Kelly Morgan is a British boxer who started boxing while in the Army in 2007. In July 2015, she turned pro winning her first three bouts against Klaudia Vigh, Melinda Lazar and Szilvia Szabados. Morgan’s next fight is on the 10th of June against Gifty Ankrah for the WBC Silver Middleweight Title.
Recently I caught up with Kelly Morgan about her boxing career and the future of women’s boxing.
How has your home town support been?
Absolutely phenomenal. I was not born & bred in Swindon in fact I have never really had roots due to my military background. However, I now regard Swindon as absolutely my home town. The people of Swindon have been nothing but behind me 100%.
They are at my fights & behind the scenes, crowd funding & supporting me to make sure I am where I need to be to make my dreams a reality. I am beyond grateful to this stunning fighting town.
How do you deal with set backs?
Everything I do in boxing is a steep learning curve. I am experiencing everything for the first time, evolving inside & outside of the ring.
The latest set back of my WBC Silver Middleweight World Title being cancelled 4 days before fight night was especially tough. I rely heavily on keeping training (for my brain & body) alongside the support & faith of those around me.
How do you think women’s boxing can grow in the next couple of years & will it ever be as recognised as the mens?
I absolutely believe that the world of women’s professional boxing will grow remembering that the wheels of change move slowly. The support of prestigious organisations like the WBC being 100% behind the women’s game alongside the evolving interest of big promoters are essential cogs in this process.
The facts are that the talent, passion & personalities are out there in the women’s game but right now nobody really knows about them – the WBC & the big time promoters need to bring us into people’s homes via their television sets, the girls will take care of the rest.
Who are your closest friends in boxing?
My closest boxing friends are the boxers I train with day in & day out, notably Ryan Martin who is a huge welterweight prospect alongside Swedish Super Welterweight World Champion Mikaela Lauren, who I do as much sparring with as possible – we met at the WBC convention this year & struck up an instant friendship.
Via the power of social media I am also lucky to continue my other WBC friendships with Germany based Nikki Adler (WBC Super Middleweight World Champion), American based Martha Salazar (former WBC Heavyweight World Champion) & German based Raja Amasheh (WBC Flyweight Silver Champion). The WBC is a family.
Have you ever met a fellow boxer & been a little star struck?
I want to say no as it was instilled in me, from a very early age not to feel this way & instead believe in your own abilities. However, I was blown away meeting the World Champions at the WBC Female Convention this year. Notably Nikki Adler, Mikaela Lauren & Martha Salazar.
(A fight of Kelly’s last year – via Your Sport Swindon)
What humbled me even more is the absence of ego & front, they welcomed this unknown Brit immediately into the fold & made me feel like I belonged. Women’s boxing is a special sport, the bonds are strong.
Who’s your favourite boxer, current & of all time?
Tough, tough, tough question. Sadly further highlights the absence of female boxers, as growing up I had nobody to look to – a little girl with a boxers heart & nobody out there showing her the way…currently my inspirations are Mikaela Lauren, Gennady Golovkin & Anthony Joshua. Growing up I avidly watched Nigel Benn & watched as much Muhammed Ali as I could find.
What age do you see yourself fighting till?
Age is only a number, physical condition is what counts. Last year, Jamaican born, American based Alicia “Slick” Ashley entered the Guinness Book of World Records when she became a WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion at 48years. As I say, age is but a number.
Have you always been interested in boxing or did you decide to take it up in the Army?
Boxing is the first sport I remember watching as a 5/6 year old & feeling a sense of belonging & a desire to compete. 22 years later the Army finally gave me the opportunity. I had 4 amateur bouts whilst in the Army but then when posted to Germany & deployed to Iraq & Afghanistan I lost my way & did not return to the sport until I left the Army & settled in Swindon.
Where do you rate yourself in female boxing?
This is not for me to do, I will leave this one to others
Do you think the big promoters should add more women to their fight cards?
Absolutely yes & it is happening. Last night I watched Mikaela Lauren defend her World Title joint top the bill on a mixed card under Sauerland Promotions. Also, last night, K2 Promotions featured two female bouts on the Golovkin undercard…we need more!
What is the best compliment you have had from a fellow boxer?
Mikaela Lauren quoted on camera that she believes, without doubt, I will become a Champion of the World!
What do you most want to achieve in boxing? Maybe a World Title or getting women’s boxing on the big stage?
I believe these two goals sit side by side; both in my desire to achieve them & with the inextricable link between the two.
What advice would you give to other women and young girls that want to take up boxing?
Follow your heart & be brave enough to walk through the door of your local boxing gym. If it is in you then you must pursue it & do so in the knowledge that you are not alone – there are many of us out there & with you each step you take.
(Image source and credit: Kelly Morgan Twitter account)
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