Sport

Caroline Dubois: British lightweight says women’s professional boxing is ‘lacking quality and depth’

British amateur Caroline Dubois says there is a “lack of quality” in women’s professional boxing.

The lightweight, 19, will compete in qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games at London’s Copper Box in March.

The Youth Olympic, world and European boxing champion says she wants to turn professional after the Olympics.

“The Olympics has been a dream for a long time,” she told the 5 Live Boxing with Costello & Bunce podcast. “After that I want to step up.”

Dubois, the 2019 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, added: “If I win the gold, I want to go even further and go professional. The professional ranks need amateurs to turn pro and then you will get the quality and depth that is lacking right now.

“The amateur standard is so much better right now. I feel there is a lack of quality in the professional game.”

Dubois. who is yet to have a senior fight but is unbeaten in 40 fights in the youth ranks, says she is inspired by the careers of former Olympic champions Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams, who both became world champions as professionals.

She added: “The amount of dedication from the others such as Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams, they had to get over so many hurdles because there were people who were not accepting them and did not believe they deserved the spot.

“They had to keep pushing and trying to prove themselves. It would have been hard to keep going. Thank god they persevered – I am here now because of them.

“London 2012 was a big step. I had started boxing before then and I remember my dad telling me that women don’t go to the Olympics and that I would have to go pro if I wanted to take my boxing career seriously. As soon as the Olympics came round, I had a goal, I had a dream.”

‘Something building with Harper’

Britain’s Terri Harper claimed the WBC super-featherweight title with a unanimous points victory over Finland’s Eva Wahlstrom at the Sheffield Arena.

In doing so she became Britain’s second major female world champion, following the recently retired Adams, who was the WBO world flyweight champion.

Harper, 23, from Doncaster was competing in only her 10th fight, having turned professional in 2017.

BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello said: “It was a very impressive performance, very measured for someone who has only had 10 professional fights. There is a real vibe around her.

“Sitting ringside at the fight, there was this real sense of something building – a real star attraction here.

“Women’s boxing has been such a slow burner in the UK since its introduction into the Olympic Games for the amateur fold but also through the progress of Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams, who has now parted the scene.”

BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Steve Bunce added: “We were ranting and raving about her when we saw her on the Katie Taylor undercard and I am going to continue ranting and raving. If she was a man putting in a performance like that after 10 fights against a seasoned performer, we would be raving about it. There is just something about her.”