By Molly Kerridge
A 19-year-old female boxer from Leicestershire has just become a professional in the sport after years of training.
Ellis Hopkins has recently been made the first female boxer from the traveller community to take the step from being an amateur to a professional.
Hopkins said: “I felt very proud and happy when I signed my first professional contract, and got my licence granted.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.”
Hopkins told the BBC in an interview that her mother owned a dance school but she was kicked out for fighting. She was then sent to a boxing gym with instead.
She added: “At first, everyone was like ‘well why do you want to box? Only boys should box?’
“But I didn’t take any notice of them, still don’t.”
Ellis mentions her inspirations as boxing champions such as Tyson Fury and Katie Taylor, but she has also become an inspiration herself to younger girls in the traveller community.
They now go to the same boxing gym to watch her and take part themselves.
Her father, Elvis Hopkins, owns Kings Gym in Leicester, and has been helping to train his daughter since she was 10 years old.
Since then, she has gone on to represent England and competed at the England Box Cup.
Elvis said: “I’m very proud of her, really really proud of her,
“We’ve been around the world for the last couple of years, and she’s got some really good wins under her belt. She’s mixing it up with the world’s best.
“We have one goal, that’s world champion.”