‘You have to love the sport. You’re standing there getting punched in the face, so if you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it’

For a unique new exhibition, Sharon Kelly delved into the fears, doubts and vulnerabilities of three female boxers to explore the connection between the gruelling sport and art

Female boxers Yasmin Meredith, Nicole O’Sullivan and Eve Woods, who are featured in Counterpunch, a new multimedia exhibition

Dion Fanning

When Yasmin Meredith stepped into a boxing ring for her first fight, Kellie Harrington was in her corner. Meredith was just 11 years old and Harrington was there to encourage the young female boxer from Coolock who was boxing out of her own club in Glasnevin. At the time, Meredith was the only young female boxer at the club. But when she stepped into the ring for her second fight, Harrington wasn’t there. It was the first time Meredith understood the power of the mind in boxing. “Kellie gave me a big pep talk,” Meredith says before training one evening at DCU. “She said, ‘You have this,’ and I was thinking, ‘This is great.’ The girl I was fighting didn’t come out for the second round, she was getting sick in the corner.”

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