Ruqsana Begum will make her professional debut under the bright lights of the iconic York Hall this weekend. The light-flyweight, guided by Hayemaker Ringstar, will trade blows with Bulgaria’s Ivanka Ivanova.
From breaking barriers to battling a chronic illness, make no mistake about it, Begum isn’t an ordinary person.
Sam Jones and Adam Morallee discovered the 34-year-old kickboxing champion and made her their first client since forming S-Jam Boxing – a new management company – and the latter believes her path to the top will connect with the public.
“She is an incredible athlete and her story will resonate with a lot of people. Many talk about beating the odds, doing something different, and I always think, ‘well this is someone who has actually done that’,” Morallee exclusively told World Boxing News.
“This person got through in the sport hiding it from her parents, she then suffered with ME, an illness which would conk a lot of people out before getting to the World Championships (in kickboxing) and now wants to challenge herself even further.
“She’s a true role model and I’m delighted she got a deal with Hayemaker and will be appearing on Channel 5 this weekend.”
Morallee has great expectations for the Brit.
“We signed a three-year deal with her. Ultimately there are big names out there like Nicola Adams and others, but our aim is to make her world champion within two years,” he revealed.
In recent years, the stock in women’s boxing has risen and Morallee is delighted with the level of progression and hopes Begum can have a huge impact amongst communities in Britain.
“A fighter like Katie Taylor is absolutely tremendous. Those who are watching are giving her respect because she fights and trains really hard – women boxing is really great to watch.
“People used to complain to say it wasn’t brutal enough, but they punch hard and Begum can bang really hard.
“It’s not as spectacular, you’re not going to get a Haymaker style KO but there will be knockouts.
“I love women’s boxing and hopefully what will happen with Begum is that there will be women and girls who will be inspired by her story and will tune in to watch her boxing for the first time,” he concluded.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95