A TALENTED teenager who says she turns ‘fear into fire’ has bagged her fourth national boxing title after training in the sport for only three years.

Georgia O’Connor won the England Boxing Youth Championships on Sunday, after previously taking three junior national titles.

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The 17-year-old fought through three three-minute rounds before she was crowned champion at the competition in Rotherham.

Her opponent, coincidentally from Darlington, was also her opponent for her first ever boxing match when she was 14-years-old.

She said: “I was quite confident that I had won but when you’re waiting with the referee there’s always a chance they might have gone the other way.

“When they hold your arm up it’s like all of your hard work has paid off.

“I’ve been fighting all of my life, my Dad had a pair of boxing gloves on me as soon as I could walk.

“I started Taekwondo when I was four-years-old and competed in around eighty fights but I got bored of it so switched to boxing when I was 14.”

Georgia now trains six days a week at Seconds Out Boxing Club, Ferryhill, with coach Paul Eddy and her father, John O’Connor.

Mr Eddy said: “I am immensely proud of Georgia, she hasn’t been with us for very long and it’s fantastic to be able to take somebody of her ability to compete at a national level.

“Georgia is incredibly focused and hard-working and she sets a brilliant example to the other club members. She is very well-liked and I know she will continue to be successful.”

Georgia, of Spennymoor, studies law at Durham Sixth Form, and won The Northern Echo’s Local Heroes Award for Most Promising New Talent in 2008.

She is now training for the Tri-Nations Championships in April and the European Championships in May.

The 5ft 10” boxer is now also in the running to represent England at the Youth Commonwealth Championships held in the Bahamas later this year.

She added: “I love the travelling part of boxing and have been to Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and Sweden competing.

“I still get nervous before a match, I think everyone does, but I turn it into energy, I turn fear into fire.”

Georgia’s mother, Vicki Williams, said: “It’s just as nerve wracking for me now as it was when she competed in her first match.

“I can’t eat until after she has fought.

“Georgia makes us so proud, I see all of the hard work she puts in every day and the sacrifices she makes.

“She trains all of the time and sometimes she is up at six in the morning.

“When you see them hold her arm up you realise it’s all worth it. She really deserves it.”

Seconds Out Boxing Academy, based in Ferryhill Community Hub, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 2pm and from 5pm to 7pm.