Aberdeen will tonight host the first all-women professional boxing event in Europe with the action broadcast live globally.
The historic behind-closed-door card at the city’s Northern Hotel has been promoted by Aberdeen’s multi-belt champion Lee McAllister and will be beamed on FiteTV.
Topping the bill is a flyweight showdown between undefeated English boxer Nicola Hopewell and Juliette Winter.
Hopewell, aka “Hurricane”, is a former English champion and racked up multiple title wins during an amateur career.
She has won both professional outings so far and in preparation for the Granite City showdown has been training with Ebanie Bridges, who fought for the WBA world title earlier this month.
Bridges, previously undefeated, lost by unanimous decision to Shannon Courtenay at the Copper Box Arena.
Hopewell, 29, said: “Ebanie is a big inspiration for me.
“She was in the gym with me earlier this week when I was doing pads and she said I was looking sharp.
“To have that encouragement ahead of fight night was great.
“We have been friends for quite a while now.”
During her amateur career, Hopewell secured the East Midlands, Central England and the Esker Best Overseas titles.
Hopewell had an amateur record of 23-9 and earned a place on the England talent pathway.
During her time at the Team GB squad facility in Sheffield, Hopewell sparred double Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Adams, as well as WBC International Championship challenger Nina Bradley and IBO and WBC World champion Terri Harper.
Tonight’s all women card is under the auspices of the British and Irish Boxing Authority and, although behind closed doors due to Covid-19 protocols, Hopewell hopes rising female boxers will watch the live broadcast and be inspired.
She said: “An all women card is massive.
“It is disappointing there will be no fans, but it being on FiteTV is just as good.
“I boxed behind closed doors last time.
“Even though I would love the crowd to be there, I am just happy to be out there boxing.
“Hopefully I can inspire young female boxers who are tuning in.”
Tonight will be the first time Hopewell has fought since defeating Tasha Boyes in September last year.
Hopewell has found no problems retaining her focus during the coronavirus lockdown and is ready to extend her 100% professional record.
She said: “I carried on training through the lockdown.
“Training has been good.
“It was a normal fight camp with strength and conditioning, cardio and sparring with different girls at different weights and heights.
“When I got a fight, I just upped my sparring. With the dates being moved it gets a bit frustrating, but you just have to stay motivated as you know the fight is coming.
“You need to be ready for it when you get the date.”
Also on the Lee McAllister-promoted boxing card tonight is a lightweight clash between five-time ABA England champion Hollie Towl and former kickboxing star Cara MacLochlainn.
Towl won an ABA England title at three different weights back-to-back over five years.
Former GB squad member and three-time ABA champion Angelica Finch will make her professional debut when facing former PBC International Silver super-bantamweight champion Jaime Bates.
Also confirmed is a bout between England boxing national youth middleweight champion Ellie Coulson and Ester Konecna from the Czech Republic.
Former elite amateur Estelle Scott will make her professional debut against fellow pro debutant Kirsty Biswas.
Former PBC International Silver super-bantamweight champion Sophie Varley, who now competes at super-flyweight, will face Natasha Boyes.