Warrington lightweight boxer Rhiannon Dixon and her coach Anthony Crolla have opened up about the stigma surrounding women’s boxing and what the future holds for the sport.

Undefeated Dixon takes on Victoria Wilkinson at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool for the Commonwealth lightweight title.

Dixon said: “You always get the stigma. When I went to get my licence they thought [my boyfriend] was the boxer!

“You get people being sexually inappropriate but I’m not really bothered about it.”

Rhiannon Dixon. Credit: Ellen Gwynn
Rhiannon Dixon believes more young girls are getting into boxing. Credit: Ellen Gwynn

However, Dixon believes there’s a positive future for the sport, with more young girls getting involved.

She said: “I see now that there’s more girls taking up the sport.

“I think it’s more out there and more younger girls are seeing it and thinking ‘I could do that’.”

Looking to the future, Dixon believes if other promoters follow in Matchroom’s footsteps, then the women’s boxing industry will move forward.

She said: “I think Matchroom are at the forefront of promoting women’s boxing.

“They’ve always got a woman on the show. They’re always pushing for equality in boxing for women.

“If all the other promoters could use that as an example, then we’ll be alright.”

Offering advice to aspiring young female boxers, she said: “I’d just say go to a gym. It’s really intimidating at first walking in, but it’s like a family.

“Everyone’s so welcoming and wants to learn from each other.”

Rhiannon Dixon. Credit: Ellen Gwynn
Rhiannon Dixon says you should get to the gym if you want to get into boxing. Credit: Ellen Gwynn

Dixon’s trainer, former boxer Anthony Crolla, spoke on the stigma surrounding women’s boxing and his hopes that this can change going forwards.

He said: “There’s still men who, unfortunately, don’t see that side of the sport and don’t agree with it.

“But if there are any doubts, if they see the quality from the Olympics right through to grassroots level they’ll change their mind.

“Sooner or later the time will come where it’s not even questioned.”

Crolla continued: “The girls couldn’t do any more, they’re delivering in a big, big way and more and more of them are becoming household names.

“For so long, boxing has been a male dominated sport, but one day I hope that it’s just known as boxing.”