Queen of Queensberry: Britain’s first licensed female boxing MC Verity Painter, of Newington Green, tells her story
- Credit: Photo by: Simon Downing
Verity Painter is the first woman to become a licensed UK boxing MC. When she isn’t doing that she’s voicing adverts or reading the Gazette to the blind. The ‘Queen of Queensberry’ spoke to Lucas Cumiskey.
The “Queen of Queensberry” is “the first licensed female to become a boxing MC in the UK” – and she lives in Newington Green.
Verity Painter, 44, works as a voiceover artist when she isn’t warming up the crowds at the prestigious York Hall boxing venue, in Old Ford Road.
Verity, who has lived in Pyrland Road for 30 years, said her first attempt to MC went “abysmally”, as she hadn’t accounted for all the technical jobs, like keeping record and how to read score cards.
But she says Steve Hall, a York Hall boxing promoter, was really supportive and helped her improve so she could earn her licence. She said: “It all started about a year ago when I went to watch the boxing at York Hall and my husband [Harry] said: ‘You should try that.’
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“Every boxer wants to fight out of York Hall. It’s historic. My first every boxing gig was there because Steve gave me work.
“It’s a really amazing venue – the first time I went in front of the crowd I was half-expecting to get heckled but I have been welcomed into the boxing community.”
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Her son, Alfie, also trains at Islington Boxing Club, in Hazellville Road, and went to watch his first fight at York Hall last weekend.
Speaking ahead of the event, Verity told the Gazette: “It’s time he saw a fight with me in the ring – it was watching fighters like Hannah Rankin and Nicola Adams that first inspired me.”
Verity introduced her first professional boxing match in March, and says her sights are firmly set on climbing to the top of the industry.
“I would love to work the Copper Box and the O2 Arena one day,” she said. “But my journey only began a year ago and I need to work my way up there.”
She’s also a long-standing volunteer with Talking News Islington (TNI), which is a charity and talking newspaper that reads the Gazette to blind people once a month.
TNI, which was founded by Elizabeth Jones, provides access to news for people with disabilities or visual impairments.
Verity added she will always give her time to the project.
The Queen of Queensberry also had a message for the women of Islington: “If something crosses your mind that you really want to do, you can – you just need to be tenacious and determined.”