Stacey ready to get back in the ring

STACEY Copeland has officially been cleared to get back into a boxing ring – now the wait begins.But she still holds out hope to return to competition in June and have her long-awaited world title fight by the end of the year.

Godley-based Stacey has been out of action for 18 months because of knee problems but she has been handed her licence again after passing physical and medical tests.

Now she, like every other boxer, is waiting to find out how long the coronavirus outbreak will affect the sport for after shows up and down the country cancelled.

However, she still has a date in mind to return.

When asked, she simply replied: “June.”

“There’s a hope it could still happen too. All the shows that have been cancelled at the moment have been rescheduled until June, so you never know, there’s a chance,” Stacey said.

“When I do come back, it will be a six round fight rather than a full 10-round fight because I’ve been out for so long.

“And I hope to have my world title fight by the end of the year.

“Because I’d had two surgeries and a few other medical procedures, since the last time I had a medical for my licence, it was a bigger deal.

“Normally, it’s not a big deal at all but as I’d not boxed for 18 months, it was like a final obstacle to get over before I could definitely be eligible to fight.

“I went to the Manchester Institute of High Performance, where I had a brain scan, as well as blood and urine tests – they all came back clear and it felt real – I am able to fight again.”

Stacey’s knee injury came as she was eyeing a world title shot after winning the Commonwealth welterweight title.

But now she has been given the all-clear, she must wait and fight out what the effect of the coronavirus outbreak will be.

“It’s affected boxing massively as all the shows have been called off,” she added. “Then in terms of training, many people have had to find some way of training themselves.

“Fortunately, I’m still able to train as my trainer, Blain Younis, worked out a way to keep going. I’ll continue training until I’m told otherwise.”

It is not just boxing the measures put in place by the Government are affecting. As well as being a boxer, Stacey works at Manchester’s Parrs Wood Secondary School and has a media role with BBC Radio Manchester.

Because of the restrictions, she cannot do her ‘day job’ while all interviews for her show are done over the telephone rather than face-to-face.

The most severe impact, though, is she is unable to carry out her public speaking role, which sees her head to schools, groups and businesses as part of her work with the Pave The Way Foundation, which even saw her deliver a TEDx talk in Manchester at the end of February.

However, she is ready for whatever comes – just expect some competition in her house.

Stacey added: “The biggest thing is that it has affected my public speaking, which is my main source of income.

“But at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

“My elderly grandparents are my main concern but my boyfriend Tim and I are prepared for any self-isolation.

“I’ve been out and bought lots of things like a table tennis table and a dartboard. We may even end up having our own little ‘Corona Olympics’ if we have to go into lockdown!”

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