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Redfern faces a very different kind of encounter in a Liverpool ring

THE Inverness boxer Lorna Redfern will confront Kirsty Hill in front of an 11,000 capacity crowd at Liverpool's Echo Arena this evening at the ABA Championships and not so much as blink.

Having eyeballed the Taliban during two tours of duty in notorious Helmand Province, it would take much more than a partisan Merseyside audience to faze the 27-year-old ex-Royal Artillery gunner and physical training instructor.

Lorna, daughter of the legendary Highland trainer Laurie Redfern, was the lone Scot chosen to compete in the inaugural "Diamonds in the Ring" tournament for the top female fighters in the country.

The petite bantamweight with a 10-8 record is keen to play down her encounters with insurgents in Afghanistan, explaining that her role was mainly to establish a rapport with local women and children.

But she admitted: "There were a few dodgy moments when we came under fire and shots were exchanged in various little encounters. But the scariest times were when our base came under rocket attack. So I suppose stepping into a boxing ring is a lot less daunting. I am certainly not fazed by it. In fact, I am very much up for this fight and looking forward to enjoying the occasion.

"I take my passion for boxing from my dad. For as far back as I can remember I have been around boxing gyms. They are my comfort zone and I recall washing out gum shields and handing them to my dad in the ring when I was eight-years-old."

Lorna, also an accomplished horse woman, is, however, a tad concerned that she has not fought competitively for six months. "That will make this fight even more of a challenge," she admitted. "My opponent won gold in a recent championship in Sweden so I expect her to be tough.

"It may not be the biggest fight of my career, as I boxed in the finals of the ABA Championships, but it will be the biggest crowd I've fought in front with the England Boxing Elite quarters, semis and finals taking place over the weekend."

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