Ellie Coulson: Another Worksop Prospect
By Chris Akers
Ellie Coulson is a 17-year-old National amateur champion who is based in the small mining town of Worksop in Nottinghamshire.
Deciding to try out the sport aged just 12 after her little brother had started boxing, Coulson quickly developed into a good amateur, winning 16 of her 24 fights and winning titles at both county and National level.
Before she first put on a pair of boxing gloves, she first participated in gymnastics and trampolining at 11 years old. So have there any skills for those two sports that she has been able to transfer to boxing?
‘I’d probably say balance and working on my footwork,’ says Coulson.
Her rise has been steep, not just in the tournaments she won, but also in the quality of training she has received. Teaming up with trainer Cris Boyle of Xbox Boxing Academy in her hometown, Coulsen has had quality sparring with Nicola Adams and Terri Harper.
‘When she sparred Terri Harper, she was early in her career and was a similar weight to Ellie, so that wasn’t too bad,’ says Boyle. ‘But when we sparred at a Nicola Adams camp, they had a boxer called Verena Kaiser on it and she’s a pro. Her record’s 14 and one. She’s closer to Ellie’s weight and Ellie sparred her, so we got a little bit of benefit from that as well, which was good.’
So what does Chris thinks Ellie’s main strengths are?
‘Her main strength is her height. She’s about five foot eleven. Her wingspan and reach are massive. When you watch her box, she has a beautiful jab and backhand. Her footwork has improved and because of that and she’s got better with the little uppercuts on the way in, she’s a different animal.
‘When she boxed her last fight, which was on Fite TV, the commentators called her Muhammed Ali, as she was lovely on her feet and lovely with that sharp jab and hope she positioned it. It’s a dynamite jab.
‘When Ellie came to the gym, there became three top-level women at the gym. Ellie was the one that had no natural talent or raw ability. She’s had to work at everything to get everything. If you look at her now, from where she started, she’s the one that’s improved the most.’
Her training pattern is six days a week. Coulson’s dedication and work ethic are not in doubt.
‘Ellie trains three times a day I can’t get her out the gym,’ says Boyle. ‘She trains morning, afternoon and night. I always say to her ‘Have a day’s rest.’ She doesn’t want to rest, but she will rest on Sunday. But she is a three-times a day fighter. Without fail.’
Yet one of the things that has affected Coulson’s training of late, indeed most things in the world, is Covid. Coulson’s training is not an exception to this
‘We’ve done online sessions rather than in the gym. I did come down to the gym with Chris later on and then went home. But that was only an hour a day as opposed to three times a day.’
Normally when I have asked people how it’s affected them, some people have done it online, some people haven’t been able to do it because they have a job alongside boxing. But Covid affected Coulson’s boxing in other ways.
Her coach elaborates.
‘It affected her a little bit mentally at the time because it would have affected me the same I think as we are both in the gym every day and you’re suddenly told you can’t come down to the gym and you have to do online sessions.
‘There were moments when it got to you (Ellie) and you had some teary moments through it. You’re on your own a lot, you’re not around people. You know what it’s like when you’re not working. Everybody likes it for a week, but after a week you feel you want to do something. You want to get back to normality. It’s been on digital what we’ve managed to do.’
Coulson like any boxer has her favourite fighters.
‘I like Larry Holmes, I like Floyd Mayweather, I like Muhammad Ali.’
As her coach explains, this doesn’t just stop at admiring fighters but studying them as well.
‘We’ve watched a lot of the old ones. We’ve watched Holmes vs Spinks. We also watched Holmes and Tyson. I always get her to watch Tyson, as that’s the type of fighter that’ll fight Ellie – short, stocky fighters who will try and got for her straight away.
‘One day Ellie has a study day where she watches an old fight and we talk about it the following Monday. So she’s done loads of research on old fights. Ellie’s style’s more conventional. Boxer’s styles have changed over the last eight to 15 years. Before that, there were more boxers like Bugner and the Klitschko’s who did the same thing but were successful at it.
‘Ellie’s style, although she’s not as tall as them, is like that. So we watched a lot of those short fighters. We were watching some of Rocky Marciano the other week while we were training, which we were interested in, about his style and how he comes in low.’
Now signed to Assassin Promotions in Aberdeen, Coulson had her first professional fight on 4th September, a victory in a six-rounder against Becky Ferguson. If her career as a professional goes as well as her time as an amateur, then Ellie Coulson will go far.