Elise Glynn: “If I don’t get the chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics I probably will turn pro.“
The rise in women’s boxing shows no sign of slowing down. The depth is improving, and when more of the amateur elite turn over, it will only improve further. And with fighters, many won’t have heard of. Elise Glynn is one such fighter.
The route to boxing was by chance, Glynn told me over Zoom:
“I lived in the family home in Worcestershire, and I did cheerleading, horse riding and things like that. And then my parents got divorced and I moved to Dowrich in Solihull. When I was 13, I randomly saw a poster advertising a local boxing club and I thought I’d try this, and my Dad said really, you want to try boxing.”
Jane Couch started the revolution in a more bigoted time, but what Couch bravely started, took time and plenty of it. Visibility was a problem as much as acceptance was. Although in truth, they went hand in hand. But when women’s boxing was finally allowed into the Olympic Games in 2012, things finally started to move in a upward trajectory. For Glynn, seeing Nicola Adams grace the Olympic stage was an inspiration to her. But the initial entry into the world of boxing, Glynn still found that acceptance for women’s boxing was still somewhat lacking:
“I remember seeing Nicola Adams in the Olympics and I thought, wow, are women really allowed to do this. And I was sort of inspired by that. I 100% fell in love with it straight away. But it was really hard for me at the start because at the gym the coaches kept saying why are you here you should be at home cooking and cleaning, we don’t want a girl here, girls can’t box. That’s why my Dad started coaching because he realised I was getting all this grief.”
The early resentment drove Glynn on. With a point to prove, and make, she eventually won over her doubters:
“I literally had to prove myself. I started to copy a boy who was next to me. I used to get put into the ring with boys who were 10kg heavier than me and older than me. It was really hard to start with, they put me in a fight within six weeks, which was unheard of, throwing me in at the deep end, and trying to make me lose. I had a few more fights and I started winning, then they liked me but it was too late by then. I did win a European bronze at the club but I had decided to move clubs.”
Glynn’s father Pete, is a major part of her story. When Glynn found boxing, her Dad did also. There were issues at her first boxing club, and Pete started coaching his daughter himself:
“My Dad was learning on the job as well. He was a single parent and my brothers started boxing as well because he couldn’t leave them at home. They had a few fights but they didn’t really like boxing. They used to do their homework at the gym every night and one of my brothers used to help out at the gym every night. My Dad got his coaching badge and we went on from there. We went all over the country sparring.”
Success came quickly for the young prospect:
“In 2016 I won the Junior Nationals which was a massive step for me. In 2017 I had seventeen fights and seventeen wins and I boxed for England a lot during that time as well. They started noticing more and I got selected for the World Championships 2018. And then in 2020 Covid hit, but I have been training with Team GB for the last month. That’s been going well and I am now the first reserve for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. I did think I was going to get the spot but there are a lot of politics involved. But I have been sparring really well and they want to keep on working with me.”
While the amateur ranks are the perfect way to learn your trade, the internal politics drive many a fighter to the professional ranks. With tournaments still a little thin on the ground and places for the major Games at a premium, many fighters turn over in much frustration when opportunities fail to materialise. With interest already there to turn pro, Glynn has ambitions in the professional world, but there is a dream to compete at the next Olympic Games in 2024. But if that dream doesn’t ring true, thoughts will quickly turn to the paid ranks and winning world titles at super-bantamweight and featherweight.
“If I don’t get the chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics I probably will turn pro. A few people have already approached my Dad about turning professional. There is a lot of politics involved, I think I am the number one 57kg fighter in the country and I think I should get the chance and if I don’t I don’t think I’ll be staying on until 2028.”
Glynn hopes to be on Team GB proper before the year ends. Currently undergoing the assessments required, a place on the squad would change everything. Trips to tournaments and more are paid for. Without the privileged position, the life of an amateur boxer is hard. And expensive:
“There are a lot of costs involved as well. I can’t get a lot of fights in England, I flew out to Eindhoven a few weeks ago and that cost me £1200. I have to do that to box the top-level girls. I boxed the Dutch number one, the German National Champion and the African Games silver medallist. To get that sort of experience you have to go and fight abroad, and I have to pay for that myself.”
To help fund her passion Glynn holds down multiple jobs. A welcomed new sponsor, Vaughtons, has recently come on board, which Glynn greatly appreciates. Glynn works three jobs, and is studying at the same time:
“I’ve got three part-time jobs. I work as a waitress at a local Beefeater doing breakfasts and some nights. I work at the cricket club in the bar. And I work at the local boxing club two days a week helping with the women’s boxing class. I also train twice a day and I am doing a degree with the Open University in Business Management and Marketing.”
The importance of Pete Glynn should never be forgotten in his daughters story. Sadly Pete is suffering with incurable bone cancer, but Elise cites her father as the reason she gets up in a morning, and boxing gives her father a purpose. They are as close as any father and daughter could possibly be. Elise says her father is the strongest person she knows. A story beyond tragic. But you sense boxing has given them hope to ease the obvious pain.
A golden future lies ahead for Glynn, a young fighter at 20, who has everything ahead of her. A serious talent who you feel is just getting started.
2016 Junior National Champion 54kg
2016 European Junior Bronze Medal
2016 GB Tri Nation Champion
2017 Junior National Champion 54kg
2017 European Junior Gold Medal
2017 GB Tri Nation Champion
2018 Youth National Champion 57kg
2018 GB Tri Nation Champion
2019 Youth National Champion 57kg
2019 GB Tri Nation Champion
2022 Elite Senior 57kg Champion
2022 GB Tri Nations Champion