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The Void – BBC to air interesting documentary exploring the toughest fight for boxers – retirement

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In recent months we have seen the retirement of one of the best Irish fighters to do it when Paddy Barnes hung up the gloves after a stellar career in the amateur and professional ranks.

However, far away from the bright lights of the Olympics and World Title challenges, boxers at all levels face the same agonising decision when it comes to calling time on their careers in the ring.

A journey of one such transition has been documented by Sideline Films – following female Holy Trinity amateur boxer, Louise Welsh, in a new BBC short documentary, The Void.

The Void follows the boxer as she faces her toughest fight – stepping away from the ring and adjusting to life after boxing. This short documentary takes an in depth look at the challenges Welsh faced after hanging up the gloves- the void left from no longer competing and some of the lasting effects the fight game has left imprinted on her forever.

It is the toughest period of every fighter’s career and one that has never been documented in such a personal and open access fashion.

Welsh proves to be entirely candid, openly talking about how difficult walking away is. The film features some emotional moments; Louise tells her coach, and father, that she is retiring after spending 15 years in the boxing gym, and there is some deep soul searching as she tries to find the answer to the relatable question ‘how do you walk away from a life long love?’

Interestingly, a soon-to-be husband and wife team made the documentary with Louise, in front of the camera, and director Ally McKenzie behind the camera.

“I would always tell Ally how I feel, especially going through some of the tougher times of accepting I was no longer competing,’ explained Welsh.

“It was just a little bit more awkward when there was a camera pointing at me. But I feel it is an important part of a fighter’s career that needed to be seen, and to know that no matter what level you’re at, you still feel the pain of missing it.”

The Void is set for release on Friday January 10th on BBC iPlayer with a television broadcast set for the end of the month.

It’s the second boxing documentary to get air serious air time this week after Prizefighter, the documentary about Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan was aired on Virgin TV on Wednesday.

Watch The Void HERE


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com