Sylvia's a champ in the school of hard knocks

Sylvia Scharper will fight for the Australian bantamweight title in May. 119108 Picture: LAUREN BROWN


FOOTSCRAY fighter Sylvia Scharper is busy preparing for her upcoming Australian bantamweight title bout against Queensland’s Kori Farr at a time women’s boxing has taken great strides.
The 31-year-old turned professional two years ago after establishing herself in Thai boxing and has since remained undefeated in three fights, winning two and drawing one.
The proud step-mother has to juggle looking after her two step-kids with six days of training a week and once you’ve thrown in her three dogs, two cats, bird and freelance writing gig – Scharper knows a national title would be worth all the effort.
“It’s pretty hard,” she admitted.
“I started in Thai boxing and then I found Dave Hegarty down at Tarneit Boxing to help with my hand-work.
“I never thought I would get to the stage to actually box, let alone pro box and Dave thought I had what it took to jump into pro boxing so I had a very short amateur career of one fight and then went to pro boxing.
“I’ve had quite a few Thai fights and been in the ring a long time but in terms of boxing, this is just the start.”
Scharper takes on Farr as part of Jake Ellis’ third Once Upon a Time in Sunshine promotion at the Italia Club on 30 May.
“She’s got an extensive amateur career and represented Australia in many countries,” Ellis said of Farr.
“She hasn’t got an extensive professional career because I know for a fact she was just planning to stay in the amateurs and she’s pretty much come out of retirement for this fight due to her national title being on the line.”
Scharper is well aware she’s relatively new to the professional circuit but does feel she has improved enough to contend for the belt.
“In the first fights I think just being in the ring and being tough got me through but in the last fight I wanted to show that I could actually box and put combos together and I think I did that so I look forward to stepping it up another level again,” she said.
“I’m always looking to improve and obviously with that belt on the line it makes you that little bit hungrier.”

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