1 event, 1 ring, 12 fights: A Formidable Event Not to be Missed
Last Friday (20th March), Unit 1 was supposed to play host to the most anticipated and intense sporting event of the term. None other than Exeter University Amateur Boxing Club’s License to Fight: 003. In the event, Amateur University Boxers would have traded in their books for gloves and ventured into the ring to battle it out and see which fighter came out on top. However, due to the development of COVID-19 in the UK and following Government guidelines on social distancing and mass gatherings, Exeter University Amateur Boxing Club took the difficult decision on 15th March to cancel the event in order to best protect the health of all attendees and participants. We’d still like to pay tribute to the fighters and the society’s hard work in preparing for this event by sharing with you our original preview. RAZZ looks forward to seeing what Exeter University Amateur Boxing Club go on to do once we are past these difficult times.
Miriam Higgs’ original preview for the event is featured below:
Ahead of the event next week, I caught up with prospective fighters who were amid an 8-week intensive training programme, to find out more on what to expect at this highly energetic, thrilling, and spine-tingling event. From how the fighters have been preparing, to what it is really like to set foot in the ring.
On entering the gruelling and intensive training session, the dedication of each fighter was evident. As the fighters do not know their opponents, they must be adaptive. The fighters were paired with a sparring partner and were following the advice from their coaches. It was clear to me that each boxer was preparing for the event in a different way to face the stiff competition, with many building their stamina through cardio, some packing the protein to build muscle, and others counting calories and introducing healthier foods into their diet. This L2F also saw the launch of a wonderful nutritionist programme, which many of the boxers utilised, to instruct the boxers on how to best prepare their individual bodies. However, there was one thing that remained constant amongst all the fighters: they were training hard, fast, and often.
Since the start of this year, EUABC has become a prolific society and has gained a following of nearly 600 members, making it one of Exeter’s fastest growing and developing sports clubs. In the room, there was a great range of boxing experience. There were boxers who had fought in previous L2Fs with boxing being their principal sport, whereas, others had never sparred before joining EUABC. However, universally amongst the fighters it was true that their passion drove them to step foot in the ring, with one fighter stating that ‘without the club, it would not be my university experience’.
This inclusive society, which was described as ‘like a family’ has cultivated passionate, determined, and regimented boxers. Internationally, female boxing is underrepresented. However, the EUABC mixed team quashes these perceptions, with a female fighter stating that ‘even the men on committee and coaches do not treat us as girls who are boxing, they just treat us as boxers’ and next year’s captaincy being claimed by Katie Sharp.
The club also aids many of the fighters to balance their degrees, offering an inclusive space where boxers can find ‘stress relief’. One fighter stated that it helps those who are ‘struggling with their mental health, struggling with their body image. Boxing helps both mentally and physically. It really helps release tension’. Many of the boxers unexpectedly fell in love with this intense sport, which now motivates them in their degrees.
With a truly supportive committee and inspirations, such as Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Mohammad Ali, it is clear why so many Exeter students have caught the boxing bug. License to Fight will not disappoint. It will provide fights packed with adrenaline and duels in the ring, matched by the pandemonium behind the barriers. This chaotic action will be the perfect way to finish your second term.
Keep an eye on EUABC’s Facebook page for info about their future events.