World championship celebrations on hold

ARLENE Blencowe will put celebrations of her world boxing title on hold until after a mixed martial arts (MMA) bout in four weeks time.

Blencowe was committed to the MMZ fight before it was confirmed she would have a shot at the world lightweight title in Auckland. The 30-year-old from Taree scored a points decision over the defending champion, New Zealander Daniella Smith. This was only her third professional fight.

The opportunity to fight Smith only came up after her original opponent, Australian Sarah Howett, was injured. Blencowe's professional record going into the bout stood at two fights for a win and a loss. She hadn't boxed since last October when beaten by Howett and had been concentrating more on the MMA in recent months.

Her management was only contacted a week before the fight to make arrangements.

Blencowe concedes the enormity her achievements still hasn't sunk in. It's all a bit surreal.

"We arrived home from New Zealand on Friday,'' she said.

"That night I was in my house, doing the ironing and folding clothes and I thought 'wow, just 24 hours ago I was in another country fighting for a world title.' It's incredible.''

The battle against Smith was over 10 gruelling two minute rounds - the longest Blencowe's ever boxed. However, she believes the training she has been doing for MMA stood her in good stead for the title tilt.

Blencowe said she recovered quickly from the battle.

"I was back in training on Saturday,'' she said.

Blencowe understands she'll now have to defend her crown against Howett, but said no dates have yet been confirmed.

And now she's the world champion Blencowe could also have the opportunity to fight overseas again for bigger purses.

"When I look at some of the other girls in my division, they've had 35 professional fights. I've had three,'' she said.

"But I have something to offer them now and I'm hoping this will open some doors.''

Blencowe fought at 63 kgs in Auckland.

However, she said there's a possibility she could fight in a lighter division without losing any of her power and will discuss the possibility of this with her trainer, Jason Harris from Port Macquarie. Blencowe trains three times a week in Port.

She concedes that the fight itself was something of a blur.

"I was speaking to Daniella afterwards and she said I was hungrier,'' she said.

She was confident around the sixth round that she was doing enough to claim the title.

"Jason kept saying to me 'this is for a world title - do you want it?'''

Blencowe admits before the world title bout came up she wasn't sure where her boxing career was heading and that MMA was looking the better alternative.

But for the moment she'll concentrate on the MMA fight next month.

After that, she'll be able to celebrate her victory.

Arlene Blencowe

Arlene Blencowe


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