Kirkintilloch world champ Stacey sets sights on 2020 Olympics

Kirkintilloch kickboxing world champion Stacey McGhee has turned to orthodox boxing to fulfil her Olympic dream.

Stacey McGhee is hoping to be big in Japan in 2020
Stacey McGhee is hoping to be big in Japan in 2020

The 25-year-old, world champion in 2015 and 2016, made the switch in a bid to earn a place at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

And she has already taken the first step along that road by earning a place on the British women’s development squad.

That involves travelling down to Sheffield every two weeks to train at British boxing’s base at the English Institute of Sport, with the aim of eventually making it onto the full Olympic squad.

She explained: “I’ve always been into sport and my dream was ultimately to go to the Olympics.

“But doing kickboxing that was never going to happen because kickboxing isn’t an Olympic sport.

“There was a campaign put out called Discover Your Gold and I applied for that and got put in for the fight part of it.

“I did four different assessments and then got word back that I’d got a place in the squad. I now train every two weeks with GB Boxing.”

“I’ve not had any fights yet, I’ve just had training and and still adjusting from kickboxing. You don’t realise how different it is until you actually do it; the stance is different, your footwork is a lot more important in boxing than it is in kickboxing.

“I’m hopefully aiming to have my first fight in September.

“Basically this programme is put out to get more women into boxing because there isn’t a lot of women on the programme just now.

“There are new weight categories coming in for 2020 so they’ve brought us on to train us up for 2020.

“It’s not a guarantee that we’re all going to make the squad. You still need to train and start winning competitions before they’ll even think about taking you onto the Olympic squad. It’s the first step on a very long journey.

“We are on the squad but we’re only part-time just now. The plan is to develop us over the rest of this year and then move us on to become more full-time, maybe at the beginning of next year.”

Not surprisingly the likes of previous Olympic champions Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua are major sources of inspiration.

She said: “Anthony Joshua still trains at Sheffield and we met him the last time we were down.

“That was amazing. He’s such a nice guy; even though he’s probably got millions it’s not changed him in any way.”