Before she was even out of nappies or speaking in full sentences, Sailor Orlowski wanted to fight.
Sailor grew up watching her father and four older brothers box and was always determined to prove she was just as tough.
The Stoke resident would beg coach Dion Hall to let her box but was always met with the same response.
“You will have to wait until you’re older.”
But now, after a long nine-year wait, Sailor will finally make her boxing debut at the South Island Golden Gloves this weekend.
Sailor will take on a Christchurch boxer fighting out of the Smiling Tigers Gym.
She says she has never been so excited for anything in her life.
“This is my one and only chance to win my first fight, you get heaps of Christmases.”
Adding to the pressure of her debut is the fact all the boxers in her family won their first fights.
“I have to win.”
With seven siblings including three sisters, Sailor is the first female in the Orlowski family to don the gloves.
The diminutive ten-year-old has already garnered a reputation for her toughness.
The boys at school know not to pick on her while she has battered plenty of bodies on the rugby field where she also shines.
“It’s just another sport where she gets to beat up the boys,” Dion says.
Sailor says she dreams to one day become the first Black Fern and Olympic gold medalist.
Known as ‘Sailor Moon’ or ‘Shorty’, Sailor is constantly punching above her weight as the smallest fighter at the gym.
“She goes hard and puts everything she has in it,” Dion says. “She has sparred with her brothers and some of the boys here give her a good tag now and then to keep her honest. So, she will be prepared for it.”
Brother Noah says he has no qualms watching his baby sister fight as she is more than capable of holding her own.
“She can take a punch and also give one.”
Sailor has yet to be knocked out but isn’t scared of the possibility, saying it is all part of the sport.
She is certainly not afraid to be in the ring, but Sailor admits to being a bit nervous about the number of friends and family she will have cheering for her in the crowd.
“I shouldn’t have told them,” she jokes.
South Island Golden Gloves, October 24-26, Dixon’s Boxing Gym , A&P Showgrounds, Lower Queen Street, Richmond