Sleaford coach proud of national success for young girl boxer

The founder and coach of a Sleaford boxing gym has expressed his pride at having a hand in the newfound success of a teenage girl boxer.
New champ. Emmie O'Leary, 16, with boxing trainer Amir Unsworth.New champ. Emmie O'Leary, 16, with boxing trainer Amir Unsworth.
New champ. Emmie O'Leary, 16, with boxing trainer Amir Unsworth.

Emmie O’Leary, 16, from Lincoln, is mainly trained by coach Harry Harrison, but she has been coming to Amir Unsworth’s Boxing Academy in Sleaford over recent months to up her game in readiness for the finals of the England Boxing National Development Championships, held at Cannock Chase Leisure Centre over the weekend of October 21-22.

Fighting in the Class B Under 60kg category, Emmie won on a split decision against Sadie Miller of Harrow ABC in the semi-final, and then won her final in another split decision against Diane Johnson of Sedburgh ABC.

Amir said: “I am over the moon about having an amateur boxer winning a national title and she is a great role model for my young and older boxers to look up to and aspire to at the club.

"I got to the national finals as an amateur boxer too, so it is great to have our first amateur champion coming out of this gym.”

Emmie won bronze at the championships last year and so said she was “buzzing” to have done better this time.

"Six months ago I didn’t think I would ever box again after an injury. The injury got me down but Harry brought me to Amir’s gym and Amir brought a different boxer out of me.

The next plan is to enter Emmie in some amateur boxing cups later this year, after a brief rest. “Hopefully I want to win a belt and the Women’s Winter Boxing Cup,” said Emmie.

She was also grateful to her dad, Ben O’Leary, who first introduced her to boxing and has supported her ambitions ever since.

Still keeping up her studies at Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, Emmie said her boxing endeavours are handily getting graded for her Sports Studies course.