Boxer fights prejudice

PUBLISHED: 17:49 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:13 12 August 2010

A FEMALE amateur champion is a contender for Team GB if a recommendation to include women s boxing in London 2012 is approved.

A FEMALE amateur champion is a contender for Team GB if a recommendation to include women's boxing in London 2012 is approved.

Women have not competed in the discipline at the games for more than 100 years and Gravesend ABC fighter Rebecca Donnelly feels the time for change is right.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended that ladies' boxing should be included at the London showpiece, where it would be seen for the first time at the games since 1904.

Although the current proposals are only a recommendation, it is expected the event will be confirmed in October this year.

Rebecca said: "There is still a lot of prejudice against girls fighting in the ring because people tend to view it as barbaric. Some fans of the sport believe it should only be men in the ring and that women don't possess the same skill.

"We are as highly trained as them though and it isn't just a case of us getting into the ring and battering each other - 2012 will be a great time to show that."

The 30-year-old is the current Amateur Boxing Association champion at 60kg after winning the crown in July. If she continues her success she could be counted as almost a certainty to join Team GB.

The sport's popularity among women has increased in the last few years. With talented youngsters coming through, she faces a battle to stay at the top.

However, the Bromley-born boxer is determined to show what she can do. She said: "There are more and more girls coming through so I could very well be knocked off the top in the next three years.

"That said, I am not going to be giving up my national crown without a fight and the dream of fighting in London is something I want to make a reality.

"It would be something else to represent the nation in London and the fact that my friends and family live just down the road is an extra incentive.

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