Dolan reigns in the sport of kings

Winners! Norfolk trio Henri Potter, Emma Dolan and Mike Webber-Kane

Winners! Norfolk trio Henri Potter, Emma Dolan and Mike Webber-Kane - Credit: Chris Lakey

Emma Dolan returned to the boxing ring with a bang - and a place in the sport’s local history books. 

The 24-year-old from Dereham became the first female boxer to top the bill in a city fight night, in her first outing for six months. 

Her ‘victim’ at the Norwich Airport Holiday Inn show on Friday, was the resilient Jamileth Vallejos, who was pretty much pummelled from pillar to post over six rounds. 

Dolan’s elevation to top-of-the-bill status in just her fourth fight reflects not just her ability and promise, but the elevation of women’s boxing in the sport of kings. That evolution has been embraced by Norwich trainer Graham Everett, who has Dolan and Roni Dean under his wing. 

“I didn’t think I’d see it when I first started training, never,” he said. “You didn’t even see women in the gym, certainly not. With these two ladies, they are less interested in having pictures of themselves and putting them on social media than some of the male fighters 

“They are just seriously tough girls – the pair of them they come in the gym, they get their heads down and work hard. They are a pleasure to work with.” 

Dolan was an attack mode from the first bell, but there was a reason Vallejos was a tough nut to crack. 

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“She fought two weight divisions above what she is,” said Everett. “She hasn’t trained for two or three days, she has eaten so much in the last couple of days. That is how it is to get an opponent - there isn’t a lot down there at super-fly; she could probably do flyweight. When she gets somebody who coms at her and tries to take her and leaves themselves open, you will see a lot of devastation. 

“Her opponent earned her money and deserves 100 times more – that was a really tough, tough, hard opponent.” 

Henri Potter, from Gorleston, set the tone for the night with a 39-37 victory over Darryl Tanfuma, from Luton, while Mikie Webber-Kane impressed on his way to a 39:37 win over Karl Sampson, from Sheffield. 

Neither visiting fighter was a ‘gimme’ for the local pair. 

“What our aim is maybe not such big shows but good quality shows – from Henri to Emma tonight every fight was seriously competitive and that is what we want. There is a recession on and fans pay good money, but every one of them entertained.”