the type of script one would expect to find on the desk of a Hollywood
director but Prokick girl Frances Spence is living the life of a
Million Dollar Baby.
The 29-year-old who has fought and beaten cancer, is now planning
to get in to the ring and fight for a future in kickboxing, the
sport she says has saved her life.
Frances has been dabbling in kickboxing for several years but had
her ambitions stalled four year’s ago when it was discovered
she had skin cancer.
Following several operations and a lengthy recovery period, Frances
returned to training at the Prokick Gym in east-Belfast with the
aim on making the grade as a competitive fighter.
But her new lease of life was short-lived when she began to suffer
from severe abdomen pains. The result, a prolapsed womb, forced
her to step out of the ring once more.
The operation needed to repair her womb failed and several weeks
later she was back under the knife and facing yet another lengthy
period of recovery.
“At times I wondered if I was going to be around, never mind
get back into the ring,” she said.
“I suffered from depression because of the operations and
the time I was holed up at home and unable to do anything. The one
thing that kept me going was the belief my coach, Billy Murray,
had in me. He kept on telling me I would make it through the pain
and fight again.”
For Frances. She was hoping to land a fight return at the Ulster
Hall on Billy Murray’s annual Kickmas Box show last month
(December 19). Unfortunately that was not to be, so she wants to
focus on the bill in 2006.
“I need to get the gloves back on a get into action again,”
“There’s nothing like trading punches and kicks and
the atmosphere around the ring. I felt like a champion before I
became ill and I want that feeling back.
“Every now and then I feel down because of the on-going treatment
and trips to the hospital but I am determined not to let anything
beat me, not even my next opponent.”
Murray, a former world champion on four occasions, is amazed at
“To reach the top it takes the greatest dedication any one
person can give. I have had to give up a lot of things to become
a world champion but in hindsight it seems like small sacrifices
compared to Frances Spence’s desire to compete again.
“She is an amazing character, absolutely dedicated to the
sport and to her ambition.
“She is in the gym everyday, helping out, cleaning, office
work and has even helped me on the promotion of the KICKmas BOX
show. She was a great help to me and part of the success from KICKmas
is due to her hard work, she is truly a world champion in my eyes.”
Frances is also hoping to one day earn
a living from her sport as an instructor.
Further information on Irelands biggest kickboxing group call
- 028 9065 1074
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