Newark boxer, Jade Grierson, finally gets the opportunity to make her professional debut this festive season when she travels to the Magna Centre, Rotherham, to face Czech fighter, Ester Konecna, 2-19-1, over 4x2s.
The show, promoted by Stefy Bull, is one that Grierson, 31, is more than delighted to be a part of, especially after recent postponements – she’s going for third time lucky, this time around.
Under the tutelage of Nottingham fight figure, Dean Sugden, Grierson can count on not only his expertise, but that of his sons, Chad, Bailey, and Regis Sugden, her “fighting brothers.”
It’s been a long, and challenging road getting to this point however, having been involved in combat sports of some sort, for near 25 years, a hiatus withstanding.
“I’ve been pretty active since I was seven-years-old,” began Jade.
“From kickboxing, and boxing, but I also fell out of love with sports for about eight years as well, after a break-up.
“I then moved back into my parents’ home, having lost my way somewhat.
“I soon got back in touch with Suggy (Sugden coached Grierson in her early days) and I was soon to be at fight weight, in something like six months, and was put into the Elite ABAs (2017 and 2018) and sparring people like Natasha Jonas, at Amir Khan’s gym, in Bolton.
“There’s not a more humble, down-to-earth person, than Tasha, even Amir himself came over to me after sparring and gave me some pointers, even talking about to turning professional, back then, but then covid hit, and the lockdowns happened.
“Training, with Suggy, he’s certainly hard-core, and definitely on the ball; being in the gym with Chad, Bailey, and Regis (Sugden brothers) as well, they’re my fight brothers, and we’ve done so much together.”
Eventually though, after a few years in the Elite amateur scene, and with a global pandemic changing well, pretty much everything, Suggy would oversee Grierson turning professional.
It would take a couple of attempts to get it over the line though, as well as an unexpected exhibition bout with two-weight world champion, Doncaster’s Terri Harper, 13-1-1(6) (current IBO & WBA World super welterweight champion).
That was back in October, now, in December, and heading towards the festive season, Jade, and her number one fan, young daughter Amani will very much be hoping for a ‘Christmas Cracker,’ as she goes about proving herself in the women’s fight scene.
“Yes, the professional debut has been a while in coming,” continued Grierson.
“Initially, I was due to fight back on 6 October, but it was difficult to get an opponent for me, then it was a similar scenario a few weeks later, on 22 October so we’ve had a few attempts at it, but I’ve kept myself training really hard.
“Then, Stefy Bull mentioned that maybe I should do an exhibition ‘fight’ instead and, although it was not meant to be her, it ended up being Terri Harper, and I just thought, why not.”
Harper had only just beaten Glaswegian, Hannah Rankin, 12-6(3), the month before via UD10, coincidentally in Nottingham, on the Eddie Hearn show fronted by Maxi Hughes and Kid Galahad, for the IBO World lightweight title, when she stepped into the ring to ‘face’ Grierson.
The Newark fighter added: “I’ve been lucky enough to have had a few doors opened for me, including sparring the likes of Savannah Marshall (Hartlepool, 12-1; 10) and April Hunter (Liverpool, via Newcastle, 6-1) and, when Suggy needed help, Stefy stepped in.
“The exhibition itself, with Harper, went really well (4x2s), she didn’t need to do it, and was very complimentary afterwards.”
“I know I’ve a lot to prove, and a lot of catching up to do, but I’m more than capable and I’m emotionally, physically, and mentally ready for this.
“My opponent, Konecna (2-19-1), has a height advantage, but it won’t be a toe-to-toe contest, some of her opponents have made it difficult for her and I’ve got to avoid certain things, as well as her big rights.
“I’ve got be in at her, throw combinations, and keep up my movement, and my skills, it’s that which I believe, will beat her.”
Konecna’s Rotherham opponent is form Ostrava, Czech Republic; she debuted back in December 2015 and, although inactive between that of January 2019 to October 2021, has lost last four outings having beaten Monique Bux in June.
The Czech fighter has also fought that of Hannah Rankin, Stacey Copeland, Savannah Marshall, Georgia O’Connor and April Hunter, among others; Grierson though, is, although not taking her eyes of Konecna, knows that she needs to look ahead, more considering her age.
“With women’s boxing, at present, it’s fast-acting, and the plan is, to beat Ester, then see what the New Year brings,” added Grierson.
“I’m 31-years-old now, and I want to move quickly, and compete, especially having looked at the rankings, and there’s fighters there that I know I can beat.
“I want to be ranked at around 68 kilos, and hopefully be able to keep for championships at what, 65-67 kilos, I’ll be comfortable there.”
Jade Grierson, who counts sponsors Security2, For Fit Sake, and International Export Packers among her increasing team, appears on the Stefy Bull Promotions show, ‘Christmas Cracker,’ at the Magna Centre, Rotherham, this weekend, Sunday 11 December.
Opposing Czech fighter, Ester Konecna, over 4x2s, doors for the show are set to open at 12:30, with food from 13:30, and first bell at 14:30; the show is headlined by Doncaster’s undefeated Connor Kelsall and Shepshed’s Benn Norman, for the vacant, English flyweight title.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @SteelStreamDes Jade Grierson ready to make her pro debut in Rotherham.