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Skye Nicolson: Future Undisputed World Champion

Skye Nicolson: Future Undisputed World Champion

Signet is in Yatala Queensland, sweating buckets as we square off with Aussie boxing star, Skye Nicolson in the ring. It’s a hellish thirty-eight degrees inside Skye’s family boxing gym, but we’ve got an ice-cold sweat standing opposite the featherweight world champion. As Skye takes a break from training and steps out of the ring, we pass her a towel and catch up on the last three years, her move to a professional career, the support of her fans and her preparations on the verge of an undisputed world title fight.  

It’s July 2021 and Skye Nicolson’s heart is broken as she loses her quarterfinal bout at the Tokyo Games. It was Australia’s first chance at a boxing medal in over thirty years, and Skye narrowly missed out due to a controversial split decision. In her post-bout interview, a devastated and teary Skye expressed how much the fight had meant to her and apologised to her supporters saying, “Sorry I didn’t get the job done.” Skye’s heart-breaking reaction to her loss was beamed across every news bulletin in Australia. Although Skye felt she had let everybody down, her vulnerability had won the hearts of the nation, and the Australian public showered her with support. She vowed to return to boxing and prove what she knew she was capable of – “It's definitely not the end, I'm going to take some time and see what happens next”. 

Upon returning home, instead of reconnecting with family and enjoying a well-deserved break after the fight, Skye was confined to mandatory hotel quarantine. To overcome the boredom, she took to sharing her daily routine with her fans on Instagram and the (not so great) isolation meals. In response, Skye’s fans (Signet included) showered her with goodies to try and help with the isolation. The sheer number of deliveries exceeded anything she could have imagined or even eaten. It reached a point where the amount of hot food, desserts and care packages sent to her room, became a challenge for the hotel staff. As a result, her media narrative shifted from "Star's heartbreak after loss" to "Aussie Boxer's Instagram post causes hotel chaos." It was clear how popular Skye had become and how much support she had gained in her home country. 

Skye Nicolson Jarring at cameraSkye Nicolson Jarring at camera

After doing some soul searching in the following months, Skye made the tough decision to turn her back on an amateur career (and her Olympic dream) for the benefit of knowing she could try and take on the world’s best with a professional career. She had let go of her old dreams in hope of chasing something even bigger. Skye relocated to the UK and set about establishing herself in the pro boxing scene. The move skyrocketed (pun intended) her to new heights starting her career with an impressive 9-0, undefeated and a strong chance at the undisputed world title shot. 

“I turned professional in March of 2022, following Tokyo in 2021. My debut took place in San Diego, California. For an Australian fighter to be making their professional debut in the United States is already a really big achievement. I challenged a local San Diego girl - she was undefeated as well, and I had a comfortable win. It was the start of my new career and journey. It’s been a whirlwind since. I'm 9-0 now and for the big number 10, it's a world title shot. I've been dreaming of this moment since I took that first leap in signing a professional contract.” 

Skye Nicolson Collage of training imagesSkye Nicolson Collage of training images

For fight number ten, the seemingly unstoppable Skye was slated to go up against the undisputed Puerto Rican champion, Amanda Serrano. Unfortunately, the former champion decided to relinquish the title following a dispute with the World Boxing Council. Boxing pundits suggested Serrano could see the potential of losing to an in-form Nicolson and would rather relinquish the title without the embarrassment of a loss. Although disappointed, Skye has now found herself a new challenger, and prepares to face Denmark’s Sarah Mahfoud for the vacant title.  

“I'm fighting a very good opponent from Denmark. This is the first step towards becoming the undisputed champion of the world. I've got belts to collect, and this is going to be the first of many.” 

Skye hopes that an Australian woman holding a boxing world title could help grow the support for women's boxing in Australia, much like the Matilda’s efforts did for women’s football with the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“I want to do for boxing what the Matilda’s did for women’s football in Australia. I want to prove that girls can do anything they set their mind to. That they can be amazing at anything. I was just a little girl from Queensland who had big dreams, and I've chased them, and I'm so close now to achieving everything I ever thought could ever be possible. I have so many ‘pinch me’ moments where I just can't believe this is my life, but with hard work and dedication, I feel like girls need to know that they really, truly can achieve anything.” 

Skye Nicolson Training with punching bagSkye Nicolson Training with punching bag

As Skye continues to chase her dreams, she embraces her status of Aussie role model and the face of women’s boxing. “It's so special to me. I get to inspire the next generation of Australian girls and be the face of women’s boxing. We’re really putting Australia on the map every time I get to fight, and my ultimate goal is to bring big fights to home soil and to have these amazing world title fights here for the Australian fans.” 

“I think it's so important for Australian grown brands to support Australian athletes. Especially ones that have done it from the ground up. Signet was behind me when I was chasing my amateur dream and now, they are there for my pro boxing career. It’s important to know you’ve got people who have your back when you’re going into the ring.” 

