My Week: My fight for a place in history

FIVE DAYS IN THE LIFE OF WORLD WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION JANE COUCH, BRITAIN'S FIRST LICENSED FEMALE BOXER WHO, LAST WEDNESDAY, KNOCKED OUT SIMONE LUKIC OF FRANKFURT IN JUST OVER A MINUTE
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The Independent Culture
Sunday

Started training with Tex, my manager, in the morning at about 9.30am at Spanoirum Farm in Bristol. Trained for just over an hour; mainly circuit training, sit-ups and press-ups. Today was the last day of training after 16 weeks of intensive work. I always need about two to three days' rest for mental preparation before a fight.

I've been training twice a day very hard and it's a spartan kind of life; you don't get to do much socialising. I just shut myself off from the rest of the world to concentrate.

In the afternoon I had to open a gym in a local hotel in Bristol. Went back to the gym again for my final training session at about 7pm; sharpening up my shadow-boxing to get my mind ready for the fight.

Need to rest in the evening to get my sharpness and energy back. By this stage I can't wait to get it over with. Watched a film and went to bed at 9pm. I feel ready to fight and can't wait until Wednesday.

Monday

Stayed in bed until 10am trying to get my energy back. Had a TV interview at 11am; I find doing a lot of press really takes it out of you. Spent the afternoon doing more radio and TV interviews; my phone was ringing non-stop. As the day approaches, press interest increases and so does the pressure. You feel like the eyes of the world are on you.

Went home to pack and get ready to fly to Manchester for a BBC show. Had some dinner before I left; I don't really worry about my weight because I'm always bang on 10 stone. I like my food and try to eat a lot of carbohydrates, bread, fish and fruit. I need a high intake of carbohydrates for energy. My body is rebuilding energy so I have to put in enough to work with.

Got to Manchester at about 3.30pm and the show went really well. There were loads of young girls who had started boxing or wanted to get into the sport. A lot of them feel that the world is against them and they get told that women shouldn't box. I told them that they shouldn't think that they are different just because they want to box. Got away from the studio at about 8pm and went back to the hotel. I was feeling a bit tired and thinking about the weigh-in the next day.

Tuesday

Got a flight back to London in the morning. Went straight to a hotel in Streatham where I dropped off my stuff, got changed and walked to the weigh-in. Then I got the shock of my life: there were about 200 people in there. The media attention is mentally tiring although I'm getting used to it now. I suppose history is being made, though. There are more people here than at a Mike Tyson fight. I guess the attention comes with the territory.

In the evening, I started to think about tomorrow. You do get butterflies but I've been there before so I know I'll be all right.

Wednesday

Woke up at 10.30am; had some fruit and water. I don't eat that much on the day of a fight because my nerves are shot away. After breakfast I went off to do the lunchtime news with Julia Summerfield for ITN. She was really nice and supportive; it's good to do something to pass the time before the fight. After that I went back to the hotel and put my feet up. My nerves are getting pretty bad. Got to Caesars Palace at 6.55pm and there was a huge queue of people outside; signed some autographs before I went in. The crowds were excellent.

During a fight, I try not to think about my opponent. When I saw her, though, I was a bit worried about her height: she looked tall and fit.

Went to my dressing room to get changed. The referee came in to give me the instructions, then I put on my shorts and my chest guard. Did some shadow-boxing, hitting pads for the next 15 minutes.

When I go out to the ring I don't look at the crowds, just the ring. Everyone is screaming and shouting while I'm thinking, "Come on, hurry up." I'm a bit tense in the first round, the crowd is going mental.

When I know I've won I feel on top of the world; I feel high on adrenalin. After that everyone's crowding round wanting to interview me. My friends and family are there to congratulate me.

By 11pm we had to get security to get us out by the fire exit. Went back to the hotel and stayed up until 6am in the morning drinking with my family and friends.

Thursday

Woke up at 8am and felt like I was dying. Got on a train back to Blackpool with my mum and friends. My mobile is ringing non-stop throughout the journey. Arrived home at about 5pm and went straight to bed.

Interview by

Daisy Price

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