Kirstie Bavington on the road to boxing stardom after Route 66 miss

On the day Kirstie Bavington lost her dream holiday across America's Route 66, she instead signed on for the biggest boxing bout of her career to date.

Kirstie Bavington
Kirstie Bavington

The Wolverhampton fighter was due to see out July travelling the famous 2,448-mile road across the States but after seeing it cancelled due to Covid-19, she was then rewarded with her big break.

Working as a PE teacher at Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley, and playing football for Kidderminster Harriers Ladies, the former Wolves Women player rarely has any free time.

But with a holiday three years in the making cancelled, Bavington took the next opportunity that came her way and the 28-year-old will now fight on the undercard of Matchroom Boxing's Fight Camp card on July 31.

"The first time I didn't take the fight because I had this trip booked but on the day I accepted the fight my holiday was cancelled," she told the Express & Star.

"It's been a dream of mine to get on the TV so I ended up taking the fight. I think everything happens for a reason.

"We've now pushed the holiday back a week later into August, but who knows if it will happen.

"Camp has gone well. It's tough.

"I'm back teaching at Beacon Academy so it's just about getting the schedule done. We've only had a few weeks to get everything sorted.

"I'm trying to cram everything in but it's going well. I feel strong.

"I was training all through lockdown. It was so hard to keep motivated when nothing was happening but I'm glad I did. I believe in good karma, I've done things for other people and believe that's why I got the fight."

Bavington, who boasts a 3-1-2 record, will face Matchroom's newest recruit Sandy Ryan who makes her professional debut.

The Derby-born boxer has an extensive 47-fight amateur career and has picked up a world championship silver medal and a commonwealth games gold medal representing Team GB.

Now, as Bavington prepares for the super-lightweight clash, she insists the pressure is on her opponent who Matchroom and promoter Eddie Hearn have high hopes for.

She added: "There's no pressure on me at all.

"She's only a year younger than me so I've grown up knowing who she was. I have massive respect for her, she has achieved a lot.

"She's going to be tough and will have the GB pedigree, but I have the experience of being in a professional ring.

"I've felt the gloves and how different it is to amateurs. I'm going to give it her.

"I believe I can win. You have to visualise it, there's no point getting in the ring otherwise.

"I have a good chance and with her debut, her nerves, and all the eyes on her thinking she's the next best thing, it could work in my favour. I'm just going to enjoy it.

"There's no point thinking I'm just turning up to get paid, I've put everything into this.

"I've trained all my life for this fight and that's what inspires me.

"She hasn't boxed in two years and I've had a year and a bit off, but at least I've been sparring loads."

Not only does Bavington have an opportuntiy to upset the odds, but she will also feature live on DAZN.

The card features several big names including Campbell Hatton, Shannon Courtenay and Conor Benn but Bavington wants to steal the show – and make sure it does not go to the judge's decision.

"It will be hard to win coming in as the away fighter on a Matchroom card, we all know what happens, but at least it's on TV and I can show what I'm about," she said.

"I've fought away at York Hall and had to knock my opponent out to win because the judges wouldn't have put me up.

"But if I box well and put on a good performance, making it a good fight, then hopefully I can get on there again.

"This is about following my dreams and this is what I want.

"I want to perform well under the lights and not let the pressure get to me. I know I'm going to do well.

"I believe I can win, catch her off guard and put the pressure on. I feel fit."

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