed that she is eager to step back through the ropes.
“I’m feeling really good, I just can’t wait to get in the ring now,” she said. “I’m ready. Training’s been going really well and I’m itching to fight.”
Leaving a career in kickboxing behind to pursue a degree at Aston University, Healy explained why she had to return to professional sport.
“I was after that new challenge,” she said.
“When I started going back to the gym after university, it wasn’t to go straight back into boxing and compete. It was originally a matter of going back to get my fitness up and to lose a bit of weight.
“It quite sounds cheesy, but the second I started training again, I wanted to get back in the ring. I missed it so much.
“For me, it was just taking that next step. I felt like I had already achieved everything in kickboxing. It’s that new challenge now and it’s exciting. I’m learning it all from scratch again.”
Since joining BCB, Healy is now a colleague of her close friend and the interim WBC world super bantamweight champion, Rachel Ball. Aiming to follow in Ball’s footsteps, Healy will fight in the same weight category. “We’re aiming for the super bantamweight category, but we might go up or down,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes. I competed as a super bantamweight when kickboxing, so it's given me a good starting point.
“I’ve been training with Rachel [Ball] now since I was 15. We started off as sparring partners in kickboxing and we’ve kind of had a similar journey.
“It’s really inspiring and it’s so nice to have someone to go to with any questions, concerns, or worries that I have. Even with things like the medical, I can pop her a message on WhatsApp and within two minutes, she will reply to me.
“It’s great to see so many of the females coming up. We’ve got so many females at Trojan, it’s amazing. It’s really nice to have Rachel in the same stable.”
With very little information on Healy’s debut itself, the rising star provided some rare insight ahead of her match-up at the Sheffield Arena Car Park. “The girl I’m fighting has got some experience and it will be a good challenge for my debut,” she revealed. “It’s not going to be an easy fight. I’ve watched a couple of her fights and I’m looking forward to it. “I’m feeling good and I’m feeling confident. We’ll have to see how it goes. “We’ve been fine-tuning everything to really make that transition of no longer looking like a kickboxer and actually looking like a boxer in the ring. “We’ve got a good game plan and fingers crossed it works on the night.”
There has arguably never been a better time to begin a career as a female boxer. As Katie Taylor remains the lightweight queen, Shannon Courtenay rules as the bantamweight boss, whilst Savannah Marshall dominates the middleweight division. Striving to be amongst the best, Healy emphasized the current excitement surrounding women’s boxing. “It’s perfect timing to come into the sport,” she said. “In the last 12 months, we’ve seen that it’s grown massively. “For people like myself just coming into the sport, it’s so inspiring and it motivates a lot of us to be able to look up to people like Katie Taylor or Natasha Jonas. It’s really great to watch what they are achieving. “I will always put in the training and the hard work. I had the dream of having a world title in kickboxing and obviously, we achieved more than that. “I definitely aspire to win a world title and to be on that stage in boxing. “I’ve built such a good relationship with my coach Gavin [Burrows] and I trust every decision that he makes. “I’m building good relationships with everyone at BCB and it was the right decision for me to join them.”