We Are England – Fighting for Me

Fighting for Me

Professional women’s boxing is a fast-growing sport. According to the British Boxing Board of Control, in 2016 just two women got professional boxing licenses in the UK; in 2021 28 women did. One of those women is 23-year-old Ebonie Jones from Portsmouth.

When we meet Ebonie, it’s been three years since she was fighting in the boxing ring. At one point she was tipped for stardom: she was on Team GB, travelling the world and sparring the likes of Nicola Adams, heading to the Olympic qualifiers. But then her world fell apart.

Ebonie got her first punchbag when she was a six-year-old. She sacrificed a lot to try and make it in the sport she loved but, despite her efforts, Ebonie couldn’t make the weight set for her and she was taken off Team GB. She says it felt ‘like my whole world had ended’. Not only did she lose her place on the team, but she was also in a relationship which she describes as physically and mentally abusive.

Ebonie’s confidence was destroyed and she stepped away from boxing and says she felt that there was no purpose to her life.

Then she heard about Guildford City Boxing gym where trainer John Edwards was training a group of women. She realised she could still become the champion she dreamt of being, so she applied to become a professional boxer.

As a professional, Ebonie will get paid per fight and get a percentage of ticket sales. With an extraordinary amateur record of 60 wins out of 65 fights, Ebonie prepares for her ‘comeback’ to the sport. Can she make a career out of the sport she loves? And, more importantly, can she fight her way back to herself?

This film follows her journey to the big fight and looks at what it takes to make it, in sport and in life.

We Are England – Fighting for MeMonday 8.30pm on BBC1

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