Courtney yearns for world title
RACHEL Ross was tired with bullies taunting her daughter Courtney Rainbow.
So she did something about it.
The Takura mother-of-three signed her up to a Muay Thai class to help her build self-esteem.
She never thought she would be a contender for a world title.
"I thought she needed to start something that would help her stand up for herself," she said.
"She learnt pretty quickly."
Rainbow was a scrawny, quiet and shy girl with a clear lack of confidence. She was an easy target for bullies.
But Muay Thai became a turning point in Rainbow's life.
Now 16, the affable teenager trains six days a week at Street Smart Thai Boxing Centre in Urangan under the tutelage of her long-time coach Craig Glover.
"I really love it, we're all a big family down at the gym and everyone is so nice," she said.
Rainbow is an unassuming kid.
With her long blonde hair, infectious smile and a surname that doesn't strike fear into the hearts of opposition, she struggles to earn the respect of her opponents.
But maybe it is a deliberate ploy to confuse them.
She already owns a world championship gold medal which she won at the King's Cup in 2010, is the current WMC Queensland pinweight titleholder and boasts a record of six wins, one loss and one draw.
Last Saturday, Rainbow's formidable run since donning the gloves continued when she claimed another big scalp on the road to her dream of a world title shot.
She beat Jessica Levido, a fighter six years her senior who had lost once prior to the bout.
She employed a similar strategy used by her idol, former world bantamweight title holder Laura Glover (Craig's wife), using her significant reach to her advantage to beat Levido on points in Brisbane.
"I was a bit worried at first because I knew she had a good record, but once the fight started all I was worried about was the fight," she said.
"All I can remember was coming out with a push kick straight up and she went flying.
"The rest is a bit of a blur."
Glover described Rainbow's performance as one of her most powerful displays yet.
"She really stepped up to the plate," he said.
"She's got a big heart and real courage."
Glover is confident she would get her chance to fight for a world title before the end of the year.
"I would love a crack at a world title," Rainbow said.
"That's the biggest thing for me at the moment."
But is she ready?
"If Craig reckons I'm ready and he is confident I can do it, then so am I."