An NHS nurse who cares for patients by day enjoys nothing more than inflicting injuries by night – when she fights as a top female BOXER.
Tomboy Claire Johnson, 26, spends her days working shifts as an intensive care nurse treating casualties and saving lives at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital.
But come the evenings she swaps her surgical smock for boxing gloves to batter opponents around the ring as her alter ego – ‘Two Tough’ Sister Johnson.
And even though Claire says her medical career means she is aware of the risks associated with boxing – she still tries to knock out her opponent every time.
The tough-talking medic said: “It is a concern because I know the physiological complications that can occur.
“It doesn’t mean I will go easy on anybody though.
“And I like to take a risk – life is for living.
“I will always try and knock out my opponent, otherwise it will be me flat out on the canvas.
“When I was growing up, I was always doing sport. I was one of the tomboys, so the sport suits me fine.
“I can anaesthetise people with my jabs in both senses of the word – during the day and at night.”
Claire, who lives in Kings Heath, Birmingham, was bitten by the boxing bug two years ago when she went to former pro Malcolm Melvin’s gym for fitness training.
After sessions of body sparring and gruelling work-outs she was hooked on the sport and is now battling to become one of the UK’s top female boxers.
She has won three out of her four amateur fights for Celtic Union Boxing Club at Birmingham’s Irish Centre.
However, she narrowly lost her biggest bout against Cindy ‘Come And Get Some’ Payne for the title of Birmingham’s top lady boxer on Saturday (7/9).
It was the second time Claire and tattooed Cindy had swapped blows after their first battle ended in a draw.
But Claire thinks she did enough for the win during the four-round fight.
She added: “So many of my colleagues from intensive care were in the crowd, I don’t know how anyone didn’t get treated.
“I found the fight easy and was quite shocked by the decision.
“There were things I’d do differently, but I did what I thought was best.
“But I can’t change the result.
“Some of the world’s best boxers lose sometimes.”
One notable absentee at ringside for Claire’s bout at the weekend was her boyfriend who can’t bare to watch her fights.
She added: “He couldn’t watch. He doesn’t know me like that, which is understandable.
“He just didn’t know how to take someone hitting me.
“My dad came to support me, but I think he found it very difficult to watch as well.”
Claire is also hoping to use her boxing experience to branch out as a personal trainer and become a fitness model.