STACEY Copeland may be a leader in her field – but try telling her that women should not be allowed to box.
You will get a very stern response – verbally, of course.
The Godley-based fighter, who trains with Blain Younis out of Hatton Health and Fitness in Hyde town centre, is one of the foremost voices in the sport.
She is also one of the busiest people you could ever wish to meet.
One thing the 37-year-old is definite about, though, is that anyone criticising women’s boxing is wrong, dead wrong.
Stacey, who has had to put her shot at a world title on hold because of a knee injury, said: “People who don’t like boxing as a sport are entitled to think that.
“I understand that people don’t like it but people not liking women doing it? That’s sexist.
“There’s nothing I can do about being a woman but I do a sport I love.
“You don’t say that people of a certain race could not do a sport. Why should women not be allowed to do it?”
To say Stacey has a lot on her plate in an understatement. When she spoke to the Correspondent, one question that followed was, ‘Do you even have time to breathe?’
As well as training, she fits in giving motivational talks to schools and businesses for the Pave The Way movement she set up, giving other talks on behalf of other organisations, supporting fellow boxers in action, opening boxing gyms and media appearances to talk about women in sport.
There is also a ‘day job’, working two days a week as a learning support staff member at Parr’s Wood High School in the Didsbury area of Manchester!
“I may be very busy but I’m extremely passionate about what I do,” added Stacey, who had to print a picture of the commonwealth belt she did not receive after winning a title fight in Zimbabwe as one had not been made up in time!
“I don’t watch TV, I can’t think of many things worse than sitting there all night and watching a stream of shows.
“In one week, I did a number of talks with two training sessions, plus media appearances on the radio and opening up a gym.
“I also went to watch others in a boxing show! It’s never quiet!”
Stacey’s impact as a sports star and figurehead has not gone unnoticed.
Alasdiar Hooper, founder of SportSpiel, wrote on The 52 Blog: “What I find particularly vital about Stacey’s message, and the entire ‘Pave the Way’ mission statement, is that it’s not about who you are.
“It’s about who you want to be – regardless of gender, background, or what others will tell you.
“Stacey is one of the most prominent and important mouthpieces for women’s sport out there.”