Sooke News Mirror
Next week Jill Doucet will be returning to school like any other 12-year-old girl would, but what she is getting up to the weekend before is far from typical.
The Sooke boxer is heading to fight in the Beautiful Brawlers All Female Fight in Pacifica, Calif., this weekend against a 12-year-old girl from the U.S.
Conal MacPhee, a retired professional boxer who coaches Doucet in Vancouver, said he and Doucet have been training together for the past few weeks and he believes she is very well prepared for the fight.
“The first thing Jill ever said to me was ‘Hi I’m Jill and I’m going to the Olympics’,” said MacPhee. “I thought, ‘Wow, who’s this kid?’ I was very impressed by her abilities, footwork, movement and focus.”
MacPhee said his predictions for this weekend are that it’s going to be a great fight, and that he and Doucet have been working on a lot of movement techniques to bring a different style of fighting to the ring.
He explained that the girl she is fighting likes to “exchange punches”, so they are working to make sure Doucet “gets in and gets out,” meaning she will throw punches but will dodge what’s coming at her.
“I have a good idea of how this girl fights and we’re not going to have to find her in the ring, she’s going to have to find Jill,” he said. “Jill is very focused, she knows the game plan and she just has to go and execute it.”
Ellen Connor, Doucet’s mother and owner of the Sooke Boxing Club, said she has no problem running Doucet to Vancouver for training because she wants to open as many doors as possible for her daughter.
“If this is truly what she wants to do then why not give her the opportunity?” asked Connor. “How many 12-year-old girls have the ability, desire and belief in themselves to get in that ring. The confidence she has from this will carry throughout her entire life.”
She explained that the doors are opening for girls in boxing, and the work Doucet has been doing with MacPhee has been extremely helpful.
“It’s incredible to see the two of them train together,” said Connor. “You can just see the level of where she’s at.”
Connor said Doucet has been learning a lot of things from MacPhee that most boxers her age wouldn’t.
“Jill is a phenomenal athlete. She has million dollar feet, and she moves like a gazelle,” said MacPhee. “I’ve never seen a male or female with that kind of balance and speed.”
He said her goals and extreme focus is very rare to him, and that people like Doucet are much more than a typical athlete.
“She works very hard, she has all the makings to be not just a Canadian champ but a world champ and she will be one day,” said MacPhee. “I honestly believe that Jill is the future of women’s boxing in this province.”
Doucet wants people to know that being a female boxer doesn’t mean they are butch, or even extremely tough; it means they are an athlete.
“For this weekend I would hopefully like to win and have fun, but my life goal is to go to the Olympics with my best friend who is also a boxer,” she said.
Doucet said she is excited and grateful for her upcoming fight, but is also very nervous. She explained that she has been learning a bunch of new techniques from her coach that help her feel more confident in the ring. Adding that he is great at explaining complicated things to her.
“I am very proud to represent Sooke, B.C. and Canada,” said Doucet. She and her grandmother, Jill Hummerstone, said Doucet has received a ton of support from gyms and people in both Sooke and Vancouver throughout her training.
MacPhee said his only goal for Doucet this weekend is that she fights well, and does the best that she can do.
“The boxing I teach is not your average boxing,” said MacPhee. “Jill is going to have more advanced moves than this girl. Jill is ready to go, and she’s ready to execute. She’s a born fighter.”