Denise Castle, a British boxer, will compete in Bangkok on Thursday with the hopes of winning a belt and demonstrating that age is no obstacle to success.
Castle, a 51-year-old boxer from Bournemouth in southern England, has never competed at home since the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has repeatedly rejected her requests for a license.
She asserts that the refusal of her petitions at the ages of 41, 44, and 50 was due to age discrimination, despite the fact that several other nations were willing to provide her a license and the WBC had already given her four approvals for title matches.
Thursday’s fight for her most recent title pits her against Sana Hazuki of Japan for the WBC silver atomweight title at the Spaceplus arena in RCA.
Castle will box in Thailand for the fourth time, but before moving to the Queensberry code, she was already well-known in the Muay Thai community under the name Denise Onesongchaigym, having won the S1 and WBC championships over the course of an eight-year, 17-fight career.
After the latter title victory, Castle became a mandatory candidate for the WBC’s atomweight (102 lb/46.3 kg) title in boxing.
Castle believed that her experience in combat sports and the support of the WBC would be enough to get her a license with the BBBofC, but when she was interviewed in 2013, she was initially treated with skepticism.
The BBBofC invited Castle to participate in a “test spar” since they did not deem her Muay Thai experience appropriate.
This, however, could not be done in time for Castle’s fight with the then-WBC champion Momo Koseki due to a lack of British boxers competing in the sport’s lightest weight division.
Instead, Castle obtained a Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) license when the organization’s requirements regarding her health and Muay Thai background were met.
Castle began her boxing career in the West with two stoppage wins in Thailand in 2014 before losing to Koseki in the subsequent fight.
When she defeated Sutthinee Bamrungpao in Bangkok in 2019 to earn the WIBA world title, she continued her knockout streak during her last trip to the Kingdom.
Castle now plans to keep going unbeaten in Thailand.
shot at the global championship
If she defeats Hazuki, she may be given the opportunity to compete for another world championship, possibly against Fabiana Bytyqi, who defeated Castle in 2018 for the WBC title.
This would strengthen her case that boxing licensing should be based on individual merit rather than age, making her the oldest boxer of either gender to compete in a major world championship.
Castle claims that in addition to her background in the ring, the fact that she teaches physical education at a high school means she is aware of the limits of her body.
She claimed, “I can safely maintain my fitness through my profession.” “I know what to avoid doing, as well as how to be wise and flexible.”
She has also competed in boxing in Thailand, Japan, the UAE, and the Czech Republic, and she has passed the necessary medical exams.
Castle is competing at a time when the majority of fighters have long since retired, but Highland Boxing promoter Brico Santig sees no problem with it.
Santig declared, “I’ve previously promoted Denise, and I’m pleased with that.”
“Most importantly, she has received the required medical clearance from the WBC.
He continued, “For Sana Hazuki, this is really a tough fight,” referring to Castle’s opponent, who is 38 years old, is ranked No. 9 in the world by BoxRec, and is coming off a stunning knockout victory over the unbeaten Thai Watcharaporn Namphon in April.
“It’s a 50/50 game and a really thrilling game.”
Most onlookers would consider Castle to be the underdog in this bout, but she feels confident for a variety of reasons, including the setting.
Castle is at least welcomed in her “second home” even though her dream of competing in her own UK remains unreachable.
“I love Thailand and its people,” she exclaimed.
“I have always considered it an honor to compete in Thailand, dating back to my Muay Thai days.
“I’ve always fought well there, and it seems like my second home. It’s a positive sign that I haven’t lost a fight in Thailand’s boxing scene.
AX Media will be there at the Main event to cheer Denise on, and we wish all the other fights good luck.
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