Fight 4 Victory 3 is on at the Trafalgar Centre on November 5. Our very own Give it a Go Girl Brittany Spencer hopped in the ring with former contestant Emma “The Riddler” Riddell to see if she could match it with the best. Spoiler alert — she couldn’t.
My sanity was definitely in question as we drove up to Victory Boxing.
Who in their right mind would spar against 2015 Fight 4 Victory’s Emma “The Riddler” Riddell, with absolutely no experience? Oh wait, that’s right, me.
After a quick how-to, it was time.
In the far corner and standing at what seemed like seven feet, the lethal lawyer had some post-court aggression to work off, in my corner there was nothing but a barely-five-foot-me, giggling nervously and shaking in my sneakers.
We were given the signal and if I’m being perfectly honest, my hands were sweating before we bumped gloves.
They say the most basic rules of boxing are to keep your chin down and gloves up, I didn’t need a knock to the head to forget that within the first few moments.
I was failing at protecting my face and trying to coordinate my feet and arms just wasn’t working either.
Emma read every one of my short, powerless jabs, and it didn’t look like I was going to meet my goal of landing one measly hit.
Exhaustion crept into my arms and my punches were falling short. When Victory Boxing’s top man Paul Hampton signalled the end of the round I was so grateful, until I realised I had to do it two more times.
Once again, I spent the first half of the next round, busy being danced around and backed into a corner.
Then wham! A jab to the face sent me moving away faster than the road runner.
Eventually, I thought, ‘Right, if you’re gonna hit me I’ve got to find a way to hit back’, so I tried – tried being the key word.
After an eternity, the round was called and I went back to my corner, flopping down on my stool, doubled over and puffing harder than a steam train.
My trainer Dave was saying, “keep your chin down and fists up” and “breathe”.
My legs became lead and my arms turned to noodles. I was even more determined but if I was going to land a hit it had to be now.
Jab, jab, hook, I was out for blood but I would have been happy to slip under her defences just once.
And then it happened.
My glove connected with The Riddler’s nose, and I had a moment of king-of-the-mountain glory.
But in typical Brittany fashion, I was so stunned I’d hit her that I forgot we were sparring and apologised repetitively, shattering my nonexistent boxing cred.
I put everything I had into that last bit but I couldn’t help thinking it was the longest 90 seconds of my life.
It wasn’t until later that the guys sheepishly admitted to stretching each round out to two minutes.
For the last fifteen seconds, I went full attack, my gloves were down, my chin was up but I was gunning for it.
When that final signal came, my arms dropped and hung at my side, my chin finally went down from fatigue rather than technique and the urge to lie down on the canvas had never been so strong.
Inevitably, Emma easily took it out but that didn’t matter, I got a look at her red nose and that was all I needed, I was chuffed.