The Boxer: 'I'll swallow blood before I swallow my pride'
Years of training have led one boxer to the match of her life.
Kristen Fraser knows a thing or two about commitment. As Scotland’s first female professional boxer she has dedicated her life to the sport and pursuit of victory. But success hasn’t come without sacrifice, as she reveals on The Boxer.
Kristen has a full time job in the oil and gas industry, so training is fitted in around her long working hours. This leaves little time to spend with her wife, Kirsty, but it's a necessary evil if she is to become a champion.
“I didn’t wake up one day and suddenly become a boxer who could walk into a ring and get a title,” explains Kristen. “This took so, so, so many years of sacrifice to actually get to this level.”
The Boxer follows Kristen as she prepares to fight Ellen Simwaka for the Commonwealth bantamweight belt. The Malawian is a tough opponent, but Aberdonian Kristen has spent almost all of her life preparing for this match and she intends to win.
Aiming for victory
“If I had to lose I’d have to be swallowing blood before I swallowed my pride," she admits. "There’s absolute no way I’d [quit a fight] on the stool, there’s no way I'd go out of that ring if I wasn’t flat on my back.
"I’ve sacrificed all these years and all these things why on earth would I give up now?"
Ten two-minute rounds in the ring will determine whether that has all been worth it. But Kristen is well prepared.
“If you’ve got a good opponent in front of you a lot of the time you’ll rarely get a clean shot, so when that happens you have to capitalise on it.
"You have to do that plus try to be tidy, try to be technical, keeping your hands up, applying pressure, controlling your emotions, controlling your aggression … it takes years to be like that."
And the thrill of outplaying an opponent is its own reward, according to Kristen.
"When you can see you’re grinding them down in front of you, it’s a feeling you will find nowhere else."