Chloe Watson can still remember the exact moment when she knew boxing was a hobby that she wanted to turn into her profession.
Watson returns to the ring on Friday night to take on Romina Sosa at the University of Bolton Stadium. The bout will take place on the undercard of Lyndon Arthur’s world title clash against Braian Nahuel Suarez.
The Birkenhead boxer, who trains under the former light-welterweight and welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton, will be hoping to secure win number five in the paid ranks.
READ MORE: Eddie Hearn provides Callum Smith update and makes Artur Beterbiev WBC title prediction
READ MORE: Claressa Shields makes offer to Natasha Jonas as summer UK super fight targeted
Her professional debut came at the York Hall back in November 2021, but her boxing journey goes much further than that night in the capital.
And it was during the early days of her amateur career when she was paid a visit by one of the biggest names in boxing at the minute. The meeting, and the conversation that followed, would set Watson on the path she remains on today.
“Natasha Jonas was a big part of my journey,” she tells the ECHO. “She went to the same high school as me [Weatherhead in Wallasey] and I didn’t know.
“All the teachers were asking me what I wanted to do when I was older and my answer was a boxer.
“And as I started to fight and take things more seriously, like dieting, they actually brought Natasha Jonas into the school to speak to me - and that is when I started to get serious about it.
“Back then I was looking to get on the England team, progress on to GB and she was a Team GB member and she was preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
“So for her to come in and speak to me about the position she was in, it really helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to do.
“I set eyes on a path I want to go down and that is what I did. That [talk] helped me to get where I am today and it is going to help me moving forward.”
Long gone are the days where women's boxing was cast to the side. It is now under the spotlight and driving more conversation and the agenda than ever before.
“We have got amazing women, Natasha Jonas, Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor, all these women who are not afraid to box anyone,” Watson says when asked about the rise of women’s boxing.
“They are not afraid to risk it all. They are showing how it should be done. It is what I look up to and it is something that I want to do.”
A two-time national amateur champion and Youth Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Watson joined Wasserman Boxing, her promotional company, back in July 2021.
Like all promotional companies in boxing, Wasserman has a broadcast partner. But unlike the others, the organisation is with free-to-air Channel 5.
It means millions of people across the country have the chance to watch Watson in action for free. But fame is still something she is getting used to.
“After the last couple of fights, taking the dog for a walk and stuff, people will stop me and say that they saw me box,” she tells the ECHO laughing.
“I get a bit confused that they know who I am. When I have my braids in [when I fight] I feel like I'm a completely different person. I do get stopped a bit and it just motivates me.”
And when asked what the plan is for this year, Watson replies: “This will be another six rounder and then I will look to move to eight and then push on to 10. This year I will definitely be looking to fight for some titles.
"It is something that I have in my mind now when it comes to taking the next steps. I feel like that step is going to come very soon, at the back end of this year.”
*Watch Lyndon Arthur’s world title fight live and for free on Channel 5 on Friday from 10pm
Claressa Shields makes offer to Natasha Jonas as summer UK super fight targeted
Joe Gallagher drops huge Natasha Jonas vs Claressa Shields hint
Grand plans underway as Merseyside Former Boxers’ Association celebrate golden anniversary
Jazza Dickens tells Leigh Wood to 'put up or shut up' and outlines vision to inspire the next generation