WATCH: Girls step into ring for mixed martial arts

WHILE Californian UFC superstar Ronda Rousey may be inspiring a whole new generation of female fighters, one Coast boxing identity reckons combat-sports fever has already struck the region's fairer sex.

Rob Stimson has boxing in his blood. The veteran coach, who operates out of Extreme Boxing Gym at Warana, has been in and out of the ring for more than 50 years, and he knows what it takes to become proficient in the pugilistic art.

He says the past few years have seen an huge increase in the number of women looking to take up both boxing and mixed martial arts.

"Since the last Olympics where they allowed girls to fight, they seemed to have come out of the woodwork," Mr Stimson said.

Mr Stimson has coached Olympians, title fighters, and having worked with men for decades, has finally turned his hand to coaching women.

"I really like training them, they're smart, smarter than blokes," he said with a laugh.

"I get a lot of girls from the fitness college at Mountain Creek come and join."

Coach Rob Stimson with Kristy Koda, Isabelle Ewing, Franzi Stahn and Karasha Smith at Extreme Boxing Gym in Warana.
Coach Rob Stimson with Kristy Koda, Isabelle Ewing, Franzi Stahn and Karasha Smith at Extreme Boxing Gym in Warana.

Mr Stimson has found a niche market, welcoming in a number of international fighters, young woman travelling around the world, to study and push themselves in the ring.

"The Swedish and the Russian girls, at 22, 23, they've seen so much life," he said.

"They're sick of training, they just want to be fit and fight."

One of his current crop of fighters is 22-year-old Swede Isabelle Ewing.

Currently studying a Diploma of Fitness on the Coast, Ms Ewing is working hard at the gym, as she prepared to feature on a 20-fight, all-female card on the Gold Coast on May 31.

Amazingly, after only three weeks of training in the sport, Ms Ewing won her first bout, and said it only encouraged her to strive as far as she could in the age-old sport.

"It has been seen as a sport that only men can perform, but I think women are just as suited to the sport, if not better suited," she said.

Determined to spend as long as possible in the country she loves after she completes her qualifications to become a personal trainer, Ms Ewing was clear when asked what her goals were.

"To win a title fight, that's how all the other Swedish girls that have come to train under Bob (Stimson) have gone," she said.

"Since I was little I've always wanted to box... I love the challenge, there's always this inner hunger."

Mr Stimson praised the way women were taken care of within the sport, and admitted that while parents were hesitant at first, they soon saw how beneficial boxing could be for their daughters.

"They (girls) have more hassles, more than a bloke and more frustrations growing up and it's (boxing) a real release for them," he said.

"It's more than them wanting to be better than a boy or anything like that... it's the best release I've seen for pressures that the girls go through.

"Once I know where their fury is coming from, I can channel that in the right way."



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