Megan Redstall: “Once I got the first round out of the way I started to warm up and by the fourth round I had found my timing and range.”

Megan Redstall: “Once I got the first round out of the way I started to warm up and by the fourth round I had found my timing and range.”

After a long wait, the professional career of Megan Redstall finally got under way on Saturday night at a sold-out show in Swindon. Denied her moment last year by the obvious, Redstall is now up and running.

It was no easy debut, Ivanka Ivanova a tough import from Bulgaria made Redstall work for her win. Naturally heavier and vastly more experienced, Ivanova brought that experience to Swindon in abundance and Redstall acknowledged what her opponent brought to the fight:

“She was a very tough opponent for my professional debut, she has actually fought two weight categories above my normal weight division. We had our first exchange after about 20 seconds and I quickly realised I had to use my feet and keep my range, I couldn’t stand there and trade with her, so I just had to stick and move.”

The early moments of her debut were a little problematic for Redstall but she adjusted well and very quickly settled into her rhythm:

“Once I got the first round out of the way I started to warm up and by the fourth round I had found my timing and range.”

A big asset going forward for Redstall will be her fitness. She wasn’t given an easy touch on her debut, and the fight was scheduled and went the full 6 rounds. Redstall told FightPost the 6 rounds wasn’t a problem for her:

“Fitness-wise I could have kept going all day. At our gym, we train longer rounds with shorter breaks. So fighting two-minute rounds with a longer break was quite refreshing to have that extra 30 seconds in the break.”

Despite a performance that ticked a lot of boxes, Redstall says she has more to give as her career advances:

“It wasn’t my best performance if you speak to any of the lads at the gym they would say the same. Nerves probably played a part, it was my professional debut, I normally feel a lot sharper than what I felt on the night. But you are never going to feel 100%, I would rather learn from a fight like that. I can sit down on my shots, but I like to take control on the back foot and I feel more comfortable dancing around but I definitely need to work on sitting down on my punches a little more. I can do that but I wasn’t going to win that fight like that, I was going to win it by sticking and moving and that’s what I did.”

There are far more positives than negatives for Redstall. The rounds in the bank and the type of fight it was will serve her well going forward. As welcome as a quick stoppage can be, gaining this type of experience so early in a career is invaluable. Redstall is already back in the gym and looking forward to a return to action in November:

“I am straight back in the gym and working on the learning points from the fight and planning on being back out again in November.”

Redstall is guided and trained by Mark Kent, and despite a relative tough night to start her career, Kent can see the benefits the fight will have for his protégé in the coming months:

“For a first fight, Megan was matched tough with a strong experienced girl that was two weight categories up. Megan will learn more from a tough fight than a girl she can just walk through or outbox.

“Megan’s footwork is her main attribute and she showed that on Saturday night. There weren’t many clean shots coming from Ivanka just some that were slapping shots (which the ref pulled her on in every round) so from the off, we could see she was always going to try and get in close to just wing away at Megan.

“Megan boxed to orders despite wanting to get stuck into a scrap. Every round I told Megan to use her boxing skills, hit and not get hit. We see a lot girls get into the ring and have a tear up which is good entertainment but the skill goes out the window. Megan’s footwork was on point and she showed maturity.

During the lost days and months of recent times, Redstall has been left kicking her heels in frustration. The professional debut should have been early last year until the world changed course. But finally, that long-awaited debut is over. It was tough, harder than perhaps a debut would have been in more normal times. Despite everything thrown at her, Redstall came through in impressive fashion to get the win. She will be a much better fighter because of the type of fight she had in Swindon.

Small hall boxing has suffered because of the pandemic, without crowds or TV deals promoters simply couldn’t put on shows. Saturday night was sold out, and with plenty of action all over the country in recent weeks, boxing is back to a full schedule. Redstall will be out later this year, and that full schedule should see her get regular work in the coming months. On the evidence of Saturday night, her career will be one to follow.

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