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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Barrow boxer Melanie focused on shot at North West title

MELANIE Lawson hopes a tough training regime and some difficult bouts can help her follow in the footsteps of her idol Nicola Adams.

Team GB flyweight Adams became the first woman ever to win an Olympic boxing gold medal at the London Games, an achievement watched with pride by millions of Britons – including Lawson.

And the Furness Catholic Amateur Boxing Club ace hopes to land a title of her own this Sunday, when she competes in the 60-63.5kg category in the ABA North West regional female championships in Gorton, Manchester. The 17-year-old Furness College student has been pounding the streets and putting in extra training at Pat’s Gym, Barrow, in readiness for the biggest contest of her young career.

“I’ve upped my training for this fight. I’ve been training really hard and hopefully that will help me win it,” she said.

“I did an 8km run on Sunday. My legs are a bit tired, but I feel good.”

Lawson lost recent bouts in Rotherham and Warrington, but she hopes the experience will stand her in good stead for her shot at the regional crown.

“I lost those two fights but they were against much taller opponents so hopefully I will win on Sunday,” she said. “It would be brilliant if I could do it. I’d love to bring the title home.”

Lawson hopes to draw inspiration from Adams and the rest of the Team GB Olympic boxing team, saying: “I watched it every day. I watched Nicola Adams win. She was an inspiration, she’s brilliant. I wouldn’t mind doing that myself one day!

“The Olympics has definitely had an impact on women’s boxing.

“A lot of girls have been inspired by what the Olympic boxers achieved and have turned their hand to it and given it a try.”

Lawson’s introduction to the sport came more by chance than design, first donning the gloves at her cousin’s house five years ago – out of boredom!

She explained: “My cousin (Carrick Benzie) used to go to my gym and he had a little punch bag at home.

“One day I was bored when I was round at his house and I just had a quick go, and he said: ‘You’ve got a pretty good punch, why don’t you come down to the gym?’

And I said: ‘Yeah, all right’ and I went down and I’ve loved it ever since.”

Lawson made a little bit of history two years ago when she became the first female to enter the ring at Furness CAB’s annual Dinner at the Ringside event, and she is set to appear in this year’s show at The Forum on Friday November 23.

For the time being though, she is concentrating on her title shot, where she will be up against an as-yet-unknown opponent, contesting three two-minute rounds, with Furness CAB coach Michael Ryan in her corner.

Club spokesman Paul Ryan said: “There are not many in her weight category so if she wins, she’s the champion.

“She’s been active in the ring recently so hopefully she will be well prepared for it.”

And of the Dinner At The Ringside, show, he added: “Hopefully with a couple of bouts under her belt in recent weeks she’ll put on a good show in front of the home crowd.”

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