Norfolk’s first women’s pro boxer insists: ‘I’m just one of the lads’
- Credit: Archant
Stevi Levy is a mum to a four-year-old son, a DJ, a personal trainer – and, now, professional boxer.
As she says, it's better than working in an office job...
Levi has made local boxing history by becoming Norfolk's first female professional boxer - the agreement to be trained and managed in Norwich by Graham Everett and Jon Thaxton should be followed by the British Boxing Board of Control granting her a licence, which should be a formality.
As Levy reflects on what she is doing she lets out a whistle... "What a buzz," she says with a huge smile.
We're talking in the office - the kitchen - at Norwich Lads Club, which will now be her home three days a week. The other side of the door is where British champions like Ryan Walsh, Liam Walsh and Sam Sexton have been made and where a new breed of fighter is being developed by Everett and Thaxton.
The difference is, of course, obvious: they are all males in a world where women are only gradually being accepted.
It helps that Levy has known most of the lads for a few years, and that she is "a bit of a tomboy anyway" - her description.
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Boxing isn't exactly in the blood, but she isn't a newcomer: having watched a pal box 10 years ago the bug bit and she has boxed on MMA shows - boxed, not fought as an MMA fighter, which she is keen to point out. She trains and works at Heros Fitness gym in King's Lynn and says boxing has given her more self confidence, kept her away from "going to raves and drinking and smoking" and, for someone who lost her parents when she was young, helps her have a sporting family of her own.
And she loves being "one of the lads".
"I'm a bit of a tomboy and I've always got on well with lads," says Levy, who lives in Sutton Bridge. "I walk into the gym and I don't feel nervous or threatened. I laugh with them straight away - they look at me like I am one of them and I think they are proud of what I am doing - I didn't come here to be a pretty face in the crowd and they know I can cut it.
"Graham and Jon are the best, they know what they are talking about - and they can back it all up. I couldn't get better advice and they are as firm with me as anyone else - I think I will fit in perfectly. I want to be told what to do, I want to be told what I am doing wrong and I want to get to the top in boxing, I want to win titles and I think I have it in me to do that."