Florence Mangeni created history last year by becoming Huddersfield’s first-ever female national boxing champion. Her dream is to make it to the Olympics – and her coach Dennis Doyle predicts a big future for her.
Mangeni, 18, who trains out of Huddersfield boxing club Gladiators Boxing Academy, won the national championships last year and coach Doyle said: “She can go all the way to the Olympics and win a gold medal. I’m 100% confident of that.
“She won’t go pro yet, she wants to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal. That’s her dream and her target and we want to help her achieve it.”
As well as winning the tournament Brighouse-based Mangeni was also named ‘boxer of the competition.’
Doyle told how Mangeni got into boxing after watching Leeds fighter Nicola Adams make it big in the sport.
Adams, who has an OBE, is one of Britain’s most successful Olympic boxers. As an amateur, she became the first female boxer to become an Olympic champion after winning gold at London 2012, and the first double Olympic champion following a second gold medal at Rio 2016, both in the flyweight division.
She competed from 2017 to 2019 as a professional and retired with an undefeated record. She held the WBO female flyweight title in 2019.
Doyle said: “The reason Florence got into boxing was because she wanted to be like Nicola Adams. She moves like her and boxes like her. She has copied her style, and England Boxing absolutely love her.
“She’s currently involved with the England set up, she’s 52kg at the moment but they want to get her to 51kg which she’ll get to because of her drive and ambition.
“I think it’s a huge thing for Huddersfield to have a national women’s boxing champion and she’ll go to defend her title this year. It’s just brilliant.
“We can then look to Europe and the competitions there and then, as I say, the big dream of the Olympics!”