A courageous woman donned a pair of boxing gloves after just eight weeks’ training in a battle to raise funds for Cancer Research.
Katie Kennedy, 23, of Slapton, bravely took part in Saturday’s Ultra White Collar Boxing Event at Watford’s Woodside Leisure Complex because three family members and a close friend have fought the disease.
She drew with her opponent, Emily Evans, after competing in three, two-minute rounds.
Katie was inspired to sign up as one of 40 fighters after her granddads, Jim Kennedy and Joe King, passed away from lung and mouth cancer respectively.
As well as losing her grandfathers when she was only little, Katie is now watching her good friend Cristina Dezorzi battle breast cancer, while Katie’s aunt Kathy Kennedy is also seeking treatment for cancer.
Katie, said: “If my granddads were alive I know they’d be there to support me, especially Jim who used to be a bare knuckle fist fighter and Navy boxing champion. He’d be in my corner telling me what to do!
“I was so excited on the day that my blood pressure was about 140 - I had to take a walk to calm down! But in the ring I felt confident and focused. ”
Luckily, as well as the intensive eight-week training ahead of the bout, Katie also had boxing lessons from the ages of eight to 12 and also has some experience of martial arts.
She now wants to continue training, hoping to compete for Olympic Team GB one day.
Katie’s dad Bob Kennedy, 52, and her two sisters Amy, 26, and Georgia, 21, attended the glitzy event as well as her friends, including Cristina, and her partner Chelsea’s family and work colleagues. But her mum Debbie King, 50, was a bit too scared!
Katie said: “I want to thank everyone who supported me, especially my girlfriend Chelsea Walsh. She was there in my corner helping me through!”
Katie has raised £480 so far and UWCB are hoping to raise a total of £5m for Cancer Research, holding events across the country.
Visit Katie’s JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/uwcb-katiekennedy1994192605