April Hunter didn’t expect to be relying solely on a world champion buddy and the trainer of a rival fighter to guide her through a possible disaster when she accepted a last-minute match.
A crisis in Barcelona was avoided, and the spontaneous trip turned into a relaxing weekend in the sun with Savannah Marshall by her side.
Hunter will compete on the undercard of a BOXXER fight night in Newcastle on Saturday. Marshall will defend her world title.
They are hoping that it will be less stressful than their previous combined experience.
“We got a phone call 12 days out for a fight,” April Hunter recalls, but her trainer couldn’t take her because she was already committed to Liam Smith in Russia.
“I took it anyway,” Hunter laughs.
Marshall recounts being invited on a trip to Barcelona that was billed as “risk-free”: “‘Jackpot!’ I exclaimed. ‘A little vacation!'”
Marshall realised she was the only one fighting beside her friend, who was only in her third fight.
“She informed me her coach wasn’t coming,” Marshall recalls, still stunned by her unexpected responsibilities. “I did inform her that I don’t know how to wrap my hands or cut them.”
Hunter enlisted the help of an old amateur coach she hadn’t seen in years, but he wasn’t allowed in her corner due to the short notice.
This is where Stefi Bull comes in; ironically, Hunter had been sparring with world champion Terri Harper, who is trained by Bull, just a week before.
The bull was in Barcelona with Gavin McDonnell, who was fighting on the same card but stepped forward to assist Hunter, who had been trading punches with his finest asset just days before.
“You couldn’t write it,” Hunter sighs.
Perhaps there were warning indications of impending tragedy. For the first time, she was instructed to consume cheese and wash away the salt from peanuts to aid in the procedure.
Why is the cheese used?
“I’m not sure!”
‘I’ll be a world champion in 18 months,’ he says
Hunter was a Newcastle United footballer until a devastating knee injury ended his dream.
“My teacher told me: ‘You are the most gifted female sportsperson we have ever taught – whether it’s football, badminton, anything,” she said.
As a centre midfielder, she was “aggressive, tireless, and skilled,” and she was a regular at St. James’ Park: “I was there in the Kevin Nolan era when we beat Sunderland 5-1!”
Injuries robbed her of a football scholarship in America, and she instead fell into a pattern of excessive socialising.
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