Name: Harli Whitwell

Age: 23

Twitter: N/A

Nationality: British

From: St Ives, Cambridgeshire

Height: 5′ 7″

Stance: Orthodox

Record: 4-0

Next fight: April 27th at the Brentwood Centre, Brentwood

When and why you started boxing:

I started boxing when I was just five. My dad Stephen was once a boxer, and then he opened up the St. Ives Boxing Club. He opened that up in 2004, and I was four at the time. My sister Shona was a couple of years older than me. My dad ran the kids’ classes, so as soon as she was allowed to join the gym, I wanted to go as well. So we kind of started together, and I have been doing it ever since.

Favourite all-time fighter:

When I was growing up, it was always Ricky Hatton. Ricky was one of the first fighters my dad introduced me to. Katie Taylor is also a massive inspiration to me.

Best fight you’ve seen:

When I had my first skills bout, we went to see Katie Taylor against Natasha Jonas at the 2012 London Olympics. So that was a massive turning point for me. I thought, wow, the atmosphere was just incredible. Someone from the gym gifted us two tickets, and me and my dad went and it was such a big day for me.

Personal career highlight:

Boxing for England in the amateurs was one of my highlights. My professional debut in 2022 against Bojana Libiszewska was obviously massive for me. You are always going to remember your debut. I got the stoppage in the second round, and it was the perfect debut.

Toughest opponent:

All my amateur fights were crazy tough. I was in a lot of 50/50 fights. Dione Burman, I think I boxed her three times. Dione is doing really well, and I think she was my toughest opponent as an amateur. I won one and lost the other two. All three were toe-to-toe fights.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

The worst is that I like getting too involved sometimes, and the game plan then just goes out of the window. But we are learning. My best attribute is probably my strength and work ethic. I train really, really hard. I am very disciplined. I am married to the game.

Training tip:

Word hard. Listen to your coach. Enjoy the process. That is something I have now learned. I used to put pressure on myself before. So now I have learned to love the process and the training. The skills will get you so far, but if you don’t love what you do, you are definitely in the wrong game.

Favourite meal/restaurant:

I have to say a hearty Sunday roast. Or a meal in a Japanese restaurant, which is where I usually go after a fight.

Best friend in boxing:

My sister Shona, who is on Team GB. Even though I don’t get to train with her all the time, there is still no better fighter to train with than her. We have also got a really good amateur team; we call it the Girls Squad. We are all like a little family in there.

Which other athlete would you like to be:

David Goggins. I read both of his books before my first professional fight. As I was training for my debut, I had done a 13-week camp, and I was losing motivation a little, and my boyfriend said you have to listen to his books. Goggins just has that no-excuse mentality.

Last film/TV show you saw:

I watched the new Bob Marley film One Love at the cinema. I liked the story, but I felt they missed a lot of his life out, and at times, it wasn’t very realistic. On TV, the last thing I watched was Dark Tourist on Netflix.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

I’m not a massive film person, but as long as it is someone who is funny and pretty, then it’s all right.

Have you ever been starstruck:

When I was in Sweden at a Golden Girls tournament, Natasha Jonas called me up for an interview afterwards. That was when I was about 14, and I didn’t expect that. I think I was just looking up at her and thinking, “Oh my god.”

Last time you cried:

Last week. I am an emotional girl. It was probably something stupid. Let’s just say that I am in touch with my emotions.

Best advice received:

To trust your team and stay loyal to your team. Don’t get pushed into fights that you are not ready for.

Worst rumour about yourself:

I’ve probably not heard one since I was at school, so I would say don’t listen to rumours.

Something not many people know about you:

I’ve recently been teaching myself how to DJ. I like drum and bass. So that’s something not many people know about me – but that’s probably because I am not very good. In my spare time, I like to do things that are not boxing related. I just enjoy it; it’s really fun.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years:

Hopefully, I am a world champion, happy and healthy.

What one thing would you change in boxing:

There are not many opportunities for fighters who are just starting out who don’t have the Team GB amateur background. The ticket selling is really hard, and it puts a lot of stress on a fighter. So I guess a little bit of help and more opportunities for those fighters. Also, a lot less YouTube boxing.