Newark could be home to the only professional boxing couple in the country after a female boxer signed a contract with the Carl Greaves Boxing Academy.
Nina Bradley, of Welbeck Avenue, the partner of boxer Nathan McIntosh, turned professional earlier this month and will make her fight debut at Newark Showground in May.
The 29-year-old, originally from Boston, began boxing as an amateur in her home town seven years ago and rose to become an amateur champion.
She first fought in an unlicensed show in Boston and was invited to train with coach David Goddard at a gym in the town.
Bradley fought in around 25 bouts, winning half of them, until she put her career on hold last year.
“Boxing came naturally to me because my fitness needed improving. It was something I enjoyed doing,” Bradley said.
“I have always been sporty and I have always called myself a tomboy.
“After I was introduced to the gym I had quite a good run there.
“Within the first year I had quite a few wins and I was national champion within two years.”
Bradley also won a bout called Diamonds In The Ring, which pitted the best female fighters in the country against each other.
She moved to Newark three years ago to live with McIntosh, 29, who also fights out of the town’s Carl Greaves Boxing Academy.
After a year out Bradley is now ready to return to the ring.
“I miss fighting and the girls are taking off in the professional game."
She will make her professional debut at An Evening Of Professional Boxing at the Cedric Ford Pavilion, Newark Showground, on May 20.
Bradley said: “I miss fighting and the girls are taking off in the professional game.
“Boxing is in my blood — my mum thinks I am crazy but she comes to support me and she is happy for me to do it.
“Returning to the ring gives me something to focus on and I have got five weeks to prepare for it.”
Bradley met McIntosh while training in Nottingham three weeks before she was due to compete in the Amateur Boxing Association championships.
It was McIntosh who persuaded Bradley to return to the ring and talk to Greaves about turning professional.
McIntosh and Bradley are yet to find another example of a professional boxing couple in the UK and believe they could be the first.
McIntosh said: “There are not many women who want to get into the ring so to meet a woman that wants to do that is special.
“I watch boxing on television and live shows and she is watching it with me.
“It’s going training together — when you live with someone who loves the same sport that you love you have a great understanding of each other.
“You have both got to make the same sacrifices.”
There are no national or European belts to fight for in the women’s game —only a world championship — and Bradley said she hoped there would be more belts in women’s professional boxing in the future.
She believes she is the only professional female boxer in Nottinghamshire and hopes to inspire more to take up the sport.
Greaves said: “Nina is my first woman signing so it is something a bit different for me.
“Boxing is getting bigger with women now and we have got a lot of amateurs making their professional debut.
“I thought the time was right for Nina to turn professional and what better way to make her debut than in her hometown?”
Also making his professional debut on May 20 is Newark’s Jake Sharp after being cleared by the British Boxing Board Of Control following a brain scan.