A TEENAGE boxer has her sights on the Olympics after becoming the English National Champion, winning two titles in seven days.

Paige Howarth, from Westhoughton, first won the MTK Global Box Championships in Cumbria, stopping her opponent in the semis before a unanimous win in the final.

The 16-year-old won the English Nationals seven days later and is now aiming for the Olympics before turning pro.

Fighting as a featherweight, Paige said: “Going into the MTK Global Box Cup I was nervous but also extremely excited for the chance to compete at such a large event so early in my career. I knew I had a very good, experienced opponent in my final.

“After my first ever national title and belt I was lost for words. All the hard work had finally paid off, the constant commitment during lockdown and pure dedication to the sport I love.”

Paige travels for an hour each day to get to her gym, Clayton ABC, near Accrington, where she trains with coach Ellis Nuttal.

She added: “Everyone who knows me would agree I’m very chatty and bubbly, especially when attending events such as nationals. I embrace and enjoy every aspect of boxing. But as soon as I step into the ring my mind is completely focused on winning.”

The ex-Westhoughton High student now attends the Joe Gallagher Academy in Manchester, learning about the science of boxing.

Mum Dawn Janciauskas said: “It’s nerve-wracking but I’m so proud of her because she’s done all of this within two years of starting out as a boxer. Even in lockdown she kept going and was motivated. Now it’s all paying off.”

Her stepdad, show-jumper Donny Janciauskas, got Paige got into boxing to increase her self-confidence and work on her fitness.

Paige said: “My main goals would to be as an amateur to win multiple national and European titles and to represent GB at multiple competitions. My ultimate goal as an amateur would be to win an Olympic gold medal and as a professional, I would love to become a multiple weight world champion.”

She previously won gold at the Riveria Box Cup in Torquay in August.

Paige, who fights again on December 12 in Clayton, is inspired by Savannah Marshall, Katie Taylor and Aleksandr Usyk, who recently beat Anthony Joshua.