Boxer's big year

TAREE boxer Arlene Blencowe is hoping for a Valentine's Day massacre when she fights Queenslander Sabrina Ostowari in Brisbane on February 14.

This will be for the vacant Australian lightweight title on a program billed Tough Love.

However, while Blencowe hopes to add the national belt to the two world titles she won last June, she admits to using the 10 round bout as a lead-in to two fights she hopes to secure overseas later this year. This will be the first time she's boxed since upsetting New Zealander Daniella Smith in a bruising 10 round contest in New Zealand in June. Here she secured the WBA and WIBA world light welterweight titles. She's had just two professional fights going into the bout and had less than a week to prepare when the original challenger, fellow Australian Sarah Howett, withdrew because of injury.

"People ask me why I want to win an Australian title when I already have two world titles,'' Blencowe said.

"But I need to be in the boxing ring again.''

Blencowe's had one Mixed Martial Arts fight since June, but she hasn't boxed. In all she's only had three professional fights and says training can only go so far.

"I don't want to be thrown into a title defence without any time in the ring - even though that's what happened when I won in New Zealand,'' she said.

"I want to get used to boxing 10 rounds again.''

Blencowe said negotiations were on-going regarding the world title defence. However, she said if all goes to plan she would be fighting overseas.

But Blencowe is quick to add that Ostowari - a former Manning resident who has a background in martial arts - will be a tough opponent. She had around 50 fights as an amateur and is unbeaten from seven starts as a professional, although Blencowe questions the quality of some of her opponents.

Blencowe will have to fight at 61.2kgs - the lightest she's been for boxing, although she's weighed in at 61.5kgs for MMI bouts.

"That won't be a problem,'' she assured.

Ostowari is also a southpaw.

"I've only ever fought a southpaw once and that was as an amateur when I beat an Indian girl to win the gold medal at the Arafura Games,'' she said.

Blencowe's changed her training strategy to meet the new challenge.

She hopes this will be the start of what will be a busy, bruising and fruitful year, admitting it's her dream to fight again on the world stage.

Arlene Blencowe

Arlene Blencowe