Worksop boxer Nicola Hopewell planning December ring return after first career defeat

Worksop boxer Nicola Hopewell is planning to get back in the ring before the end of the year to shake off the disappointment of her first defeat and get her career ambitions back on track.
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Hopewell failed to win the Commonwealth Super Flyweight belt in her showdown against holder Emma Dolan from neighbouring Newark at Sheffield's Park Community Arena last month.

Hopewell had won her first three professional contests while Dolan has now won six out of six after this first successful title defence.

“I didn’t get the win unfortunately, however it was a very good competitive fight,” said Hopewell. “I don’t think anything went wrong. I had a great camp, I had amazing sparring and felt prepared getting into the ring.

Nicola Hopewell, left, lands a punch on Emma Dolan. Picture by Astraea Media.Nicola Hopewell, left, lands a punch on Emma Dolan. Picture by Astraea Media.
Nicola Hopewell, left, lands a punch on Emma Dolan. Picture by Astraea Media.

“I think she was a tricky opponent and taller and rangier than expected and will give many opponents problems at this weight category. I do feel disappointed with the outcome and I have taken this as a massive learning curve.

“From this fight I have realised boxing at superfly may be a weight too heavy as this is the weight I walk around at whereas many boxers diet to make a weight which means they are heavier on fight night where I will be at a disadvantage. I’m now hoping to get out again in December and my manager is currently working on a date.”

Hopewell lost the 10-round contest on all three judges’ scorecards - 98-93, 98-92, 99-91.

Dolan now intends to challenge the winner of the European super-flyweight title which is being contested on 2nd December with England's Lauren Parker facing Italy's Giuseppina Di Stefano at York Hall, London.

Facing Hopewell in Sheffield represented a first 'away' fight for Dolan, who trains in Newark, with manager Carl Greaves.

She adapted well to not being the crowd favourite and dominated proceedings.

Dolan said: “I enjoyed it to be honest, the weigh-in the day before was very hostile, but I thrive off stuff like that, so I don't mind going to people's back gardens and doing what I know I can do. Having the belt pushes you on because you know the challenger is going to be hungry. They haven't tasted that yet, it pushes you harder. I know what I need to do and what I need to improve on to get where I need to be.”

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