Taking the law into her ownhands
A £75,000-a-year solicitor has given up her City job to be a boxer. By Craig Silver
LAURA SAPERSTEIN is certainly no Jewish Princess. The 36-year-old lawyer gave up her £75,000 job to train as a boxer.
And in a week’s time, she will realise her dream when she steps into the ring for her first professional bout.
Laura, a 5ft 5in Australian who now lives in Tottenham, North London, became hooked when a boyfriend took her to a fight.
“I sat there with my fingers in my ears wishing everyone would shut up so that I could concentrate. I was overcome by how fit and skilful the boxers were,” she said.
“Another friend dragged me along to a kickboxing lesson, but I got addicted to the punching. I was not too keen about the kicking.”
She began sparring on her family farm with the only opponent she could find — a 6ft-tall boy.
She went on to win 10 amateur fights, the minimum needed to turn professional, and became British Amateur Lightweight Champion.
Now she hopes to combine the sport with her other career as a property developer — she owns 12 flats and has 35 tenants.
Her day begins with an hour-long run and lunch of chicken, salad and rice. Then she is into the gym. “I train from 3pm until 5.30 with the session including skipping, shadow-boxing, technique work, sparring, bags, pads, circuits and sprints.”
She allows herself to a glass of wine in the evening followed by a meal of meat and two veg. “Then I always read an hour before bed by 11pm.”
Although she says she has “lost her Jewish connection”, she was affected by her late father’s experience growing up in South Africa. She said: “He suf- fered terrible antisemitism. I really felt for him having to go through what he did because of his Jewishness, something that profoundly affected his life. I just feel very fortunate that today it is not something that continues to have an impact on people’s lives, at least not in this country.”
Her family were worried when she told them of her career change, but once her mind was made up she “was beyond caring what people think”. But fellow Jewish boxer Roman Greenberg offered advice and encouraged her to keep in touch with the community.
Now unattached, she insists she is not looking for a partner. “To be honest, over the past year, I would not have wanted to inflict my flat-out lifestyle on anyone,” she said.
“Boxing is the most satisfying thing I have ever done. I know the big bucks are in America, and while I would like to fight there, I love London and it is my home now.
“My extreme determination and willingness to work are my biggest qualities. There is no substitute for hard work. Talent may get you noticed for a while, but without commitment and creativity it will not take you to the top.
“I’d like to become a role model for all women, especially those who may be afraid to break out of a mould. I would like women to realise how powerful they can be if they dedicate themselves to something that interests them. ”
Her professional debut will be at Tooting Leisure Centre in South London on November 18.
From this: Laura gave up the City...
To this: ...for the boxing ring, where she won all her ten amateur bouts