Such is Niamh Mitchell’s youth, she can’t remember the days when women’s boxing was illegal on these shores.

She didn’t avoid the bad old days of women stepping into a boxing ring being considered an abomination by much, however.

Women’s boxing had been legal for less than a decade when Mitchell was born in 2006 but during the course of her short lifetime, it’s gone from a pursuit frowned upon by the vast majority to a sport which sees its athletes headline the biggest venues, earn millions of dollars and become household names.

It would be easy to assume that Mitchell, therefore, has dodged the obstacles that were commonplace for the first wave of female fighters.

However, that’s far from the case.

It’s taken until the past few years for Mitchell to feel that as a female, she’s been fully accepted in her sport.

“The change I’ve seen in boxing in the past three-and-a-half years is unbelievable,” the 16-year-old says.

“I feel like female boxing has taken a huge step forward just over these last few years.

“When I first started boxing, an event like the Scottish Championships had hardly any girls entered whereas now, there’s loads of entries so it really shows that recently, the sport has grown so much.

“I also think girls boxing is becoming so much more normalised. When I started going to my boxing gym, I was the only girl but now, we have a good few beginner girls joining every week so it’s brilliant to see the numbers going up like that.”

Such is the progress of women’s boxing both globally and specifically, within Scotland, history will be made today.

This evening, the first-ever all-female boxing show in Scotland will take place, and Mitchell is the star attraction.

The Herald: Niamh Mitchell in actionNiamh Mitchell in action (Image: Gordon Terris)

Her headline status is due, in the main, to the European Junior title she won last October, becoming the first female boxer to win gold for Scotland at a major international boxing competition.

Her gold medal six months ago, which was quickly followed by a raft of awards, including being crowned Young Athlete of the Year at the Scottish Sports Awards, transformed Mitchell from someone entirely unknown outside the world of boxing to a widely recognised name within Scottish sport.

It has, she admits, been a year that even in her wildest dreams she could never have predicted.

“The past year has felt longer than twelve months because I’ve achieved so much in a very short space of time and really, it’s just felt crazy,” she says.

“It feels really surreal for me to be in this position. I always looked at the girls in the Scotland team and think it was amazing that they were going to the European Championships.

“When I got the opportunity myself, it was really exciting – I’d never have thought I’d even been there, never mind win it.

“I had tough opponents right through the tournament but the night before the final, I was lying in bed thinking how surreal it all was. But the day of the fight, I told everyone I was going to win it.

“When I did get the gold, I was on such a high for weeks. And even still, any time I think about it, I feel like that.”

Mitchell began her sporting career as a kickboxer, primarily to counter being bullied.

However, what started as a form of self-defence led to her uncovering her remarkable talent.

At the age of 13, she moved away from kickboxing and began boxing at her local club, Bowhill Miners Boxing Club in Lochgelly, which is where this evening’s all-female show will take place.

With Mitchell the star attraction, Scotland will face Canada tonight, with 15 bouts scheduled in what is, admits the teenager, a remarkable demonstration of the strength of women’s boxing in this country.

“This all-female show is amazing,” she says.

“When I began boxing, there was only a handful of well-known female boxers in Scotland and now, we’ve got a whole show of female boxers from this country. It’s unbelievable.”

Mitchell, who will sit her Highers next month, may still have a good few years remaining in the amateur ranks but already, she’s allowed her mind to wander to the heights she may, ultimately, scale.

With Scotland already boasting a female world champion in the shape of Hannah Rankin, Mitchell admits she has designs on emulating the 32-year-old’s achievements, as well as perhaps ticking off a few more on her way to the very top.

“It’s a really big deal having a Scottish female world champion – I feel like Hannah’s someone to really look up to,” she says.

“It also makes it seem more achievable for me. I really think whatever I can put my mind to, I can achieve it.

“Longer-term, I’d love to go to the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, and then turn professional – I really would love to make it that far.

“I feel like I’ve got so many opportunities in front of me so I just need to make sure I keep my head down, keep working hard and stay focused.”