Women’s Winter Box Cup 2019 – Elite preview
December 6, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
She may be a newcomer to Elite level boxing, but Paige Goodyear feels she is ready to make her mark.
A winner of a World Youth Championships bronze medal in 2018, the Brooklands ABC prospect is determined to show how well she can cut it when getting in the ring as an adult.
At just 18, Goodyear now has to go up against women who have been boxing at a senior level for years, and could be aged up to 40 – indeed Chadwell St Mary’s Nina Hughes is still going strong at 37.
But she believes, competing in this weekend’s Women’s Winter Box Cup 2019 at the Guildford Spectrum, she can make light of her relative inexperience and underline her potential to be highly-regarded at the top amateur level.
“I’m really looking forward to it, as it’s my first time in this because I couldn’t enter last year because I was away,” said Goodyear, from Woodsetton, Dudley.
“Winning that world medal has been the best experience of my career so far. Being able to say I was number three in the world… that was an amazing feeling.
“It was exciting to box different boxers and from different countries – you know you have to up your game.
“This, though, is going to be another different experience and it’s going to be tough. I’ve only just moved up to Elite level, so I’m a baby at this level, but I know what I am capable of.
“I know that I can come home with the gold medal if I box to the best of my ability. This is the hardest age group to make the step up.
“I’ve had a couple of Elite bouts already and they have been against women who are 28 and 30 – they are in their prime. Even if they are not 100 per cent at the top of their game with their skills, they will still be strong.
“I’m still growing into my body. They talk about having men’s strength when you are a boy and it’s the same when you’re a girl turning into a woman.
“But my training has been going really well and I won the English Boxing National Title Belt on a home show, so I’ve shown I can make the step up.”
With 250 women and girls having entered this year’s Women’s Winter Box Cup, an exciting weekend of action is in prospect.
Goodyear insists the event – which successfully made its bow last year – will help develop the depth of the talent pool in the female ranks.
In between training as a manager at Aldi – having completed England Boxing’s AASE (now DISE) course at University College Birmingham, she has been training hard in readiness to showcase her skills.
She said: “I think this competition is massively important because we need to develop women’s boxing and when I first started there were not many of us at all.
“I had to travel to London and all over the country just to get a bout, but tournaments like this will help drive more bouts and bring more opportunities.
“The fact that it’s live on the BBC will make people take notice and it gives female boxers a platform on which to perform.
“I have a lot of family and supporters who have believed in me, so it would be great to perform on that stage, live on TV, for them.”
Also relishing her chance to shine in Guildford is Aston ABC’s Ileana Ingram, whose love of boxing is shared in a family affair.
It was her partner, Chris, who got her into the sport in the first place and son Aeron, 13, is already competing in bouts, while fellow sons Isaiah, 8, and Zavien, 6, love to attend the gym with their mum to take part in non-competitive sessions.
“It’s really nice that we are all involved in the boxing and it’s something we can do together as a family,” said Ingram.
“My kids love it, so it really helps. They love the training and my eldest is also getting in the ring to compete now as well.
“This Box Cup is something I enjoyed last year. It’s a nice set-up and gives girls extra experience that is very helpful to their boxing careers.
“We’ve started to get a female squad together in the Midlands (Fight Like a Girl) and I didn’t realise there were so many about. It’s opened up extra sparring opportunities, and it’s good to see the growing numbers.”
In her second year at Worcester University of a course in adult nursing, Ingram has to make time to train in between her studies and her parental duties.
But the enjoyment she gets from it makes it worth the effort – and shows what even the busiest of women can achieve in the ring.
Ingram said: “There’s a lot to fit in and I don’t have much spare time. I do the morning school run, then my university work and then train after that.
“But my coach is very supportive in fitting things in – and so are my family and friends.”
Ingram, 35, from Acocks Green, has already taken steps into coaching completing her Level One as part of a female-only cohort, made possible by funding from the Maverick Stars Trust.
