Preston girls heading to Sweden for major international boxing tournament

MTK Manchester's Amalie Garcia, Monae Hetherington-Smith and Maisie Morgan
MTK Manchester's Amalie Garcia, Monae Hetherington-Smith and Maisie Morgan

Three Preston girls are heading to a major international boxing event in Sweden this week.

Fighters from around the globe will converge on the city of Boras for the Golden Girl Championship.

Johnney Roye

Johnney Roye

Among the boxers in action will be three girls from Johnney Roye’s MTK Manchester gym based in Lostock Hall.

Amalie Garcia, 14, Monae Hetherington-Smith, 12, and Maisie Morgan, 12, are set to take on the best in the world over the next few days.

They travel to Sweden on Thursday afternoon with competition running from Friday, February 1, until Sunday, February 3.

“It’s the biggest tournament for female boxing in the world,” said professional and amateur trainer Roye, who will be making the trip to Scandinavia to support the trio.

“It’s a big platform for the girls.

“All the European and World medallists will be there and it’s very prestigious.

“It will be great for them to experience being involved in an event of this calibre.”

Garcia is no stranger to major competitions.

The granddaughter of former Preston North End goalkeeper Roy Tunks has represented England and was a bronze medallist at the European Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Championships in Bulgaria last year.

Hetherington-Smith and Morgan will be competing against international opposition for the first time.

The former has won all five of her contests thus far while the latter has lost just one of three bouts to date.

“I’ve no expectations when it comes to medals or results,” said Roye who will be taking MTK Manchester fighters to an event of this kind for the first time.

“I’m there to oversee their performance.

“As long as their performance advances from the last competition then I’ll be happy.

"It’s not about medals, it’s all about development for them.

“It will be great to expose them to major international competition.”

Roye’s gym, which moved to its current home from Oyston Mill in October, also acts as a training base for Preston’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lisa Whiteside.

The amateur star has confirmed she is turning professional under trainer Mick Day and is waiting on confirmation of her first fight in the paid ranks as she targets a clash with long-time GB rival Nicola Adams.