Eccles hid early boxing career from her parents

Rosie Eccles used to sneak out of the house to go and train at the boxing gym

After rolling her moped down her drive in the middle of the night as a 16-year-old, welterweight Rosie Eccles showed a desire to carve a boxing career out for herself, writes Frankie Christou.

The now 23-year-old from Caldicot, south Wales, knew from the moment she set foot in a gym at the age of 15 that she wanted to fight in an Olympics.

However, Eccles decided to keep her dream from her parents in fear that they would not support her and as a result she would find herself training in the early hours of the morning to keep the secret from them.

“I walked into a boxing class at 15 and that was the beginning,” Eccles explained.

“A guy there spotted something in me and said when I turn 16, he will let me come down to the gym, but I kept it quiet from my family. 

“I bought a moped and went to training at like half three in the morning and got back and creeped into bed before school, I thought they would not approve. I was in a bit of a tricky situation at the time so that was the best way to get to training.

“I used to roll the moped down the road so I would not wake anyone up, then one day I got a bit cocky as I was not getting caught and she [her mum] looked out the window as I was driving off and rang my dad.” 

After receiving multiple warnings for sneaking out, Rosie went against her parents’ word and continued to drive herself to a small boxing gym in Newport in the middle of the night and her rebellious behaviour seemed to eventually pay off.  

“I covered the moped up with chairs at the back of the garden,” Eccles added.

“Then the one day I didn’t, and he saw the moped was gone and he found out again. I understand it now as a father and your daughter is leaving at half-past three in the morning to go boxing in Newport. It does sound a bit bad! 

“It all worked out in the end; he is mega supportive now. We all look back at it now and laugh because of how stubborn I was.

“He soon realised that if you are going to go buy a moped and drive to Newport then there must be something in it.

“I was 16 when I started boxing and that was the London Olympics. Weirdly I had it in my head before I even watched it.

“When I got into the boxing gym and put on the gloves - I hate that cliché but it was like I want to do this as an Olympic sport.”

At the Road to Tokyo qualifier in London, Eccles was beaten by a split decision by fourth seed Russia’s Saadat Dalgatova in a preliminary bout.

But the 2016 European silver medallist’s Olympic dream is not over with another chance to qualify if she is selected to compete at the Paris world qualifiers in May.

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