But while that has enabled her to help out in the gym and provide a new perspective on boxing, she has now intention of giving up competing just yet.
“It’s great to now be able to help out on the coaching side of things and put something back into the sport,” said Ingram.
“It all helps to build your experience and confidence and it has allowed me to see things ‘from the other side.’
“There are a lot more female coaches now and I’m sure there will be a lot more in the future as more female-only courses are rolled out.”
For Islington ABC’s Jem Campbell, appearing at the Women’s Winter Box Cup is another memorable step on a career journey that started with her decision to volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics.
Suitably inspired by Nicola Adams, she took up boxing and has never looked back, winning the England Boxing National Amateur Championships (NACs) in April.
It looked to set to be a busy week for Campbell, who was also scheduled to box at Thursday’s GB Championships, only for prospective bouts with Georgia O’Connor and then Omarah Taylor to fall through.
The disappointment of not boxing in Sheffield will not last for long however, as she aims to continue her excellent 2019 in Surrey.
She said: “Everything else is mixed that we compete in in this country, so it’s nice to have something that puts women in focus.
“A lot of people will be training hard for this and it is a good way of preparing themselves for the (National) Championships next year.
“Women’s boxing is growing all the time and quite quickly as well and it’s good to see a mixture of ages and abilities with the Junior, Youth and Elite sections.
“For me, I would have never of dreamed of being at something like this when I first started after the London Olympics. To go up against girls from different countries in your own country is a great opportunity.”
A physio with Nuffield Health in Luton, Campbell believes her medical background is a real positive when it comes to preparing for her bouts.
She hopes it will mean she is at the peak of her powers for the Women’s Winter Box Cup, where she is eager to perform at her best.
“I think my work does help me when it comes to my boxing training because the knowledge I have through it can help me to avoid injuries,” said Campbell.
“If I do get a niggle, I can nip it in the bud fairly quickly and I know how much I need to train and when so that I don’t overdo it.
“I love boxing for the intensity and adrenaline rush. Hopefully this weekend I can show how much I have improved since I started and inspire a few others who have just started out, or are not yet boxing.”
Spectators are welcome to attend to take in the action on both days (Saturday 7th December and Sunday 8th December) at the Guildford Spectrum from 11am on Saturday (12noon start) and 10am Sunday (11am start).
Tickets are available on the day. Prices are £20 per adult, £10 per concession (over 65), £5 per child (five to 15-year-olds) and free for those four and under. Please note it is cash only and no £50 notes will be accepted.
If you can’t attend on the day to take in the action, then you can watch things unfold via online streaming.
The BBC cameras are along to capture the action and they will screen a number of bouts live that are selected by them.
You can tune in to their stream via the following link:
Day 1 (Saturday), from 12noon, BBC Sport website, iPlayer –https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/boxing/50424319
Day 2 (Sunday), from 11am, BBC Sport website, iPlayer – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/boxing/50544690
As ever with our major tournaments, the England Boxing YouTube Channel will also be streaming all bouts across all three rings live.
Links for each are detailed below:
Day 1 (Saturday) Ring A – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQcfiBuODF8
Day 1 (Saturday) Ring B – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RZFvfLM5Y4
Day 1 (Saturday) Ring C – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB1iPz-1oL8
Day 2 (Sunday) Ring A – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Qh2HDOt_M
Day 2 (Sunday) Ring B – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWK7F-kaG4w
Day 2 (Sunday) Ring C – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcnCnu8578k
Please note that once the live England Boxing YouTube streams have finished, the function to re-watch bouts will be temporarily unavailable while coverage is re-edited to comply with music copyright laws.
Bouts will, however, be restored to the England Boxing YouTube channel as quickly as possible.
An England Boxing photographer and videographer will be capturing footage on both days of the event that may include capturing images of spectators. By attending as a spectator, you agree this imagery can be used by England Boxing and other media outlets.
You can find out more about the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup 2019 by clicking here and follow the action across our social media all weekend via the hashtag #EBWWBC19