AS she enters her second full year as a professional boxer, Rhiannon Dixon was hoping most of her fighting will have been done in the ring by now.

With the pandemic putting a stop to the sport, however, she moved to the front line of the fight against coronavirus.

Her day job as a pharmacist has seen the 25-year-old from Great Sankey spend 2020 working on the Covid wards at Whiston Hospital – not entirely what she had in mind for the year.

Now though, under the tutelage of former world champion Anthony Crolla, she is aiming to put that all behind her and continue building her burgeoning boxing career over the next 12 months.

“I was looking forward to 2020 for building my career but because of lockdown, I had to bring it to a halt and concentrate on my day job,” said Dixon, who has two wins from as many paid fights – the last of which came in December 2019.

“I have changed coaches and am now trained by Anthony Crolla at his gym in Manchester.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully fighting as soon as possible in 2021

“It’s difficult to get a fight at the moment because small hall shows rely on ticket sales to pay for the event, but without having crowds it isn’t feasible.

“I’m hopeful the small hall shows can start in the spring but it depends on restrictions with coronavirus.”

Warrington Guardian: Rhiannon Dixon in trainingRhiannon Dixon in training

Former St Gregory’s High School pupil Dixon fights at lightweight – a division in which every world title belt is currently held by Irish superstar Katie Taylor.

She was progressing up the British rankings before lockdown but when she first walked into the Blundell’s gym in Wigan with the aim of keeping fit, even that seemed fanciful.

“When I was younger I didn’t think of trying boxing – I thought it was for boys,” she said.

“But I hope by putting myself out there more I can inspire young girls to get into the sport and try it out.

“I only found boxing later on in life so didn’t go down the amateur route and turned professional relatively fast.

“I hope I can encourage young girls to try out sports, stay in them and be the next generation of female athletes.

Dixon made history as the first woman to be signed by VIP Boxing Promotions upon she turned professional in 2019.

Indeed she comes from quite the sporting family with other members also aiming for a big 2021 in the world of rugby league.

Rhiannon’s brother Andrew will be aiming for promotion to Super League having signed for Championship big-hitters Toulouse Olympique while brother-in-law Joe Mellor will be back in the top flight this year in the colours of Leigh Centurions.