New Astley Boxing Club's Demie-Jade Resztan gets call-up for World Championships after winning silver at the European Championships
Having proven herself on the European stage, New Astley Boxing Club star Demie-Jade Resztan is now preparing to take on the world.
The four-time national champion was handed a tough draw at last week’s Women’s European Boxing Championships on the outskirts of Madrid, with seeds one, two and three all featuring in Resztan’s half of the event.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old England boxer came through three light fly 45-48kg bouts – including beating top seed Hanna Okhota in the last four – to reach the final.
Saturday’s gold-medal clash with Russia’s Iulia Chumgalakova proved to be a step too far, but the silver medal – and her performances over the course of the competition – were enough to convince Great Britain selectors to include Resztan in the squad for next month’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Russia.
“It is all a bit overwhelming and everything seemed to go so quickly,” said Resztan. “It was such a tough draw but it just came down to having belief in myself and my ability, which is not something I have always had.
“There was obviously pressure, but I did my best to switch off from that and just listen to what the coaches were saying to me.
“I did not want to be the one that Great Britain left behind for the World Champs.”
Resztan’s coach at New Astley – Mark O’Reilly – has never doubted his fighter’s ability to perform on the international stage.
Crucially though, it is the fact that Resztan herself is now of the same mindset that is a leading factor in the recent success.
O’Reilly said: “What she has gone and done in Spain is huge. At that sort of level there is not much between any of the boxers, technically they are top level and that is why they are there in the first place.
“It is all about who has got the mental ability and also the ability to deal with the pressure.
“I have known for years Demie can box at that level, she is world class, no doubt about it.
“And I could tell for perhaps the first time before she went to Spain that she believed she belonged in that company as well – that is the key.
“Her result, and the call-up for the Worlds, is the proof – it shows her she is not wrong to feel that way. Getting that medal was everything and I am so proud of her.”
The World Championships are due to get under way on Thursday, October 3.
Read moreOther Sport
More by this authorLiam Apicella