picture courtesy of Scott Rawsthorne @unknown_boxers
by Ben White @BWTalkingSport
You might not have heard of Lucy Wildheart, but the Swedish native, now resident in Hornchurch, has been making waves. Boasting a 4-0 (2) record at lightweight, the determined Lucy tells me about overcoming self doubt, and her mission to take on the world.
Lucy, take us through your childhood and how you got into boxing?
I am sorry to say that my childhood was not the perfect one, it brings back bad memories. I grew up in a small town in South Sweden with my mum, her husband and my brother. The situation between my parents wasn’t good. We didn’t have a lot of money, so my brother and I would mainly play outside in the woods. Sometimes going to see grandma and grandpa on an island at the weekend and in summer. I loved running around, getting muddy and trying to ride the cows when no one else was watching.
I was a kid with a terrible temper, I had two sides to me- I was either really angry or absolutely brilliant. I was fighting every day; I wasn’t like any other kid. It was hard for my mum. I would show lots of confidence and would tell people off when they did wrong or if someone disrespected me or my brother.
I wasn’t happy with my body or myself because I knew I was far from perfect. My body size was too big for my age; I had orange hair and wore glasses. We didn’t have a lot of money, so you can imagine the type of glasses I am referring to.
As a result of my temper, my mum took me to Karate where I would try to be the best in the dojo.
The trainer saw me for who I was and would shout and push me to my limits; this made me very happy. I remember in a grading contest I fought a guy who dropped me to the floor and in doing so, I broke both feet. My trainer shouted “STAND UP!”, so I did. I completed the contest and afterwards I needed to be carried out. I didn’t cry at all. I was training in casts the very next day, sitting down and working out using only my arms.
Boxing was very difficult for me as I couldn’t put it all together; I was only strong so I wanted to see how good I could become. I looked terrible for many years and people told me I looked terrible and I felt terrible as a result. This drives me on today.
You were born in Sweden and now live over here in the UK, how did this move come about?
I realised that if I wanted to become the best fighter in the world then I would need to think outside the box. Professional boxing in Sweden is not big at the moment so I knew that the UK or the US would be a great place for me to start my journey.
I met Colin Lynes following my second professional fight. I was on the undercard to Colin’s title fight which was to be his last, after such an honourable career. I was in a hotel where all of the boxers and their trainers mingled. This was all new to me and I was fascinated by the whole experience and enjoyed listening to their fight stories.
Colin had lots to talk about from his career and lots of advice for me and we got on really well. I loved the whole atmosphere surrounding the event. Later that year, I contacted Colin and with the blessing of my trainer at the time, I went back to the UK for a training camp.
Colin wanted to become a trainer and manager, to give back for everything he had got when he was fighting. I have always believed in fate and later that year after my third professional contest back in Sweden (where Colin came to support me), I was offered a big contract. I sent the contract to be professionally looked at. Everybody came back to me with my worst fears; it was one of the worst contracts they had seen.
It was like the dark days of boxing when fighters used to get ripped off and exploited. I wasn’t prepared to sign the contract so I left my trainer and Sweden. I was really happy and proud that I was able to stand up for myself and only six weeks later, I sold everything I had in Sweden and moved to Hornchurch, England.
In boxing you need someone you can trust, someone who knows and believes in what they are coaching and talking about. To reach success you need professional guidance and I believe Colin is the man for that. Colin took me under his wing to become my first ever manager and my new trainer. The British Boxing Board of Control welcomed me with open arms. They have been so kind and precise in all of their advice and dealings with my applications for my licence. It only took four months from start to finish, the quickest of an overseas fighter. I am eternally grateful.
What are your ambitions in boxing and beyond?
To be the best version of myself today and in the future, and to be world champion. My team around me all feeling the winning feelings I feel. I want to make a success of my clothing range, to be able to invest and make good business choices. By way of a hobby, I want to train people and be a part of their journey to be the best they can be. I want a young girl to see me on a big screen one day and say “I want to be like her”. If I can be the reason someone changes their life for the better, I will be proud.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a hard working person, very driven and sometimes business comes first. I’m also very honest. If I like something I’ll say it, If I don’t I would say that also. I am thankful for the small things in life. Every day is important for me to be waking up and feeling good. I want things to happen quickly and am very impatient, that’s where my fiery character kicks in!
Overall I am a very warm hearted person but behind the mask there are insecurities and coldness. If people respect me, try to understand me and are nice to me – I do as much as I can in return.
Who are your biggest role models in boxing?
The first boxing lady I saw online was Holly Holm; I so wish I could meet her, or spar her someday if possible. She has a totally different style, has been in some really tough fights that I love to watch over and over again. Holly comes across as a really nice person too.
Also Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton, I couldn’t stop watching Ricky and there have been many times I have tried his jumping hooks and more. I am still young in the game so I haven’t met that many fighters yet.
What are your biggest fears and regrets?
To be disrespected and to not be taken seriously. Everything I do, I do for good reason. I’ll give everything in the ring to show the world that if you want to achieve something then it is possible. I fear not making my family and my friends proud, I want to give back to them for the times that I haven’t been there for them, the biggest part of this journey I am on is to make them all proud.
I have lots of regrets, too many. They pop up in my head every other day; I have learnt to accept them. They are part of me, they are the reasons I am on this journey and they drive me. I look for solutions to the problems.
What advice can you give to those who want to grow up and be like you?
This sounds like a cliché but my best advice in life is to make lots of mistakes. It’s from them you will learn. I feel that the teenagers and children today have it too easy, the children of today are given lots so they are not respectful or thankful enough. Hard work is the way. You have to accept it – this is me. Then having a future goal – this is where I want to be.
I wish I had finished my high school but I didn’t. I did later on in a different way but still today things come up that I struggle with. You’re given such a great opportunity in going to school where you get the time to focus, if only everyone could manage themselves to do their best everyday at school as it is so important!
Finally, tell us something funny about you!
When I first came here someone in Hornchurch spread a rumour about me, saying that I’m bringing tramps into the flat and washing them. How funny- that actually would have been a lovely thing to do!
Follow Lucy on Twitter & Instagram: @LucyWildheart
Lucy Wanted to thank the following:
Rich Demolition, Osteria Due Amici, Barry Davis, Box Fit, Sweatlab (Sweden), The National Fostering Agency, Jon Rumsey andHornchurch & Elm Park Boxing gym.
& First Step (www.firststep.org.uk)
This article first appeared on bwtalkingsport.wordpress.com