4:46pm Monday 12th August 2013
When Lacey Sharp’s first amateur boxing bout appeared on You Tube seasoned onlookers were amazed at just how good she was and were talking about the Pembroke Amateur Boxing Club young lady and her real potential in the ring.
Since then Lacey has had one more bout, again winning a unanimous points decision, and for coaches Andy Edmundson and Nathan Probert the main problem is going to be to find suitable opponents for her because of her ability.
What makes her undoubted boxing ability even more remarkable is the fact that Lacey is only 13 years of age but she backs up that high skill level with a terrific commitment which sees her in the gym at the old East End School five evenings a week from her home in Monkton.
“We do lots of skipping as our warm-up and I can easily beat the boys at that and then there’s lots of fitness work before going on the punch bags and pad work with Andy, Nathan and Chris McEwan before sparring with some of the boys.
So how did Lacey start out in boxing? Mum Tracy explains:
“She has always been a bit of a tomboy and loves playing most sports, so when she asked if she could train with a friend at the boxing club I took her along. She stayed for a while but then stopped going for a while until she decided she wanted to go back, and since then there’s been no holding her as far as enthusiasm goes.”
Lacey previously played foot ball for Pennar Robins as a central midfielder who supported Liverpool and has Steve Gerrard as her favourite player. She has also been involved at Pembroke Comprehensive School in rugby, cross-country and gymnastics and as a member of the Tanyard Youth Club has just completed a five-week surfing course with them.
But it is boxing that occupies much of her spare time and she loves it. Mum Tracey explains:
“At first I was a little worried about her taking part but thought it was better than seeing girls fighting in the streets, as some seem to do. We saw the Olympics and could see it is carefully monitored. The coaches at the club look after her really well and the officials at the bouts make sure that safety is vital – and all the youngsters involved have self-discipline drummed into them from the start.”
It was a very nervous mum who was in attendance at Lacey’s first bout at Cwmbach British Legion Club, where Lacey took on Ellie Phillips of Aberaman ABC, who was a little heavier, had had two bouts already and previously been involved in kick boxing. But Lacey clearly showed her skills, with a lovely straight left, a strong right hook and lots of confidence to gain a unanimous points decision before the bout popped up on You Tube and the rest, as they say, is history!
Lacey was really delighted with her success and readily admits that she has had total support from Tracy and her partner John Brockway, older brother Robbie Lange, granddad Alan Miller and all the coaches at Pembroke Amateur Boxing Club.
The coaches in return are very happy with how things have gone for Lacey but are eager to make sure that they keep her feet firmly planted on the floor, other than with regard to her footwork in the ring.
“She is a pleasure to have in the gym,” said Andy Edmundson, “with a tremendous work ethic that sets the example for some of the boys to follow. She takes our leg-pulling as we call her ‘Doris’ in training and listens to what we say, especially in the corner during bouts, which is so vital. Once we get her to use her feet a little more in defence, and plant them properly when she is throwing punches, her natural skills will pay off even more.”
Lacey already has a role model already because it was Nicola Adams whom she watched getting a gold medal in the Olympic Boxing competition.
“She was amazing,” says Lacey, “because she never gave up trying and kept winning as a result. I would love to meet her and watch her training because what she has done for women’s boxing is great.
“She has a lovely personality and my ambition is to follow her to the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s going to be hard work but I am ready to give it my best shot.”
It’s very early yet in the boxing career of Lacey Sharp but she has made a great start and who knows what the future holds – but there is no doubt that her name has already been noticed and if she can fulfil her potential there is no knowing just how far this talented young boxer can go!
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