England boxer Stacey Copeland is gearing up for her 3rd professional fight in Trafford, Manchester on Friday the 2nd of March when she takes on Italian Dora Tollar as part of the Blackflash promotions show. Dora has won 2 of her 3 fights with Stacey currently being 3-0 in her professional
Boxing is in the Copeland blood and as such Stacey’s boxing journey started when she was very young; her grandfather ran an amateur boxing club and her
father was a boxer that represented England and went on to turn professional. “When I was about 6 or 7 years old granddad would start to take me to
the gym with him and it all started there” recalls Stacey when we talked about the early years. “I did all the training sessions with him and went
to all the shows and that’s how I got into boxing” Boxing wasn’t the only sport that Stacey took a keen interest in as she became an accomplished footballer.
Boxing was at the time illegal for women and when Stacey reached the age of 11 her granddad explained to her that she wouldn’t be able to box. “Because
I couldn’t box I went into football which became a big thing for me” To some it may seem a tough decision to pick one sport over another but Stacey
explains it was easy. “I loved football and I wanted to compete, I wasn’t allowed to box so it made the decision very easy, I had a great career in
football, represented England at the under 18 level and went on a sports scholarship to America for 5 years and finished up played in Sweden”.
After winding down her footballing career in 2010, Stacey re-discovered her passion for boxing at a time when the sport was becoming more accessible for
women to compete in at the highest level.
Stacey enjoyed huge success in the amateur game winning three Amateur Boxing association titles and a European silver medal. She turned professional in
June 2017 and she remembers her debut very well “It was an amazing experience and something I would never have believed possible and yet there it was,
it felt quite surreal when I walked out into the arena” What made the moment even more special for Stacey though was the fact that she has overcome
a very serious injury to be able to box, in fact there had been a very real possibility that she would never box again.
Stacey had, what was supposed to be, a routine operation on her knee go wrong when she suffered a chemical burn over her leg which took an extremely long
time to heel and cost Stacey the chance to compete at the world championships, which she had been working towards for two years. It was a very tough
time for Stacey. “It was so bad that I couldn’t do anything all I could do was wait, it was devastating to miss the World and European championships,
and to come back from that at my age was a big ask but I did it.”
Whereas boxers at the top of the male game have promoters that get the word out about upcoming fights and sell tickets, there is sadly no such luxury for
Stacey who combines her job in education alongside her boxing training. “It’s tough” explains Stacey in the amateurs “it’s hard as you are training
then travelling to tournaments that are mostly abroad, but you don’t have the pressure of promoting yourself and selling tickets yourself like I am
doing now. I have my full time job, long hours of training and then an extra job on top of that selling tickets organising promoting etc so it’s very
Before the end of our interview I was keen to get Stacey’s view on where we are with Woman’s Boxing in the United Kingdom at the moment. “Its going from
strength to strength at the moment Women’s boxing has had a real resurgence recently over the last couple of years with the Olympics being a huge help,
giving women’s boxing that platform to get recognised. One of the problems is though there are still only 3 Olympic weights for women (there are ten
for male boxers) but in terms of the professional game we are gaining acceptance in the sport. We have some great talent coming through in the girls
sections so that’s why it’s important for people like me to pave the way so that the opportunities are there for them when their time comes”
Sports International magazine would like to thank Stacey for chatting to us and we wish her all the very best for the big fight.
Tickets for the fight are still available. Contact Stacey via twitter @scopelandboxer