No Guts, No Glory
Presented by Darklight, in partnership with renowned Director/Photographer Edward Cooke, No Guts, No Glory is a cinematic short film on rising boxing star Maiseyrose Courtney.
With the iconic Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green as a backdrop, we hear from Matchroom’s Maiseyrose what it takes to become a champion. ‘Anything worth fighting for in this life starts with the battle within yourself.’ Rather than glamorising the young female boxer, Cooke and Courtney serve us an honest look at what it takes to compete as a world-class athlete; with all the blood, sweat & sacrifice that goes into training. ‘That’s what’s going to make you a champion.’
What was it that drew you to Maisey and want to create something with her?
Maisey is not only an impeccable athlete but a brilliant character – in and out of the ring, I love her energy and the passion she has for the sport. Her outlook on training and self-motivation is something that is incredibly inspiring, which naturally makes for an ideal subject in film.
Ultimately I want people to be inspired by it. I wanted to create something that gave me similar feelings I have when watching profile films on athletes and other high performing people.
Repton Boxing Club is one of the most iconic boxing clubs in the UK. What was it like filming there?
The amount of history Repton has as a boxing club is incredible, you see it on the walls and in the fabric of the place, so I feel really privileged to have it as the backdrop to the film.
The stills that go along side this are especially stunning. Tell us a bit about what you wanted to capture with those.
I wanted to create something cohesive that can live in the same world, Fast paced, gritty and dark; so shooting on emulsion films with rich, inky tones felt like a perfect way to accompany the film. I gravitate to this style of shooting quite organically and the location and subject were a perfect ensemble of both.
What was it like filming this with a photographer/director like Ed, who’s worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Rita Ora & Will.i.am?
I’m so lucky to have worked with Ed, he’s unbelievably talented, he’s got an unreal eye for photography. The pictures and film he’s taken of me are so cool, made me feel so empowered. The pictures are so strong but beautiful. Just like how all women fighters are.
It’s great to see so many amazing female boxers out there at the moment. Tell us what you think the main difference is for male and female boxers?
Well, over my years of boxing I’ve encountered a lot of sexism. Of course I’m a woman fighting in a ‘man’s’ sport. When I was young I couldn’t get carded to have my first fight as the club I was with didn’t want to card me as I was a girl. I had to wait till I was 15 to have my first fight.
I’ve had the odd old man come up to me and tell me he don’t agree with women’s fighting. ‘I wouldn’t like to see my daughter fight’, ‘Does your dad let you box?’ or, ‘I couldn’t watch women’s boxing.’ But then I’ve also had the same old men change their mind after they’ve watched me box.
The pay, the media coverage, the backing behind women’s boxing is totally different to men’s boxing. It’s getting better––not as bad as it used to be––but it’s also nowhere near where it needs to be.
Is there a message you’d like people to take away from this film?
Boxing ain’t all what it’s cracked up to be. It’s tough, soul destroying, heart breaking. But if you want it bad enough you’ll push though them boundaries.