Signet is proud to support Skye Nicolson as a member of Team Signet. Join us as we get behind her, the rest of the team, and over 60,000 other Aussie businesses all chasing their own dreams.  

Read on to find out more about Skye.  

Signet: Growing up in Yatala in a boxing legacy family, how did that environment shape you? What were the challenges and joys of your childhood?   

Skye: I grew up around boxing, I was always at boxing tournaments every weekend even before I could walk. I didn't always see a lot of girls boxing, so it wasn't really something I ever saw myself doing, but once I started, I just fell in love with the sport and never looked back.  

Skye Nicolson front on Jarring with cameraSkye Nicolson front on Jarring with camera

Signet: What advice would you give to young Aussie girls aspiring to one day become a professional boxer?   

Skye: I think my biggest advice is find something you love. I think that's the most important. Set your goals around something that you love, something that you are passionate about, because that's what's going to get you up in the morning to go out and chase those dreams, chase those goals. If you find something you love, stick to it, work hard, it's not going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. There's going to be hard times, there's going to be setbacks, there's going to be days where it's harder and you don't feel like doing it, but those are the days where you push on because it's what you love. I think that's important, and I'm glad I found what I loved at such a young age and could really chase it...pursue it. I think everyone has their thing out there, whatever it is. It might not necessarily be boxing, it might not necessarily be a sport, but whatever you're passionate about, chase your dreams and chase those goals, I believe anything is possible and you should too.  

Signet: As a boxer, what do you consider your greatest strengths?  

Skye: I think my greatest strength is my confidence, I back myself a hundred percent. I go into every fight so confident that there's no way this person can beat me, that they start to doubt themselves. It's something that I kind of learned to develop. I didn't always have the greatest self-confidence, but I believed in myself and believed in the hard training and the hard work that I put in. I could go into the fights knowing that I had done absolutely everything possible to be the best version of myself. I learnt that the best possible version of myself is very, very hard to beat. So, for me, I think my biggest strength would definitely be my confidence.  

Signet: Dealing with popularity often brings trolls and haters. How do you handle negativity on social media?   

Skye: The negative comments and trolls on my social media are something I've had to learn to deal with, especially since my audience has gotten a lot bigger turning professional and boxing worldwide. There are a lot more eyes on me now, not just when I box, but also in my day-to-day life on social media, everything's watched, everything's criticised. I learned that it comes with the job, but it doesn't make it okay. I have learned that there are always going to be negative comments out there and it is something that you have to ignore. I don't read everything anymore on social media. That was a big lesson for me, I kind of just post and log off a lot of the time. For every 100 positive messages or comments, there'll be one negative message or comment saying something like “She’s just an Instagram boxer”. That's the one that sticks out to you, which is really sad. I do try to just focus on the amazing support and love that I get from around the world. I've got so many loyal fans, friends and supporters out there, so that, for me, is what I choose to focus on now.  

Skye Nicolson retro weigh in posterSkye Nicolson retro weigh in poster

Signet: How do you prepare yourself physically and mentally for a fight? Beyond your training routines, what practices or rituals do you follow?   

Skye: For me, my mental preparation relies on my physical preparation. I can be so mentally strong and confident knowing that I've done the hard work in the gym. I've put in all the work physically, so that I can be mentally prepared for anything else. I know that I've done the hard work, I know I'm physically fit and able to go out there and do the job...complete the task at hand. I don't like to have rituals as such, I feel like I went through a little bit of a phase where I had things that I felt I had to do before every fight and there's so many unknowns out there and things that are a little bit out of your control. So, if you let those things take over your mental toughness, it makes it very hard to go into a fight clearheaded if things haven't exactly panned out the way you wanted them to with pre-fight rituals. I do have a little bit of a routine that I like to stick to, especially in fight week and on fight day. I try to keep things very similar to what I would do on a week-to-week basis in my training so that everything's quite familiar and comfortable for me.  I try to stay away from thoughts like ‘I didn't wear the right socks, so I'm not going to win.’ I try to stay away from all that now and just focus on controlling what I can. 

Signet: Can you share a particularly memorable fight from your career and the lessons you learned from it?  

Skye: One that sticks out would've been my fight in Mexico. Not my last fight just gone, but the fight before. It was my eighth professional fight, I was fighting for the interim world title, and I think I had probably the best fight of my career, maybe even the best fight of my life. Everything worked and I'd had such a good camp, I was just feeling on top of the world with my performance. Unfortunately, in the last ten seconds of the tenth round, my opponent's trainer, who was also her husband of 18 years, suddenly died. It just brought everything into perspective for me, it was very hard to deal with. I couldn't feel happy about my win or excited. I couldn't celebrate. For me, it just reiterated that you never know when the last time is that you'll see someone, when the last breath is that you'll take and how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken from you. You can be at the highest of highs and something can happen and change in a split second. For me, that was a sad moment, but also a moment that made me realise just how precious life is and how grateful you have to be for every day and the people around you.  

Skye Nicolson Catching Her BreathSkye Nicolson Catching Her Breath