Student Gemma is world boxing champion

A teenage student at North Lindsey College, Gemma Richardson, has made history after being crowned an amateur world champion youth boxer in Hungary.

The referee holds aloft the arm of Gemma Richardson to signal her victory.
The referee holds aloft the arm of Gemma Richardson to signal her victory.

Seventeen-year-old Richardson is only the second England boxer to win a world youth title, and now has ambitions to compete at the Commonwealth Games, followed by the Olympic Games in 2024.

“This is an amazing achievement,” said Richardson’s dad and coach, Andy Richardson.

“She went into the tournament very confident, especially after winning at the European Championships for the last two years, and she was pinpointed as one of the names to watch for in the World Championships. She certainly delivered.”

Richardson was put through an intensive 11-week training camp to prepare for the biggest tournament of her career before travelling to Budapest for what involved a stay of six nights and four fights in the women’s light-welterweight (64kg) category.

In the final, she took on a fighter from India, and they delivered three rounds of pure entertainment. Both were technically excellent boxers who thrived on the big stage, but despite the incredible evasive manoeuvres of the Indian girl, Richardson found the perfect range and rhythm to land a richly deserved gold.

Now she says she is certain she will be able to handle the pressure that comes with being a world champion.

“It has given me loads of confidence,” she said. “You need that bit of pressure to make sure you are training hard and staying on top of things.

“But to be the best, you cannot let the pressure get to you or you will lose before you even get into the ring.

“It was a massive achievement to win. I am over the moon and can’t believe it.”

Richardson has now been welcomed back to the college and its boxing academy, where Ian Hamilton said: “We are so proud of Gemma. She is such a dedicated and disciplined individual who gets up early and completes her training before coming into college.

“She is so focused on representing Team GB at the Olympics and has set herself clear targets. Congratulations to her.”