One of Britain's most decorated amateurs sits down with bet365's Alex Olds to discuss her upcoming professional debut and much more.
AO: How has camp been? How are you feeling?
LP: I’m feeling great - really looking forward to Saturday. Tokyo feels like a lifetime ago…. My weight is good, I’m feeling good.
I just want to get started on this journey - my preparation has been great.
AO: How excited are you for your professional debut?
LP: You only get one professional debut, don’t you? I’m so excited.
I just want to put on a top quality performance and show everyone a little bit of what I’ve been working on in the gym and what I’m about.
AO: You’re undoubtedly one of Britain’s most decorated amatuers… How would you sum up your amatuer career?
LP: It’s pretty crazy…I was saying to one of my coaches only the other day that you forget so quickly all of the different tournaments and stuff that have taken me to the Olympics and to where I am now…
Obviously winning gold at the Olympics was a dream come true for me. But that doesn’t tell the whole story… I guess I was successful in lots of different tournaments, starting off Kickboxing at the age of 8.
Boxing was introduced for the 2012 Olympics… this gave me an opportunity to pursue my dream. My first major success in boxing came through a bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth games.
I managed to get myself into Team GB after the Rio Olympics in 2016 and that is when my career excelled.
Being able to become a full time athlete, to train three times a day…..to give my all to the sport, it allowed me to go through the levels and realise my potential in the amateurs.
There were a lot of successes, none more so than my crowning achievement - the gold medal in Tokyo last summer.
I ticked every box in the amateurs and I’m so proud of all that achieved.
AO: You won a gold medal in Athens in 2007 at the age of 13 in Kickboxing… Competing against people twice your age… How crazy an experience was that?
LP: From the age of 12, I’ve been fighting adults. When you look back and think, it is crazy to think that I was competing against girls twice my age. I picked up a fair few titles doing so and all…
But I had gone as far as I could in kickboxing, at a very early age. With it not being offered at the Olympics, I didn’t have any other paths to explore in my kickboxing career.
I’d always been better with my fists than my legs…so the transition to boxing made perfect sense. It has opened a lot of doors for me.
AO: With your very impressive Kickboxing and Taekwondo experience… Could you ever see yourself competing in the UFC one day?
LP: Haha - I don’t know… Never say never I guess.
At the minute I’m just focussing on boxing and following that path. The next goal, the next dream is to become world champion and then we can go from there.
AO: You lost to Sandy Ryan in the amateurs…. Would you fancy taking that fight and avenging the defeat in the pros?
LP: To be fair, me and Sandy are friends. We’ve sparred hundreds of rounds together…
It was a time in my career where I’d just been selected for Team GB and I’d just come back from injury as well. It was years ago and not something I look too closely at.
I’m not looking too far ahead.
AO: Also in the amateurs, you beat Savannah Marshall… With Savannah also being signed to BOXXER, could we see that fight get made? It would undoubtedly be a domestic super fight….
LP: Again, I get on really well with Sav…
She’s been campaigning at middleweight, with me now competing at welterweight. I’ve never really been a middleweight…
Back then, there were only so many weights for girls and so I had no other option than to compete at middleweight. But I've never been a 75kg boxer.
Does that fight make sense right now? No. Will I be gunning for Savannah in the future? No…
I want to become a multi-weight world champion. Whoever has the belts in the weight division in which I’m competing at any moment is who I will be focusing on.
AO: We have asked plenty of fighters for their perfect pugilist…their 360 fighter. We want you to do the same, choosing the best female fighter for the following attributes:
Chin - Savannah Marshall
Footwork - Katie Taylor
Speed - Katie Taylor
Heart - Chantelle Cameron
Power - Savannah Marshall