The FightPost Interviews: Agathe Barbier
Agathe Barbier has seemingly had a life of travelling, a non-stop journey into the unknown. A life which started out in France, has seen the aspiring boxer take in Canada and Australia before settling into life in England. Like many, boxing seemed to find Agathe, an initial struggle with it ended up being a passion:
“I was always quite fiery when I was younger, and I wanted an outlet and lose a bit of weight and something to focus my energy on, so I thought boxing would be a good way of getting some of that fire out of my body.
“I joined a boxing gym in Toulouse in France where I am originally from. I was the only girl in the gym so I felt a bit intimidated, but my mum was very encouraging and pushed me to keep going. Everyone was really welcoming, but it was a bit much at first. But I really got into it, mostly for fitness and then I started competing when I was 18. I enjoyed it but there wearn’t many girls boxing at the time, so I ended up fighting the same girls and it wasn’t really fun and I was starting to lose the love of it.”
The travelling, which has been a large part of her life, would see Agathe leave France, and put her boxing life on hold:
“Then I went away and travelled for a few years. I went to Canada and Australia, then I tried boxing again. I signed up for a charity fight in 2018 when I came to London and met my coach. He is so passionate and he showed me the technical side to the sport. I just got the bug again, and got obsessed with it and started training every day. It’s the biggest love in my life, nothing compares to it, it’s all I think about.”
Sadly the ongoing pandemic has stopped Agathe’s professional journey before it has even started. Turning pro with veteran UK promoter Steve Goodwin earlier this year, plans were well underway to launch her career, but with only behind the doors shows looking likely it leaves Agathe in limbo.
“I can’t complain some people have had it so hard. But obviously, I was scheduled to have my professional debut in September but I don’t think that will happen now. Small hall boxing will take some time before it can start again.
“Steve Goodwin, my promoter has done a few interviews about it and he doesn’t think it will happen this year. I would love to fight this year, but if not I guess I will just have to spar a lot. I’m obviously disappointed but I am just trying to keep going and focus on the positives.”
The pandemic has stopped many things, and obviously boxing is one of those things. But for newly turned pro’s like Agathe, it is especially problematic. There is little sign that crowds will be allowed anytime soon, and that professional debut could be next year at the earliest.
Agathe told me she was even considering a switch to MMA to try and get some fights. But whatever the future holds, the hope is that Agathe and the rest of the fighters in her position, get to get their careers up and running sooner rather than later.