A young boxing champion has proven herself fighting fit with a win at the England Boxing National Youth Championships 2023.
Bringing home the title makes it a hattrick for Redcar and Cleveland College sports student, Keira.
The now three times junior national champion said: “I felt confident that I could win, but it still feels really good.”
Not only did the 16-year-old take the gold, in her age and weight category, but she was also named best boxer of the tournament, with further recognition for best fight.
“My family and friends were all buzzing, probably more than me,” said Keira who has seen a string of successes in the last year. She won gold representing England at the Tri National Boxing Tournament in June and went on to be a bronze medallist at the Junior European Championships in October, fighting on despite an injured hand.
Boxing since she was just eight years old, Keira now trains twice a day, six days a week, at Redcar Amateur Boxing Club.
Alongside studying sport at college, the former Laurence Jackson School pupil said: “It doesn’t leave me with much time for anything else, but this is what I want to do.”
With ambitions to become a professional boxer, she doesn’t doubt in her ability. Stopping her opponent in the first round during the semi-final at Solihull, Birmingham, at the National Championships on Saturday, she went on to win the final fight on points on Sunday.
Despite the big win she was back in the classroom as usual on Monday morning.
Now focusing on the Youth European Championship selections later this month, she hopes to fight her way to a place in the Youth World Championships.
She said: “This year is going to be more challenging as there are more girls coming through.”
But she added: “Boxing has been good for me as it makes you more disciplined and gives you the confidence to feel better about yourself.”
It is that confidence she and her coaches, Niki Wiley, Lee Hubbard, and dad Mark, along with her family, believe can take her to the top.
Dad Mark said: “I am really proud of Keira's achievements especially considering she boxed three-minute rounds for the first time and had just recovered from a broken hand.”
As for the punches, Keira said: “When you are in the fight you don’t feel them, it’s all about winning.” Though she was quick to add: “I think they feel mine!”