Stacey makes history!
Wednesday 18th July 2018 @ 10:28 by Mark Phillip

Hyde boxer Stacey Copeland has made history by becoming the first ever female British boxer to win the Commonwealth title.

The 36-year-old super-welterweight beat Mapule Ngubane by unanimous decision at the International Convention Centre in Zimbabwe last week.

In doing so, Stacey has extended her unbeaten run to five consecutive fights after making her professional debut in June 2017.

Following the fight, Stacey, who has become a community ambassador for Sports Tours International – the company behind the Tour of Tameside – said she was thrilled to return with prestigious silverware. “I started boxing as a six-year-old when it wasn’t legal for girls to box, and now I’m the first British woman to win a Commonwealth title. It shows what you can achieve if you work hard,” she said.

“I really hope that everyone watching is inspired by this. I’m a normal person just like everyone else, but for any girls that are told they can’t do something, this shows that they can.

“I need to thank my coach Blain Younis because I couldn’t do it without him. Thank you to everyone in Zimbabwe who came out and to all of my fans watching back home.”

Stacey was supported in Zimbabwe by her coach Blain Younis, as well as two special mascots, Prince and Personal, who travelled 13 hours on a bus to lend their backing.

Chris Bird, CEO of Sports Tours International, expressed his pride in Stacey’s achievement. He said: “I’m so proud of Stacey and all she has achieved in such a short period of time. I met her in March and she subsequently became our ambassador. She has since made history, and I’m sure she will continue to do so and pave the way for other females across the country. She really is a role model like no other.”

Stacey’s achievements inside the ring are matched by her efforts in the local community.

The hard-hitter has balanced her time between training in the gym and appearing in schools, radio stations and on TV shows to promote the message of female empowerment and equality in sport.

Stacey with Tyson Fury

Her efforts to inspire the next generation were officially recognised at the Be A Game Change Awards in London in May, where she scooped the Sporting Role Model award, and then she was subsequently invited to open the Greater Manchester Summer School Games earlier this month, where she delivered a motivational speech to 2,000 pupils at the Regional Athletics Arena.

Following her victory last Friday, Stacey’s Twitter page was inundated with messages of congratulations, with Kate Richardson-Walsh, who captained the England women’s hockey team to a gold medal in Rio 2016, tweeting: “Massive congratulations to @scopelandboxer on becoming Commonwealth Champion. Stacey you are an inspiration. Keep making your own history, paving the way and inspiring us all. #thisgirlcan”.

A video of Stacey will be uploaded to the Reporter Facebook page in due course.