Swindon hosts all-female white collar boxing bout
A HISTORIC moment was witnessed at Swindon MECA on Saturday night with the town’s first-ever all female white collar boxing match.
Hundreds of fans crammed around the ring to see Toni Sherwood and Bec Connolly square up for three rounds in aid of charity.
Collections were taken by ring girls for Prospect Hospice during and after the fight, which was won by youth worker Bec.
The crowd were kept in suspense as Toni made a fashionably late entrance, but each fighter gave their all after the first bell rang.
Toni fell in the first round, but righted herself before replying with a flurry of body shots.
By the second round she looked to be taking an advantage, pinning Bec into a corner. But Bec came back strongly, the taller fighter benefiting from a longer reach.
By the end of the second round, Toni was unable to continue, and the fight was called for Bec.
Speaking after the fight, Bec, 29, who took up boxing just five months ago, said: “I’m really pleased I won. I’m glad I did it now that it’s over. I was so nervous about the number of people watching.
“I liked Judo as a kid and I was a fan of boxing but I only started boxing five months ago; I’m a newbie. It’s all a bit of a blur at the moment.”
Toni, 34, took up boxing after watching her brother Kane in the ring. She said she is determined to continue despite the defeat.
“I’m gutted with the result,” she said. “I did not want to give up but I could not go on.
“I was buzzing when I got into the ring. Even when I first went out there I didn’t feel nervous. I’d been buzzing for it the entire day.”
Toni said she hoped the fight would inspire more women to take up boxing.
“This is not the end of it. I’m hoping she will come back for a rematch.
“It’s been a long road to get here. I started in March, but I broke my cheekbone which set me back four weeks. I have only really been training for the last couple of months.
“This was an important one, and I’m hoping this spurs other young girls to get into the sport. I have got a couple who have started training recently.
“I will be back into training next week, and I am not going to stop at this.
Spectator Jamie Leddy, 28, of Gorse Hill: “It is all for a good cause. Hopefully there will be a few more women coming into the game. Some people do not like to see women fighting, but everyone should be able to do it.
“I have come to most fights, and I think it is brilliant. It gives most people in Swindon a good reason to get fit. When they see these guys who have worked really hard it makes them want to get rid of their beer bellies.”
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