Fighter has extra motivation
BRETTLYN Neal knew the question was coming.
Still her response was as striking as her bright pink hair.
“If I’m going to get my head punched in, I might as well do it for a good cause,” Neal said with a smile when asked what the deal with her hair was.
Before every fight, Neal, 25, colours her hair pink to raise awareness for breast cancer.
So far in her short Muay Thai career, she has raised thousands of dollars for women battling breast cancer and her other favourite charity, the RSPCA, by donating the profits she makes from tickets she sells and sponsorships.
Neal trains at Redbank.
“Suffering through five two-minute rounds is a lot less than suffering for a lifetime,” Neal explained.
“It’s sort of fitting because a woman fighting in a male dominated sport, it creates a lot more awareness and gets people saying ‘that woman is fighting for breast cancer’.”
Neal admitted her pink hair has helped her gain a huge following, but she is determined to prove she’s no run-of-the-mill fighter.
She will take her first step towards becoming an elite fighter when she vies for the ISKA Queensland light heavyweight title on Saturday at Toowoomba against hometown combatant Tammy Everist.
Everist beat Neal in their previous stoush late last year on a split decision, but the former jillaroo from Charters Towers hopes to rain on her parade.
“I’ve lost to her once, I’m not going to lose against her twice,” said Neal, who now works as a security officer.
“It’s the first time I’ve fought for a state title and after a few losses it’s time for a win.”
Neal, who aspires to become a world champion, began her Muay Thai career in Thailand where she trained six days a week in sweltering conditions for three months.
The hard work paid off when she won all three of her bouts by knockout and shed a whopping 24kg in the process.
Despite yet to taste victory on Australian soil, dropping two fights and drawing her other two, Neal said she was feeling fit and focussed to change all that.