The English and international boxing world has a new ambitious star, after the Bucks boxer Raven Chapman decided to go professional in 2021. 

Despite being told throughout her amateur career her style in boxing was pro, the time to punch up finally came last Autumn, as she fought her debut professional fight in September after ten years as an amateur.

She feels the happiest and most content she ever has, Ms Chapman revealed as she spoke to Bucks Free Press at her home spot, the Warriors Boxing Gym in High Wycombe.

“The changeover has been quite natural for me.

“I feel so much happier doing what I’m doing now and being able to truly be myself in the ring, box how I want to box, box how my body naturally wants to and everything’s coming together piece by piece really well.”

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In professional boxing, fighters don’t wear headguards and the gloves are lighter – Ms Chapman’s went down from 14-ounce training gloves to eight ounces, making the hands a lot quicker.

Bucks Free Press: Raven Chapman training with her coach Stuart Scott (Credit: David Payne Productions)Raven Chapman training with her coach Stuart Scott (Credit: David Payne Productions)

“It’s also nice not having a headguard, you can see a lot better when you’re in there.

“I do a lot of head movement, for me it works even better, because I can move my head around quite nicely.

Falling in love

The two-time national champion started boxing in her late teens.

“I grew up with my dad and he was big into martial arts and combat sports, and I grew up around that.”

Like many adolescents growing up and finding out what they love, she tried different sports like kickboxing and kung-fu, before she fell in and out of love with football - only to find herself back in the boxing ring at 17.

“The hook sank and that was it: that was me, just loved the sport and it’s one of the only things I’ve ever really stuck to.

“When I started it helped a lot with my confidence.”

Life as a professional

Self-care is crucial.

For Raven Chapman – dubbed on social media as The Omen - it means balancing the intense gym, sparring and strength and conditioning sessions surrounded by people with yoga, sauna and steam room and alone time.

Because of her training regime, eating enough is also vital, and the concept of “cheat meals” from the fitness world is not a thing for her as she makes sure to eat enough and nutritiously to perform.

Bucks Free Press: Raven Chapman was the first woman boxer to get signed up with Queenbury Promotions and Frank Warren (Credit: David Payne Productions)Raven Chapman was the first woman boxer to get signed up with Queenbury Promotions and Frank Warren (Credit: David Payne Productions)

“I’m not necessarily ‘not allowed’ any foods.

“So if I have real craving for anything like chocolate or cake, I can allow myself those things.

“When you restrict yourself that’s when you crave it more.

“When I’m not in fight camp now I generally stick to what I eat because it’s good food but I’m not saying “I can’t have anything”, which is sometimes you can go in that circle to overindulge and restrict and I don’t like to be in that circle.

“I’ve done it as an amateur and it doesn’t work.

“Now I’ve found really good balance with my training diet and everything. If I want a little bit of chocolate, I’ll have a little bit of chocolate.

As a boxing trainer of women herself, she sees women come to the class nervous and leave with confidence in their ability to defend themselves if need be – a skill anybody should know, Ms Chapman said.

“It’s not one person that inspires me. I think anyone, who goes out and does anything outside of their comfort zone and gives something a go.

“I’m inspired by anyone trying to push themselves to achieve something.”

The Brighton- born boxer was a shadow of her current self before becoming a professional, she said.

Bucks Free Press: Raven Chapman's nickname on social media is The Omen, after her first nameRaven Chapman's nickname on social media is The Omen, after her first name

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“I wasn’t happy, I thought I had fallen out of love with the sport or that I’m not good enough and for some reason I just couldn’t pick myself up from it and being in that mental state when you just go around in a circle," she said. 

She changed her entire life and moved to Bucks, where she divides her time between Great Missenden, Wycombe and travelling to fights.

“Being around this environment it really changed my life and I’m happy and content with everything I’m doing.

"I’m really loving the sport, and just found that love, drive and fire to succeed and know that I’m where I should be.”

She was signed up by boxing promoters Queensbury and Frank Warren as their first ever woman boxer, and Raven Chapman will make her first BT Sport fight debut on April 29 in London. 

Video and training images courtesy of David Payne Productions.