With women’s boxing in the UK absolutely flying at the moment, a talented new addition is set to make her mark on the scene.
Katie Healy is a former kickboxer who won two English titles, a British title and three world titles before giving up the sport at 20 to concentrate on her university education.
Despite successfully graduating with a 2:1 in BSc Business and Management, Katie wasn’t able to shake off the urge to fight and – having achieved everything in kickboxing – has now transitioned to the professional boxing ring.
A stable mate of WBC Interim World Super Bantamweight champ, Rachel Ball, Healy believes her combat sport grounding will help her get to the very top of the women’s game.
Ahead of her May 21 debut at Sheffield Arena Car Park, the Midlander gives us the lowdown on everything from her career ambitions to her favourite film!
Favourite all-time fighter?
Ronda Rousey was my inspiration for many years throughout my kickboxing career. She put female fighters on the map in my opinion. Every time I used to watch her fight, I was inspired, and it pushed me in my own training camps. She worked hard and proved that hard work pays off. She made a career for herself and inspired women worldwide. It is a shame that she no longer competes, but I still watch her highlights back or old training videos whenever I need that extra push of motivation.
Focusing more on boxers, there are so many that stand out for me for many different reasons. For example, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Katie Taylor. Each of them is talented in their own way and have built a very big name for themselves.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a boxer?
This is always a question I like to avoid; I like to keep my opponents guessing! I’m my biggest critic; I tend to pick up on things I’m doing wrong before anyone else. Once I spot something, I work on it until it becomes a strength. Each fight I have had I would like to think I’ve shown different strengths and weaknesses.
Without giving too much away, I would say I’m a logical fighter with a purpose behind every shot. I also like to put on a show as that’s what the fans want to see.
What’s the hardest thing about being a pro fighter (so far)?
Not being able to eat pizza every day, what can I say, I am a foodie!
In all seriousness it is the transition from kickboxing to boxing. The style between the two is so different and kickboxing became my muscle memory after doing it for 10 years. I would get so frustrated at the start if Gavin (my coach) kept mentioning an old habit from my kickboxing days. It took a while to train my body in a different way, but looking back, watching everything change and come together has been the most rewarding part. Every day I learn something new or finally get the hang of something and I am so excited to see it all come together in my debut.
What weight do you see yourself winning belts at?
I fought at a range of different weights in kickboxing and won three world titles all in different categories. However, as I’ve gotten older and learnt more about my body, I feel the super bantam weight division is where I feel my best at. The division has some talented women in there, and I love a challenge and a good fight so I’m excited to join it.
Which current British female fighters are impressing you the most?
Teri Harper’s performance in her latest fight blew me away. Also, Savannah Marshall is one of the most talented fighters I have ever seen. I’ve never seen someone so relaxed yet so clinical. There are so many talented female fighters around and each day there are new ones joining the ranks. It will be interesting to see how female boxing develops even more over the next few years.
What’s it like training with Rachel Ball?
I’ve trained with Rachel since the age of 15, we started out as sparring partners. I think I speak for a lot of women at the gym and in the boxing world when I say Rach is inspiring. She’s at the gym every day and pushes herself to achieve her goals and we all saw in 2020 that this paid off. It’s nice to have a familiar face to go to whenever I’ve got a question about anything or just some general support. As I have mentioned trojan is more than just a club, we are all a family. We all support each other which is a massive push when you are in a tough fight camp!
Name one UK fighter you would like to face in 2021?
It’s difficult to say at the moment being the start of my boxing career. I’ve never shied away from a fight so am up for any that is arranged. I’m young and have a long career ahead of me. I intend to work my way up to the title fights and get as much experience under my belt as possible so that when the big fights come, I will be more than ready.
Your favourite meal?
Pizza, hands down. If only I could eat it every day! It is always my go to post-fight treat; you can’t go wrong!
Bridesmaids or 21 Jump Street…. I love a film that can make me laugh no matter how many times I watch it.
Which actor would you choose to play you in a movie about your life?
This is such a good question! I try not to take myself too seriously so I would have to say a comedy actress like Rebel Wilson or Jennifer Lawrence. It would have to be someone good at accents too because my Black Country one can be very strong at times.
New York. I won my first kickboxing world title there which made the experience so much better.
Your job outside of boxing (if you have one)?
I work in Human Resources for Goodyear.
Your boxing ambitions? What do you want to achieve in the sport?
I take each day or fight in this case as it comes. I take part in the sport because I genuinely enjoy it but deep down, I aim to win as many titles as I can. I will not rest until I’ve got a world title around my waist.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I think for me it is my friends and family; anyone I surround myself with. I love seeing people do well and achieving their goals and it drives me to become the best version of myself.
Tell us an unusual fact about yourself?
I have three birth marks, one being on the middle of my neck which is quite unusual, I have only ever met one person in my life with the same one.
What is the first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?
A bottle of Malibu to celebrate (as long as I’m not in a fight camp) … and probably a pizza to go with that. Oh, and I promised I’d get my mum and dad a caravan.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
My goal in life is to be genuinely happy. The last 12 months has shown everyone that life is way too short. It’s one of the reasons I’ve given professional boxing a go. I had a lot of people come up to me over the last year saying they think I would go far in the sport and it drove me to dive in head first. I just thought to myself, in 20 years’ time I would rather look back and say I tried than regret never trying. Over the next five years I’ll put my everything into the sport in the aim of being the best I can be and achieve everything I set out to.
Picture credit: Graham AF Photography