IT was a knock-out of a night - as Sheffield’s top boxing belles took on a tough team of women from Germany.
Billed as Yorkshire versus Germany, the clash at Woodseats Working Men’s Club saw the cream of the city’s amateur women boxers take to the ring.
And with the help of the lads from the Darnall-based Aspire Amateur Boxing Club, the Tykes punched their way to a convincing 8-3 victory.
A crowd of 250 boxing fans packed around the ring to see a total of six all-female bouts.
“It was a very good turnout, and a very good event,” said Aspire’s head coach Ronny Tucker, who has had his own gym for 20 years.
“We have more women than any other gym in South Yorkshire, and we attract the best because we provide the best quality of opposition.”
Star of the team is 30-year-old Sharon Holford, who has won national titles at four different weights - and she didn’t let her fans down with a unanimous points victory over three rounds.
“Everyone looks up to Sharon, she’s a real ambassador for the sport and she is bound to make an excellent coach when she retires,” Ronny said.
Just starting out, meanwhile, is 16-year-old Shannon Buckley, who has won nine out of 11 contests at junior level and is finding it hard to find opponents willing to take her on.
All that should change later this year when she turns 17 and will move up to the senior grade.
Ronny said while the women knew how to throw a punch, injuries were rare.
“We get the usual nose bleeds but to be honest we get more injuries during pre-match football training sessions,” he said.
“The girls go into the ring with plenty of protection - as well as headguards, they all wear groin guards and breast guards, too.”
The Aspire team are looking forward to plenty of other high quality matches during the year ahead, with showdowns against teams from Denmark and Sweden planned for April and May.
“Things are going great - there’s no doubt that female boxing in Sheffield is definitely on the up,” Ronny added.