Fighting to put her sport on the map
Nina Bradley — one half of the country’s only professional boxing couple — is hoping to fight for an international prize later this month.
Bradley, of Newark, will challenge for the women’s International Welterweight Challenge Belt at the Midland Pride show if a suitable opponent can be found.
The former amateur champion, who won her first two fights on points after turning professional earlier this year, is also aiming for a shot at the England welterweight title next year.
Bradley is expected to take on one of two Hungarian fighters lined-up for the Pride show in Nottingham, knowing that a third positive performance could lead to a fight against fellow fledgling professional Lauren Johnson, from the West Midlands, for the national title.
“There have been talks about it already and, hopefully, if I can win my next fight, I could be in line for it next year,” Bradley said.
“Lauren has also had two pro fights and two wins so should be in line for it too.
“The problem is there are not many of us around in England at the moment so it is hard work to arrange fights.
“The domestic titles are there to go for but because there are so few of us no one has really gone for them.”
Bradley hopes her success will inspire more female boxers to take up the sport.
“If I could get the England title then perhaps that would lead to girls wanting to get it off me and eventually someone going for the British title,” she said.
“Fighting for national titles would create more interest, but until we get more girl boxers in England — and at the same weight categories — we can’t.”
One of a handful of women boxing professionally in the UK, Bradley is the partner of welterweight Nathan McIntosh, who hit the headlines in October when he was the victim of a controversial ‘cheap-shot’ knockout.
They became the first boxing couple to feature on the same show in September when both won at the Sunday Sizzler at Newark Showground.
McIntosh has been denied the chance to appear on the same bill as his partner again at the Midland Pride event on November 25 after he was ruled out of the sport for 45 days for medical reasons following his disqualification win over Louis Adolphe at Wembley Arena. McIntosh was knocked out by the London fighter after the referee had told the boxers to break.
Newark promoter Carl Greaves, who trains and manages the couple at his boxing academy in the town, said: “It is disappointing that Nathan is not on the bill.
“I am trying to get him another fight before the end of the year.”
'Each fight has been a stepping stone'
Greaves said Bradley — who will be fighting over eight two-minute rounds — was doing well and could go on to big things.
“It’s all a good learning curve for her,” he said. “Nina had a good record as an amateur and I have got high hopes for her.”
The busy Bradley trains five days a week, fitting it around work and being a mother.
She said she could feel an improvement from when she started her professional career at the start of the year.
“Each fight has been a stepping stone. I am not fighting the best out there, I am just learning,” she said.
“After getting back into the gym for this fight, I feel fitter already.
“I feel I have improved and have learned a lot.
“Comparing my pro debut to my second fight, I felt totally different.
“In the first fight I felt a bit sluggish and nervous, but in the second it was completely different and I felt good.
“The feedback from people watching was that I am progressing. Now I want to up my game again this time.”
Third pro bouts for boxers
Nina Bradley and Balderton’s Jake Sharp, who both made their professional debuts earlier this year, are among eight fighters on the Midland Pride show at Harvey Hadden Sports Village, Bilborough, on Saturday, November 25.
The event has been put together by Newark promoter Carl Greaves, who said: “It should be a great show with some good fights.”
Light-middleweight Sharpe (right), who claimed two stoppage wins from his first fights, has been matched against Worksop’s Darren Snow over four three-minute rounds.
Sharpe is trained by Andrew Lowe at the Carl Greaves Academy and managed by Greaves, who said: “Jake is learning his trade, but is doing well and making great progress.
“He came from the unlicensed scene and has shocked a few people already with his two stoppage wins.
“He is learning all the time and getting better. He is learning his trade as a professional.
“Fighting Darren will be a good test. He is a durable and experienced fighter.”
The bill at Midland Pride will also include Leicester’s Kyle Haywood, a former amateur champion.
The light middleweight travels to Newark four times a week to be trained by Greaves, who said: “I have got high hopes for him. He is a very good prospect and unbeaten in four fights. He will be stepping up for six three-minute rounds.
Midland Pride is being headlined by Nottingham featherweight Leigh Wood in a British title eliminator.
The show will also feature Nottingham light-middleweight Terry Maughan and three fighters from Leicestershire — debutant super-lightweight Connor Ireson, cruiserweight Kieran Pitman and flyweight Sheldon Purdy.
To book tickets for the show go to the Carl Greaves Promotions website