Women’s Winter Box Cup 2023: North West claims the best team title with an impressive tally

December 11, 2023 | by Chris Boyd


The North West region was crowned best team of the Women’s Winter Box Cup 2023 after securing a standalone tally of four gold and five silver medals.

Billie Donaldson, Faye McCormick, Aminia Patel and Khadeejah Choudhury all produced stellar performances to claim gold for the North West on Finals Day, hosted by England Boxing at Leigh Leisure Centre.

Their teammates Michelle Cox, Amy Ford, Jessica Teevan, Rubi Smallwood and Mary-Kate Smith won silver, to bring the squad’s medal haul to a total of nine.

That was enough to edge out Denmark’s CIK Boksning, Hoddesdon and Yorkshire who all won three gold medals.

Yorkshire were the closest challenger to the eventual champions, with a haul of eight medals (three gold, three silver and two bronze).

Arguably, the best bout of the competition was saved until the very end of Finals Day.

North West’s Mary-Kate Smith faced World Youth Champion Sunniva Hofstad of Team Norway in the Senior, Under 81kg final in front of a raucous crowd.

Aptly, the bout took place in the central ring with all eyes on it following the culmination of bouts in Ring A and B.

Despite a relentless display from Smith, the Norwegian used her experience to claim a proficient split decision victory and with it, the trophy for best boxer.

Hofstad spoke of her delight, as she clutched the trophy: “It feels amazing.

“It was such a tough fight and a cool fight with all the cheering. I’m really happy and I’m wondering how I’m going to get this (trophy) home.

“I train every day, twice a day, all week. I quit school, I sacrificed a lot but it’s what I love to do, so I’m happy to do it. I do it because I love it, and this is what I want to do.”

There was an international flavour to this year’s Women’s Winter Box Cup, as boxers from the Isle of Man, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal joined those from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

A total of 104 clubs and teams took part, with 68 champions crowned on a Finals Day that presented a high level of amateur boxing.

The theme of personal challenges ran throughout the weekend.

40-year-old Lynsey Perrin (RG Boxing) was presented with flowers on Saturday, after boxing for the final time six years after making her debut at 34.

Elsewhere, Leigh ABC’s Ella Thompstone won Youth, Under 63kg gold on Sunday in front of a home crowd.

England Performance boxer, Ruby White (Sturminster Newton) ended her time as a Junior by winning gold at Under 50kg, in what she admitted was a poignant moment:

“I’ve just won the Women’s Winter Box Cup for the second time now. It’s my last time boxing as a Junior as I move up to the Youths next year.

“I’m a bit sad to be leaving the two-minute rounds behind, but we’re onto better things next year at the Youths.”

Merseyside and Cheshire’s Molly Maher was ecstatic after becoming a two-time, two-weight Women’s Winter Box Cup champion.

After winning gold last year at Senior, Under 60kg, Maher followed it up by winning gold at Senior, Under 57kg before giving a glimpse into her positive mindset:

“I feel great, let’s go again next year.

“I train all of the time at my club; I do extra training sessions with my region with Alex (Vass). I watch what I eat but I don’t restrict it because you’ve still got to enjoy (yourself).

“I just love boxing so if you do what you enjoy then it doesn’t seem like hard work.”

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