Islington Boxing Club debutant benefits from her background in athletics

Islington BC's Noelle O'Regan (left) in action against Rebecca Eaves

Islington BC's Noelle O'Regan (left) in action against Rebecca Eaves - Credit: Archant

Combining boxing with track athletics, cross-country and a full-time job might seem somewhat excessive, but Islington BC’s Noelle O’Regan would beg to differ.

O’Regan is a sprinter and cross-country runner for London Heathside AC, but she has also just taken her first step into competitive boxing after training at Islington for more than a year.

And the 28-year-old, who triumphed on a unanimous decision against Rebecca Eaves (London Community Boxing ABC) on last week’s Islington show at the Boston Dome, feels the different strings to her bow have provided added motivation.

“It could easily be difficult to make myself go and train in the evenings,” admitted O’Regan, who works at a Charing Cross-based healthcare consultancy.

“But the sprinting has definitely helped me with boxing and vice-versa. Mentally it’s a lot easier having something to do every single day and accept that as part of my routine that I build into each day.

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“I do the 200m and 400m and I really enjoy that but it’s seasonal, just like boxing, and by the end of the summer I was a bit fed up with it – I wasn’t getting my times down, so it’s been good to have a change.

“I’ll probably feel the same way around May when the boxing season’s over! We’ll see how it goes. I was really pleased with my debut, it was a good fight.”

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O’Regan, who lives in Finsbury Park, says the Islington club’s growing reputation for women’s boxing encouraged her to lace up her gloves and start training at the Hazellville Road gym last year.

“My boyfriend used to box a long time ago, he heard about Islington and told me there were a lot of girls there and good coaches for girls as well,” she recalled.

“There’s a really good group with girls of all abilities, from my kind of standard to people like Cherrelle Brown, who are boxing at international level.

“I used to do a bit of kickboxing fitness-wise, but I got really into boxing once I took it up and, now I’ve started competing, it makes the training all the more worthwhile.”

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