Rhiannon Dixon: A Year Of Frustration & Evolution
Rhiannon Dixon had hoped this year would have seen a different type of fight, and plenty of them. Two fights into her professional career, unbeaten and looking to build further on the promise she showed in 2019. Dixon promised plenty, more wins seemed certain to follow.
But in March everything changed, the world shut up shop, Dixon saw her scheduled fight the same month fall foul of the pandemic that was sweeping the globe.
Dixon turned to the day job, a pharmacist at a local hospital, her fight was now on the front line. The job she loves because it makes her feel she is making a difference became the immediate focus. A different kind of danger, another battle to fight, the evening claps showed gratitude, but she craved another form of applause.
As the gyms remained shut and sport remained off-limits, Dixon found her motivation for boxing starting to wane. With nothing to aim for the interest mellowed. But when the nation was allowed to open up the shutters again, the passion started to return.
Dixon made changes, the former world champion Anthony Crolla saw the potential and the pair without a fight anywhere in sight had time to gel and form a bond that is crucial to any successful fighter and trainer pairing. From the little clips we have seen online Dixon looks physically stronger, and is showing real technical improvements. The blurring hand speed evident, the danger to future opponents obvious.
The career pause will, in the years to come, reap their rewards, the break will serve her well going forward.
Boxing has given Dixon plenty, naturally shy the sport has given her confidence to grow as a person. The shyness leaves her body when the gloves are on, there is real spite in her work when the fists start to fly.
The Warrington lightweight wants back in on her sport which has grown substantially this year. Women have quite rightly been given a prominent place on the big cards this year. The fights have delivered, Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas gave us a potential fight of the year, the rematch between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon wasn’t far behind. From indifference, there is now excitement and acceptance.
With Eddie Hearn continuing to grow his stable of female fighters, the growth looks set to continue and Dixon wants in on the action. The southpaw has reduced her hours at work to allow more time to hone her craft. The hook up with Crolla has in many ways, reignited the hunger and Dixon is genuinely excited for what lies ahead. Dixon is only 25, the peak nowhere in sight, she will grow with her sport.
Hopefully, when the new year starts and the old one slowly fades into a painful memory, Dixon will soon get the opportunity to get her career up and running again. The sport still lacks depth, Dixon will help with that and is definitely a fighter who could have a very big future.
Photo Credit: Karen Priestley