Katie Taylor is blazing a trail for women’s boxing and Courtney Cox is hellbent on continuing that trend. Courtney, who hails from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, was crowned European Youth champion 2018 in her 54kg weight category and has scooped a thrilling hat-trick of national titles in her short-lived, yet decorated, career in in the ring.
Olympic lightweight gold medallist Katie, who boasts a record of 16 wins from 16 fights in her professional career, has been a long-term role model and Courtney, who recently joined Lambton Street Boxing Club in the north-east, is determined to follow in her footsteps - and further grow the visibility of women’s boxing.
“Katie Taylor is an inspiration to me – the grit and love she has for the sport is just phenomenal and in my eyes a highlight of female boxing,” said Courtney, 18, who is financially supported by GVC Holdings and SportsAid through the Pitching In initiative.
“Female boxing was a rarity so now to see how many opportunities there are is just unbelievable, with the likes of Katie and Savannah Marshall. They’re showing us everything is possible if you work hard enough for it.
“I hope to follow the footsteps of Katie, who was 99.9 per cent the reason I walked into those gym doors. I would love nothing more than to be a role model to the younger generation, as that was once all I relied upon to get to where I am now.”
Katie has mastered both the Olympic and professional pathways while fellow trailblazers such as Nicola Adams and Savannah Marshall have demonstrated the proven success of both routes.
Olympics or professional boxing for Courtney? Still just in her late teens and with the world at her feet, she's more than content to simply see where life takes her.
"It’s every boxer's dream to make their dreams a reality,” added Courtney, who is following in the footsteps of Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith in receiving SportsAid support.
“Either route I’d love to be part of my journey. I’m planning on letting life show me the way and wherever it leads me, whatever route it leads me on, I’m sure will be perfect.”
GVC announced a three-year partnership with SportsAid in 2019 to help young talented athletes, just like Courtney, realise their potential and pursue their sporting ambitions.
The investment provides funding for training, travel and equipment, and allows athletes to access mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians on topics such as nutrition, media and sports psychology.
“I remember my first email form SportsAid letting me know I had been put forward for an award, and it’s just something that will never be forgotten,” said Courtney.
“It’s unbelievable to be recognised for the hard work, time and effort us boxers put into our days to fulfil our dreams. Thanks to SportsAid, the stress of fuel for my car was lifted, along with money needed for the gym and to buy equipment.
“I would never have been able to have any of this without the help, so I’m very lucky and grateful. It's great support for any boxer working their way up the ladder, especially those from less fortunate backgrounds.
“I don’t believe there’s much more SportsAid could do to help us growing athletes.”
GVC is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Please visit gvc-plc.com to find out more.