Big Brothers Angel returns to the ring

Hennessy Sports2nd July, 2009

Big Brother star Angel McKenzie is ready to resume her boxing career after her eviction from the Big Brother house last week. The Russian born Londoner says her stint on the hit show has renewed her enthusiasm for her professional boxing career and she's wasted no time in lining up her next fight with a bout at the York Hall, Bethnal Green on July 18th.

McKenzie will have her eighteenth professional fight on the undercard of the Danny McIntosh - Nathan Cleverly British Light Heavyweight title fight with the Hennessy Sports event live on ITV4.

The 31-year-old has revealed that the pressure of being inside the Big Brother house is nothing compared to the pressure of being in the ring. "The pressure if far greater when you are a boxer," said McKenzie. "In boxing the main muscle you need is your heart because when you are in the ring with another boxer then you really know what pressure is all about. The Big Brother house was nothing compared to that."

Despite her eviction from the house McKenzie is hopeful that her appearance will draw more women to the sport. "I hope that by appearing on Big Brother it can raise the profile of women's boxing. Unfortunately I left a bit early and I wish I could have stayed a little longer because I felt I was promoting general fitness as well as boxing in the house.

"Afterwards I told Davina McCall that I had failed in my bid to promote fitness but when I got home I found I had thousands and thousands of e-mails from people who saw the show and were interested to learn more about fitness and women's boxing. I had a lot of emails from girls looking to know how they could get into boxing so I'm happy that my appearance in the house has made an impact."

McKenzie created a stir on the show by drinking raw eggs as part of her diet but the fitness fanatic says that she can't understand all the fuss. "Everyone's been asking me about the raw eggs but of course in the shops you can buy the egg whites just like you would buy milk and they are very good for you but I didn't have that option in the Big Brother house. Of course there is always a small risk of salmonella but it's quite a normal thing for boxers to do ever since it was made famous in the first Rocky film."

McKenzie's three year professional boxing career has brought mixed results but she still believes that she can become a World Champion. Despite being based in London the July 18th bout will be only the fourth time she has fought in the U.K. "My record is very misleading and this fight at the York Hall will actually be the first time I have fought at featherweight which is my natural weight.

"Unfortunately there are only 11 female professional boxers in Britain so it is very hard to get regular fights here. I have travelled all over Europe to get fights and even then they are always at an unnatural weight for me. I even fought at middleweight which is 2 stones above my natural weight class but I like to fight as much as possible because the ring is the best place to learn and improve.

"I have fought in France, Russia, Germany, The Canaries, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland but when you travel to Europe and give away so many advantages it is very hard to get a fair decision so I feel that I should have won a lot more fights than my record shows.

"However now that I'm fighting in my own hometown I hope the situation will be different and it will be a fresh start for me in my career."

A clash of unbeaten fighters tops the bill at the York Hall on July 18th with Danny McIntosh and Nathan Cleverly squaring off for the British Light Heavyweight title. The undercard features former British and European Champion Jon Thaxton alongside heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury and Ireland's European Union Lightweight Champion Andy Murray.

Hot prospects Steve O'Meara, Dwayne Lewis, Lee Purdy, Del Rogers and Bobby Ward will join McKenzie on an action packed night of championship boxing. Tickets (£35 Unreserved and £70 Ringside) are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.

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