Megan Gordon’s reputation precedes her down the mean streets of Elgin. “I was even out with my mates a few weeks ago and people were going ‘fight me’.” Fortunately for the foolhardy and the brave, the pugilistic prospect is no Raging Bull. “It’s probably better for them I walked away,” she laughs. Astute to pull the punches until points are up for grabs.
Which they will be when the Commonwealth Youth Games begin this week in the Bahamas when the 17-year-old becomes Scotland’s first-ever female representative in the sport. Training six times per week, she left school two summers ago to immerse herself in her craft, working as a waitress to support her bid to progress beyond the Caribbean and onward to a spot at a future Olympics.
Boxing is in the blood. Her father Paul, now her coach, represented the Royal Air Force. But he was reluctant to let his daughter follow him into the ring.
“I had to keep pestering him until he finally went ‘if you come and train every day, I’ll let you box’. So now I’ve been at it for about five and half years.
“I remember seeing a little blonde boy fight and he didn’t seem much bigger than me. I thought ‘I can do that.’ I was hanging around the club and it just felt like this was something I’d want to do.”
The lads there have felt the force of her impact. Inevitable when female competition is thin on the ground within Scotland. It has meant long-distance training trips to British Boxing’s base in Sheffield to get a proper benchmark. A toil but also a boon for the chance to train beside the trailblazer for women’s fighters, the Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, and Gordon’s true hero, the world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
“I met them both when I was down for a GB camp,” she says. “They’re both genuine people. You’d think they’d be these big stars with their own worlds but they still have time for people who are coming up.” One day, she could be in their shoes.