Ipswich lecturer plans to make boxing debut aged 50 in aid of Cancer Research

50-year-old Mary-Jane Budd from Ipswich will be making her boxing debut next month. Picture: UNIVERS

50-year-old Mary-Jane Budd from Ipswich will be making her boxing debut next month. Picture: UNIVERSITY OF EAST LONDON - Credit: Archant

A psychology lecturer from Ipswich has set herself just eight weeks to get fighting fit for her boxing debut aged 50.

Mary-Jane Budd, who has taught at the University of East London (UEL) for the last four years, will be trying her hand at the sport next month to raise money for Cancer Research.

Dr Budd has raised almost £10,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice in the past – cycling from London to Paris in 2015, from London to Amsterdam in 2016, and last year taking part in the London Prudential 100. However now she says she fancies a new challenge, and has this time chosen to support Cancer Research after her mother was diagnosed last year.

She said: “Although cycling is still a challenge to me I don’t think other people see it as challenging for me anymore, and this has an impact on the fundraising. So a different sport, one that I have never had any involvement with, attracts more attention and so hopefully, more sponsorship.”

She was introduced to the concept of white collar boxing by a colleague, who took her along to see a friend’s fight.

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“I thought I would either love it or hate it – and I loved it. When talking to a friend the next day, she told me about Ultra White Collar Boxing and I googled it. Coincidentally, the Ipswich training was starting the next Monday and so I signed up!”

Dr Budd will make her first appearance in the ring at West Leisure Terrace in Ipswich’s Cardinal Park on April 8, giving her just eight weeks to get fighting fit.

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“I am a rower so am relatively fit but certainly not boxing fit – that’s another level,” she said.

“I am training on Monday and Friday evenings. It’s quite brutal and there was no concession for me being old – I’ll be 50 in March! I am hoping that the fitness will come.

“It is certainly necessary as when I watched the fights, the boxers get exhausted after one or two minutes. There will be three rounds of two minutes, so I need to have stamina.”

She added: “I am a little scared about punching someone.”

“I don’t like violence and don’t like seeing people get hurt so this will be strange for me. I’ll have to let you know how I feel once we start hitting each other in training.”

To sponsor Dr Budd, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mary-jane-budd1.

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