Reigning Commonwealth bantamweight champion Kristen Fraser today vowed to secure another major title in 2019 as she closes in on the world top 10.
The 30-year-old made boxing history by becoming the first Scottish female boxer to secure a Commonwealth title when defeating Malawi’s Ellen Simwaka last November.
Fraser, aka TFE or The First Ever, is back in action at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Aberdeen, on Saturday February 16 for the first time since lifting that historic belt.
Boasting a flawless 100% record, the Aberdonian trailblazer will face an as yet unconfirmed opponent over six two minute rounds at the very venue where she stopped Simwaka to claim title glory.
Fraser said: “I am looking for another big title by the end of the year.
“The plan is to keep 60 to 70% in the gym so I am ready to take any opportunities.
“Now I am ranked no 15 in the world and No 3 in Europe. I was No 12 but then they changed the scoring system – although I have the screen shot.
“I am 15 and going up. The point cluster is quite close so it just takes a couple of wins to climb further up.
“It is great to be edging up the rankings and I am ready for anyone who wants to throw their hat in the ring.
“People will soon start to take notice of me. I want to start chasing people down.”
It will be a busy first half of the year for Fraser as her wife is expecting a baby in May. Fraser has been a long-term supporter of Rainbow Laces, the campaign for LGBT equality in sport.
She said: “I am fighting this month and then will maybe be in action again.
“I have a baby due in May so probably won’t be boxing around then.
“But I will get out in the summer to build me up for the end of the year.”
Having won all six fights since turning professional, the Northern Sporting Club star has rocketed up to third in the European rankings, trailing only number one Melania Sorroche (Spain), the European champion, and second-ranked WBO and WBC world champion Eva Voraberger of Austria.
Securing the Commonwealth belt has elevated Fraser into contention for further major title opportunities.
She faced an early onslaught from former WBF world titleholder Simwaka.
Fraser, who trains out of the Granite City Gym, said: “She (Simwaka) was there to win and was so strong.
“She just came straight on and wasn’t scared of anything.
“It took quite a lot to just stick to the gameplan and believe in what we have been doing.
“I almost had to spend the first two rounds re-establishing myself, re-establishing my jab and getting the distance.
“She was really awkward and moved really well.
“However, as soon as I found the punches that were setting her up I started landing the good shots and that’s what ultimately broke her down.
“I am not going to get over-excited by what she is doing as I will not just magically change my style.
“I just worked to my strengths and belief.
“I have stopped people in the past and was stopping opponents all over the place in the amateurs.
“There is no reason why I shouldn’t be stopping opponents in the pros.
“Even when she was awkward she couldn’t continue at that pace for the entire fight.
“That experience comes in when you are disciplined and continue doing what you are supposed to.
“Don’t lose your temper, don’t get too excited and just box.
“I haven’t actually watched the full fight yet.
“I have seen highlights of it as I saw a round on someone’s phone.”
Fraser is one of only three British female fighters to hold a Commonwealth belt at the moment.
The others are Nina Bradley (England) at super-lightweight and Stacey Copeland (England) at super-welterweight.
Fraser had watched fellow Aberdonian Lee McAllister secure Commonwealth title glory at the Beach Ballroom and was determined to also secure that coveted belt.
Three months on from the first professional title of her career has given Fraser the space and time to evaluate the enormity of the achievement.
She said: “I was in a daze for three days, just walking about in a constant daze after winning the belt.
“There is a lot more attention nationally after winning the belt as only three women in the UK have a Commonwealth title.
“It is a high-profile belt to have when you are starting to move up the ranks.
“It is a case of moving on to bigger things and we are beginning to see that.
“It is just to stay mindful that I have never been someone who has been a loudmouth.
“I just work away quietly and then go into the ring to do a job.”
Fraser will box on a bill that will also include undefeated Northern Sporting Club’s super bantamweight Billy Stuart.
Undefeated Aberdonian light heavyweight Boris Crighton will also compete on the bill.
Fraser added: “You go through levels and when you get to the level of a Commonwealth title that is a turning point in your career.
“Domestic, national and moving on to international.
“It was really important to get that title as we had other options.
“I said ‘no, I want the Commonwealth’.
“I can remember being at one of Lee’s Commonwealth fights when I was young.
“It was so strange to stand there myself, now holding a Commonwealth belt.
“You are always chasing but when you actually get that belt you suddenly think ‘okay, it’s the Commonwealth title’.
“Now it is just sitting in my living room.
“It is something that I will always cherish as it is my first title and a major title.”