Worksop boxer Nicola Hopewell's triple title bid is wrecked by red tape

Worksop boxer Nicola Hopewell was devastated when an opportunity to win three major life-changing titles was snatched away from her at the last minute last week.
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But she is hoping the late call to fight in Denmark for the WBC World title, the WBO World title and the Ring Magazine title shows the sport considers her a serious challenger to become a future champion.

In the end, red tape over the weigh-in deadline wrecked her dream trip and she said: “I had a rollercoaster of a day.

“Early Wednesday morning I received a call from my boxing coach who asked what I was weighing.

Nicola Hopewell - Danish dream wrecked by red tape at the last minute.Nicola Hopewell - Danish dream wrecked by red tape at the last minute.
Nicola Hopewell - Danish dream wrecked by red tape at the last minute.

“When I told him he said he had what could be a life changing opportunity for me.

“He asked me if I wanted to box for three titles on Saturday night in Denmark against the current champion Dina Thorsland?

“I didn’t hesitate and said yes straight away. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. This was a massive opportunity for me which could have changed my life.

“The three belts on the line are in the top five professional boxing titles which every boxer only hopes one day they could box for.

“No one from Worksop has boxed for these belts, these are the belts the likes of Katie Taylor hold - they’re not a ‘branch off’ of the main titles. These are the main titles and the highest level you can get in professional boxing.

“So Wednesday night I prepared everything ready for the airport. I was due to be in work Thursday and Friday and, after only being in the job two weeks, I was nervous about asking for the time off at such short notice.

“I travelled to Sheffield at 6am on Thursday morning to arrange some time off work which I was lucky they understood and granted my leave.”

However, her bubble was then well and truly burst.

“Myself and my team were ready to go to the airport when I received a call,” she said.

“All three sanctioning bodies sanctioned the fight and the flights were booked, but unfortunately due to some red tape out of our hands the fight was pulled just as we were about to leave for the airport.

“To fill in at short notice the Boxing Board required a check weight three days before the fight and I was one day too late.

“This was very frustrating as I was at the weight. They do this for the welfare of the boxers so they are not cutting too much weight in a short time, but for me, I box below the weight category so the weight was no issue for me. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance.

“However, I am really proud my hard work and dedication has been recognised and I was offered this opportunity.

“All three of the sanctioning bodies signed off the fight and my name is out there and they believe I am at the world level.

“My team did everything they could to try and get this over the line.

“My time will come. Any other opportunities are welcome I’m ready to go.”

She added: “Before the news, a day later I was due to spar my gym mate Amy Greatorex, who has a fight coming up in March.

“I didn’t let me news get in the way I went to the gym and sparred 10 rounds with Amy. I didn’t want to let her down. I was heartbroken but I couldn’t let that affect our training.

“My next steps are to box locally in Sheffield in April and wait for another opportunity to come my way.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“A massive thank you to Robert Riley, Daz Medcalf, Joe Elfidh, Gary Moore, Pete Highton and Marfisia Lanza for dropping everything to come to Denmark and support me.

“And a big shout out to my sponsors BRS Electrical, 7 Core Electrical, Ebanie Bridges, Marfit-PT, Anytime Fitness Worksop, JTM Building and Carl Nobel Electrical, AET and Shiatu Shane.”

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