After over a decade spent honing her in-ring craft, things have begun to pay off for surging Featherweight, Beck Hawker (4-0, 2 KOs).
In what amounted to a stellar campaign, the Yorkshire raised Queenslander rose from ‘intriguing prospect’ to ‘belt collector’ in 2021, capturing Queensland, Australian and Australasian gold in a six month stretch.
The last of these, a dominant display in Hobart against hometown hero Krystina ‘Mousey’ Jacobs (5-2), proved that any hype surrounding Hawker is justified.
While some fighters might be prepared to rest on such achievements, she has an unwavering commitment to travelling an alternate path. The focus that projects from her voice suggests that she is not content with being defined by past accolades.
Rather, there is a determination to convert the buzz created by an undefeated year, into a serious wave of momentum.
“My year last year as a pro was amazing. I was lucky enough to obtain all three of those titles,” Hawker told The Inner Sanctum.
“It was a big year for me growing wise. I think I grew a lot as a pro boxer last year. Going into 2022, it’s set me up.
“I think the ‘Mousey’ fight, a lot more people started going ‘yeah she is coming’ and ‘she’s not just a hype job.’
“I’m in a good place going into the first fight in 2022.”
An incredibly sweet cherry was placed on top of the stack of championships in late January, when Hawker cracked the rankings of two of the major boxing governing bodies.
Though the 30 year old admits that she was “not expecting” her number 10 WBA and 12 IBF placings, she is excited to ensure that they are converted to single digits.
Moreover, she recognises the symbolism of the numerals.
Hawker is the latest addition to a strong crop of Australian fighters making an impact on the blossoming female boxing landscape.
In coming months, Ebanie Bridges (7-1, 3 KOs) and Cherneka Johnson (13-1, 6 KOs) will contest for IBF World titles at Bantamweight and Super-Bantamweight respectively.
Meanwhile, boxing trailblazer Shannon O’Connell (22-6-1, 10 KOs), continues to turn in incredible performances. At 39, ‘Shotgun’ is the WBA’s number one ranked Bantamweight and could definitely find herself in a World title fight this year.
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Joining the down under contingent of pugilists contributing to a global women’s boxing renaissance is, to Hawker, a badge of honour to display proudly.
“Female boxing is booming all around the World. You’ve got some big fights [coming up]. I think Australia starting to catch up with that,” she said.
“Years back, we didn’t have those opportunities. People were a bit more hesitant to put us on the cards or putting us as main events.
“Females fight intensely. We’re two minute rounds not three minute rounds, so it’s action packed. I think fans like to see that.
“It’s an exciting time and I’m happy to be involved in it.”
Although the highest honours in the sport are now in her sights, there are still hurdles that must be negotiated if Hawker is to reach the metaphorical finish line. Hurdles such as the undefeated Indian, Geeta Solanki (3-0, 1 KO), her first international opponent.
Solanki makes her way to Brisbane’s Eatons Hill for the March 4 meeting at ACE Boxing Group’s ‘Know Thyself’ event, after original opponent and compatriot, Chandni Mehra (8-3, 1 KO), fell out late.
Despite entering the contest as the favourite against a late notice replacement, Hawker is not getting ahead of herself.
Instead, she is dialled in on the task at hand.
It is clear that taking a ‘one step at a time’ approach to fighting is an integral part of her mentality. At every point of conversations, any potential openings for talk about anything other than the upcoming bout are immediately quashed.
Under the tutelage of trusted trainer, Frank Pianto, Hawker has doubled-down on the aggressive style that has got her to this point.
Come fight night, the Eastside Boxing Gym product is ready to lay everything on the line and continue her along the path to glory.
“I definitely won’t be taking this fight lightly. Every fight is hard,” Hawker emphatically concluded.
“I think it’s a good step up for me. International is good.
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about tactics and we have a plan of how we’re going to go into this fight.
“Like I do with a lot of fighters, I wear people down. I think this is going to be the same. I’ve got a good engine and I’m not afraid to grit my teeth and bite down and have a war.
“I think my style is enough to get me over the line.”
Hawker vs Solanki forms part of ACE Boxing Group’s ‘Know Thyself’ event on March 4 and can be viewed live on the promotion’s YouTube channel, here.
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