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Boxer Bella is Isabelle Madden – a competing fighter and personal trainer from Leamington Spa, UK.

Photo: Craig Addison

Bella was 25 years old when she started boxing as a way to keep her mind occupied after a break-up with her daughter’s father, when she found herself suddenly on her own. Boxing came to her when she lost perspective in life, had no money in her pocket and a lost home. When she took her then toddler for a walk at night to rock her to sleep, she always passed the local boxing gym. One day the coach went out and asked her if she wanted to join the women’s boxing class. Bella gave it a try. In a dark time after a break-up, she slept like a baby after the boxing session for the first time in a long time. Bella then went back every day.

“Never give up”

Looking back, this was the best thing that could have happened to her, Bella resumed. Growing up with a single mother and as one of 4 daughters, Bella knew that times could be tough and that she had to learn to become a fighter in life. Waking up and knowing she could train gave her the focus she needed. Boxing taught her how to achieve things.

Photo: Craig Addison

“It just changed everything from the moment I went in,” Bella says. She found a job, and her daughter Gracie went into nursery or was being looked after in the boxing gym, where she cheered on her mother. Gracie always tells her mum: “Never give up”.

Bella became the first female ambassador for the then young SPARBAR® brand. Growing up with limited funds for sports equipment, she is highly supportive of Sparbar founder Jazz’s activities to help build communities through grass roots gym donations and using boxing as a vehicle to help young people become the best version of themselves.

“I believe boxing found me at just the right time in my life.” 

Bella trained for 12 months solid when her coach started to prepare her for competition. Today she is 34 years old and looks back on 12 fights in which she won medals and twice the title of UK Midland Champion. Bella is building her career as a personal trainer with boxing as a fitness workout. She reports that women love punching and love going on the pads and are proud of themselves for their ability to box. The men she trains respect Bella for her fighting skills.

Photo: Craig Addison

You are an inspiration to many SPARBAR® users. From your perspective and story, in your words, how can boxing, and fitness in general, help people achieve a better life?

I believe boxing found me at just the right time in my life, it taught me and like many others that hard work and dedication can change the outcome of so many things . It will open new doors and teach you so much about yourself . Fitness is a key factor for not only your physical health but mental too. It really will change your life.

Your daughter has witnessed you on your way to becoming the best version of yourself. What personal developments are you particularly proud of?

My personal developments are more than titles or wins; it’s how I can now see myself as a strong independent woman . A role model for my daughter becoming more confident  as my time goes on. I am proud of all the life challenges I’ve been able to overcome.

How did winning your 1st fight change your already more focussed path?

A feeling I will never forget and forever grateful for winning my very first fight. I was such a nervous child growing up and also suffered with anxiety as I got older. If someone had told me I would be getting into a boxing ring at 25 I would never have believed them. I still pinch myself that I ever had the courage to do so . It changed my life.

How do you prepare for a fight?

Lucky for me I love fitness, it’s part of my daily routine and I enjoy training as much as I can . However things have to be stepped up in fight camp. My focus will be purely to prepare for a fight . How the saying goes, no stone unturned . Physically I don’t struggle to prepare for a fight mentally I have struggled with self doubt and lack of confidence. Sometimes that nervous girl comes back. The more times I go through a camp I feel more confident and I grow as a person and boxer.

How are you using the SPARBAR® PRO as part of your fitness routine?

I always use my Sparbar to warm up and switch on. I truly believe the Sparbar is what helped me grow all my fundamentals when learning to box . I felt very fortunate to have access to a Sparbar early on in my training. 

Please briefly introduce your boxing fitness workout routine for personal training.

Skip to warm up followed by rounds on the Sparbar. Onto the punch bags. Pad work. Always finish with ground and core work. 

How can one get in touch with you for personal training?

Please follow my Instagram page @boxerbella_ for all links to personal training and boxing fitness.

Thank you!