Monique Bux: From The DJ Booth To The Boxing Ring

Monique Bux: From The DJ Booth To The Boxing Ring

By Lewie Laing

They say you need rhythm to box. Wales’s latest up-and-coming professional not only creates the rhythm, she also adds vocals and then mixes it, literally.

Professional DJ, Monique Bux, referred to as Monique B, is set to make her much-anticipated debut in her hometown of Cardiff on June 25th at the Vale Sports Arena, trading headphones and decks for boxing gloves and incoming punches. Monique will be trained by Tony Borg and managed by Lee Eaton. 

Such a transition from music to boxing could seem strange but for Monique, both have been in her life since she was young. Her father was involved in both boxing and music. Amongst other interests when growing up, Monique followed in his footsteps. 

“I’ve always been into sport since I was a young girl. I did football and then I did sprinting, one-hundred metres. Then I got into boxing but there wasn’t much going on for women back then. I’ve always been into music, it’s in the family. My dad was a boxing instructor and a bit of a musician so I’ve always been into both.”

Monique B joined, The Baby Queen, in 2013 and that platform helped her grow. By 2019, she was a solo artist and was featured on BBC 1Xtra’s playlist show thanks to her single ‘Put It On You’ featuring Jamaican U.K. rapper-singer Reuel Elijah, which was streamed in over 300 countries and went viral on TikTok. 

While her music career had advanced and she grew as an artist, boxing always called her name and Monique was never far from the gym. The only problem, amateur fights were few and far between, not for the want of trying, leaving Monique dejected and fed up with the amateur set-up. 

Drastic action was needed and Monique, who is not one for sitting around waiting, decided to take the bull by the horns. She went to St. Josephs’s ABC, with one person on her mind. 

“I didn’t have a good amateur career as I couldn’t get any fights. I entered the Welsh championships in 2019 and got a walkover as there was no one to fight me. I did trials, and they went well, a good experience. The head of Welsh boxing wanted me on the squad but there was no one my weight. At the time, I was a bit heavier but even finding sparring was difficult. Lads in the gym would be fighting two and three times a week, and I couldn’t even get sparring.  I’d never really had anything to work towards so I struggled to put 100% effort and dedication in.

“I went to St Joseph’s, spoke to trainer Tony Borg, and started training and getting private sessions. I knew Tony and he’s a straight talker, I wanted to turn professional and wanted someone to tell me straight up whether I had a chance. It was make or break but thankfully here we are. I had a lot of trainers where it didn’t work out over the years. Tony believed in me and sometimes, that is all you need. It’s great working with Tony, the gym is like a family and I can’t wait to get going and have my first fight.”

Juggling a successful music career with being a professional boxer could be too much for many but for Monique, she is grateful that music allows her the freedom to focus on boxing. Music is never far from her mind whether she’s in the gym or sitting at home and she is already thinking of ways the two can work hand in hand to her advantage.

“The music will never stop. I have a fan base waiting for me to drop new music. I’m always busy regardless, that’s life. It can be difficult to manage the music and the boxing, it is busy and hectic but there are lads in my gym who have full times jobs. For me, I work three days a week as a professional DJ so really, it’s not that bad for me.

“This first fight is important, I need and want to get everything right and know I’ve put my all into it. Once this fight is out the way, I’ll be back in the studio. But while I have people’s attention in boxing, I’ll use the platform to promote my music and promote myself.

“I brought out a new single and was meant to be going to Nigeria to do a concert but with travel restrictions and boxing, that has been put on the back burner. I have another single dropping but that will be out straight after my fight, I’m very much tunnel vision on boxing.”

Monique plans on competing at super-middleweight and has already been planning a route up the rankings. The depth of women’s boxing may be shallow but that does not take anything away from the level of skill and amount of heart and will that is put on the line, as last week’s mega-fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano showed. 

New to pro boxing, Monique is nothing but respectful to the game and those who are already where she wants to be, taking each day as it comes, focusing only on herself and being the best she can be.

“I’m entering the super-middleweight division. It is not the biggest division. The lack of women means I can climb up the rankings quicker. I’m not overlooking anyone and I won’t talk up about my abilities until I show what I can do, but you have to believe in yourself or you’re in the wrong game. I feel like there is no middle ground in women’s boxing. It feels like it is new professionals with only a few fights, and then championship level, there’s no in-between. Records in women’s boxing are also a lot smaller so you never know who you’re coming up against, unlike the men’s game where you know the first few fights will be against journeymen.

“I was watching the Nicola Adams documentary the other day, what an inspiration, and Jane Couch, these are women who have paved the way for us. They really had the odds stacked against them, their mental toughness is on another level. I look forward to what’s to come, on my own journey in boxing.”

Monique understands that like the music industry, Boxing is an entertainment business and self-promotion is important for getting bums on seats and growing your brand. She is eager to see her worlds collide for the benefit of herself, other fighters and fans alike. A new album will drop this year, and the power of music is something that can’t be ignored.

The DJ is confident her travels in music will stand her in good stead when it comes to boxing both in and out of the ring. Experience is something that cannot be bought nor can it be imitated and she knows she has to be on her guard, on both sides of the ropes.

“I have travelled the world by being a DJ, which is my full-time job. Boxing and music are both entertainment businesses, so from a promotional stance, this is great for me.

“When I first started, I didn’t mention what I did outside of the gym but as time has gone by, I’ve realised it’s good to have other things in life and it’s such a big part of me. It’s powerful, it’s inspirational. I’ve got a training playlist and a fight playlist. Look at when you watch the Rocky movies, the soundtrack is what makes you want to get up a go for a run. Even when you are on runs, it gets tough and if you put an inspirational song on, it helps you power through.

“I have an EP dropping, “The Feels Tape”, a bit of a mix-tape/album, I’m wanting to add a boxing-related track to it, and that will be out towards the end of the year. I was watching Creed the other day and that got me thinking about it, I would love to make a track for ring walks so we’ll see how that goes. I’m a DJ and I’m trying to think of music I want to use for my ring walks.”

This up and coming chapter of Monique’s journey is not about adding to the bank balance or being bored and fancying a change. Boxing for Monique, is the vehicle she is using to show young people that anything is possible, no matter the setbacks and roadblocks that may appear in front of you. Fear is normal, not every day is going to go your way but as long as you show up and give your all, you can be proud of yourself. 

“I’m excited for this generation coming through in boxing. But it isn’t just about boxing, it’s life in general. I want to inspire the younger generation, if they want to box, absolutely go for it. It’s great to see women on the rise and in sport too. You only get one life, you’ve got to do what you want to do. It can be scary sometimes and uncomfortable but it’s a journey. Don’t think too far ahead, just focus on now. 

“I just hope I can not only prove a couple of people wrong that told me I couldn’t do this, but step into the ring and know in my heart, that I have given my all. I always want to win, so move up the rankings and see how far I can go. It’s early on in my career and I don’t want to be talking too much, I just want to stay humble and focus on the now, making my debut and getting it right.”

Big nights are coming, and Monique B is certainly changing the record. Cardiff is the next stop on the entertainment merry-go-round for the Welsh Artist/incoming boxer, but for the first time, it will be her fists catching the eye of the fans.

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