Kirstie Bavington is pulling out all of the stops to ensure that she gets her hands on the European welterweight title.
Her battle for the belt headlines BCB Promotions’ show in Wolverhampton, at the Hangar Events Venue tonight.
‘Bavvo’ co-challenges for the vacant crown with Hungary’s Timea Belik, a former national and world title contender, who possesses a pro record of five wins and four losses.
Bavington has also engaged in nine pro bouts with five victories (two TKOs), two defeats and a couple of draws on her ledger, having turned over in 2018.
She is a PE teacher, at Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley, and keen footballer, having played for Wolves, West Bromwich Albion, Kidderminster Harriers and even Crystal Palace.
The 29-year-old, from Wolverhampton, has hung up her boots to concentrate on boxing and has rebounded from setbacks, both with titles on the line.
She could only draw on her debut, with Borislava Goranova, but bounced back with a points success against Elaine Greenan and a second round TKO over Katrina Vistica.
A first title shot came next, but Bavington was widely outpointed by Cherrelle Brown, for the WBC International bauble, which sent her back to the drawing board.
She scored another TKO on her return, in two against Monika Antonik, but was then involved in another stalemate, when her and Vaida Masiokaite could not be parted.
The pandemic led to almost 18 months out of action, with Bavington coming off second best after tackling former amateur star Sandy Ryan, who eased to a six-round points whitewash.
Again, she came back fighting and beat debutant Becci Ferguson, on points, before lacing on the gloves again all of 15 days later.
In her most impressive result to date, Bavington took the ‘0’ of April Hunter last time out, after stepping in at short notice.
The chance has now come to claim European glory, after previous champion Oshin Derieuw relinquished those honours without making a defence.
Bavington said: “I’ve been mandatory for a few months and it’s been a long wait, the title eventually became vacant and we picked the opponent that’s coming over.
“It doesn’t matter to me who gets in the ring, on the night, the result is in my hands and nothing is going to stop me. I want to stop the girl and get it done and dusted.
“I just need to keep focussed and you can’t switch off, at this level. I’ve done all of the right things and now I want to reap the rewards.
“I started my camp ages ago, waiting for a date. I’ve been up for my 5am runs, working and then training hard in the gym at night. It’s been non-stop.
“I’ve stopped playing football, to focus on boxing. At one point, I was at Crystal Palace, living in London with my teaching, and fighting as an amateur for Earlsfield (Boxing Club).
“From the start, I’ve been slung in at the deep end and this is no different. I have the mental strength to get through this and become the European champion.
“Sometimes, you have to fail to learn and the two (pro) losses I’ve had have taught me a lot. The last one (against Sandy Ryan) was a wake-up call for me.
“Beating Becci (Ferguson) was a good result and I took on April (Hunter) at a few days notice. That was an away result that I really needed.
“No one will ever get the better of me for fitness or hard work, in my eyes, and I’m a much better boxer, on the back-foot, than I used to be, but I still like to come forward.
“This is a great opportunity and even better that it’s local, with all of my fans there to support me. The belt is there for the taking and it’s coming home with me!”