Regardless of which combat sports she competes in, Kirstie Gannaway always means business. With her decision to compete full-time in boxing, Gannway has since shown her commitment to making her mark in the sport by signing a two-year contract with Golden Glove Asia Promotions (GGAP) – the promotional arm of The Ring Boxing Community.
The 2-year deal will see GGAP manage Gannaway’s boxing career on the amateur front, with an aim to build up her fundamentals in the sport whilst offering her multiple opportunities to compete, before transitioning to the professional stage in approximately a year’s time.
As part of the boxing career path GGAP has planned out for Gannaway, the 27-year-old will once again step into the ring as she takes on local debutant Tan Hsin Yin, in three three-minute rounds in the Women’s Bantamweight division at The Ring Fighting Championship III, GGAP’s premium pro-am boxing event. The third installment of the event, hosted at The Ring Boxing Community at Kim Yam Road, will see a total of 15 fights on the card, with three professional fights and 12 amateur fights – of which, five are amateur title bouts.
Looking ahead to her fight, Gannaway said: “I’m learning more and more about the technical and mental side of boxing each day at The Ring Boxing Community, and I’m excited for this opportunity to take on Hsin Yin. She’ll definitely offer a stern test but I’m confident of putting up a great performance and taking the win!”
On her switch to boxing
Since etching her name into fight fans’ memories four years ago in an impressive Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut against Adek Omar where she submitted the Malaysian in just over two-and-a-half minutes in the very first round, Gannaway hopes to remind everyone why she’s a force to be reckoned with, regardless of which combat sport she’s competing in.
As for why she’s switched her focus from MMA to boxing, Gannaway said: “I started boxing when I was 15 and seeing my brother compete in the sport inspired me to do so to. It was hard at the time though as I was in the lower weight division and there weren’t many girls in the sport, so I could never get an opponent. However, much has changed since then and there’s a healthy pool of female boxers, both in Singapore and in the region.’
‘Also, I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament when I was training up for a fight last year, which made competing in MMA a lot more challenging. However, my passion for fighting has not waned and I decided to continue my pursuit of competing in martial arts full-time by switching to boxing and that’s where I’ll be putting in all my effort from now on.“
Since making the transition, Gannaway made her amateur boxing debut in December last year at the Singapore Women’s Championship, against the more experienced amateur boxer Rafhana Rossely, who had seven fights under her belt prior to their match-up. While Gannaway came up short via a close decision, she impressed both the legendary Singapore Boxing Coach Mr. Syed Kadir, and Founder of GGAP, Mr. Ruchdi Hajjar, who were in attendance.
A potential future Singapore boxer
Mr. Kadir, who is also the Technical Advisor for The Ring Fighting Championship (Amateur Boxing), remarked: “Although she lost the match, I was very impressed with both her heart and natural skill throughout the fight. What was evident throughout the fight is that Kirstie is a very smart boxer, probably due to her years training and competing in different combat sports.’
‘Should she win her next fight and continues performing impressively, we are open to extending her an invite to join the National Boxing team and represent the nation.”
Building up the boxing community
Mr. Ruchdi Hajjar was also left in awe of Gannaway’s performance in the ring that night and was determined to work closely with her to provide her with the necessary guidance and support to achieve her potential in the sport.
Mr. Hajjar added, “We see a lot of untapped potential in Kirstie as a boxer and will diligently manage her amateur boxing career, with an aim to get her as ready as possible for a future professional boxing career. Under GGAP, Kirstie will enjoy the best environment and training programs to make a name for herself in boxing. We currently have a total of 9 events planned for this year – on both an amateur and professional level – to contribute and build the boxing community locally and regionally.”
Tickets to The Ring Fighting Championship III are available for purchase for $30 at The Ring Boxing Community. For the latest updates, follow us at www.facebook.com/theringsg.