Blackpool-born Hannah Baggaley left Australia to pursue pro-boxing ambition

Hurricane Hannah made her professional debut in September 2021. She had a 10 month wait for her licence but her big risk paid off

By Lucinda Herbert
Monday, 31st January 2022, 12:30 pm

Hannah Baggaley has no regrets after leaving her life in Australia behind to become a pro boxer back in Blackpool.

Baggaley left her home in Bispham in 2017 to be a painter and decorator Down Under but returned three years later because she missed boxing.

Then lockdown happened, meaning the 25-year-old wasn’t allowed to train and had a 10-month wait for her licence.

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Hannah Baggaley took a big risk to become a pro-boxer in 2021

She said: “Mentally it was hard. I’d given up my whole life to work towards this goal, literally got to the UK and went straight into lockdown.

“I took a big risk as there was no guarantee and no-one could assure me that I’d get my licence.

“All of my passion was for boxing and I just felt like something was missing.”

Baggaley stayed in shape by building a home gym with a boxing bag, battle ropes and tyre flip, as well as going for daily runs in the sand dunes.

Sponsored by local meal prep company, iprep4u, and managed by Alfie Warren, ‘Hurricane Hannah’ made her pro debut in September.

She is currently training hard for her first headline fight against Beccy Ferguson at Manchester Victoria Warehouse on March 26.

She trains six days a week with former WBU middleweight champion Anthony Farnell at his gym in Oldham.

Baggaley started boxing at 14 after being expelled from school for fighting as, although she was a bright pupil, there was a ‘short fuse’ she struggled to control.

She explained: “One lad threw tuna pasta in my hair and I just flipped.

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“Other kids provoked me because they knew they’d get a reaction so they’d test me.”

Baggaley was then sent to the Grange unit for children with behavioural problems, where she felt “like a fish out of water”.

A place at Palatine High School was subsequently offered to her – on condition she attended anger management sessions.

Her dad insisted she take up running to let off steam, but she found it a chore, adding: “He said I had to do something. It’s no good just lashing out every time I get annoyed, so I tried boxing.

“Therapy helped me to understand my negative feelings, but it didn’t make them go away.”

Baggaley trained at Kingscote Boxing Gym with retired heavyweight Anthony Moran.

She started off doing rounds on the punchbag, as well as skipping and running, all with the goal of eventually obtaining her amateur boxing licence.

She did an apprenticeship in painting and decorating, and now teaches boxing and construction at a non-mainstream school in Manchester for children with behavioural problems.

She said: “Boxing makes me feel positive and focused.

“I don’t worry about what other people are doing. When I come out of the gym, my head feels clear and all my worries just go away. It completely changed my life.”