The wait goes on for Stacey

HYDE boxer Stacey Copeland must play a waiting game for her world title shot after a knee injury derailed her plans for glory.

The Godley fighter was lined up to challenge for the Women’s International Boxing Association title in the coming weeks.

But a problem in just her second sparring session in January after recovering from hand injuries picked up when she landed the Commonwealth title put paid to that.

Now Stacey must wait until later in the year, with September a possible date.

“The original plan was to have a world title fight in Manchester in May,” Stacey, who had surgery in October before eventually receiving a belt for her victory in December, told the Correspondent.

“I had to have surgery on my hands after the Commonwealth title fight but to suffer my knee injury in just the second spar back was very disappointing.

“However, it’s just one of those things.”

Stacey became the first ever British female boxer to be crowned Commonwealth champion after winning the super-welterweight crown by defeating Mapule Ngubane in the African nation of Zimbabwe last July.

Next on her list was going for the WIBA honour until her injury in a session with coach Blain Younis at Hatton’s Health and Fitness in Hyde saw plans delayed.

“The WIBA was the first women’s world title that was set up,” explained Stacey.

“But to be honest, I’m not even sure who I’d be facing when I get back into shape for it. The title is vacant at the moment and rankings change all the time.

“There are three European fighters that are eligible in the rankings who we’re looking at as potential opponents but there’s no way of knowing for definite.”

In the meantime, Stacey could certainly be a contender for being the world’s busiest woman.

For as well as boxing, she takes part in motivational speaking, largely through the Pave The Way initiative she set up.

That means going into schools and business to share her own journey in sport. Then there is her work with The Running Bee Foundation, which aims to help improve people’s health and doing various bits of media work talking about her sports success and her work outside of the ring.

On top of that, she supports her stablemates at their fights and has a regular ‘day job’, working three days a week at Manchester’s Parrs Wood High School, the biggest in the city, where as well as sport she works on pupils’ personal development.

Despite all that, boxing was always front and centre, even though she ended up playing football for England’s Under-18s and Doncaster Belles.

“I first got into the ring at the age of six but women’s boxing was illegal back then – that’s why I went into football!

“But I never really stopped, even when I was playing football and eventually I made my competitive debut as a professional boxer when I was 29-years-old.”

Details of Stacey’s next fight, which should be for the world title, will be announced in due course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *