Meet the Aussie featherweight looking to emulate her late brother in boxing ring

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It wasn’t until Skye Nicolson was 18 when she finally watched a tape of her late brother in action.

Then it hit her.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympian had years of people telling her she was just like Jamie but she always thought it was just some pleasantries from those who knew him.

But when she sat down in front of a video of her sibling who she had followed in the footsteps of to the Olympic Games, it was clear that it wasn’t just talk.

“When I watched it for the first time I was like, ‘Holy s***, that’s pretty scary’,” said Nicolson.

“I do, and he did, have an awkward and unorthodox style, it is crazy that I developed a similar style.”

It may seem destiny now that Nicolson has followed her brother’s path but it was never the plan.

Jamie Nicolson was one of Australia’s brightest boxing talents. He had won bronze at the world amateur championships and the Commonwealth Games before representing his country at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

But two years after those Games, tragedy struck. Jamie, 22, and his 10-year-old brother Gavin were killed in a road traffic accident on the way to training.

Skye Nicolson was not born until a year later but she would soon realise boxing was the family business.

“My dad stayed involved in amateur boxing after the boys passed,” she said.

“Looking back it was his connection with the boys to stay involved in boxing.”

Nicolson, now 26, spent her early years travelling to amateur boxing shows across the country with her dad, Allan.

But she wasn’t fighting.

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“I was at amateur tournaments every weekend before I was even walking,” she said.

“I used to get in the ring when I was two or three until I was 10 or 11 to sing the national anthem.

“I am not talented but I was cute so it was alright.”

Nicolson did find her talent. But it wasn’t because she wanted to replicate her siblings. It was more of a typical teenage tale.

“Nobody expected me to be a boxer, I was a girlie girl growing up,” said Nicolson.

“I kind of only went to the boxing gym for fitness and confidence.

“I was 12, about to start high school.

“There were a few boys around the same age that started who were cute and I think that was my main motivation, then i started beating them up!

“I grew up about it but it was never expected to box.”

Nicolson was trained by another sibling.

“My brother Allan was teaching me and he was getting pretty excited,” said the Gold Coast native. “He obviously saw a lot of similarities between my style and Jamie’s style.

“I never watched any videos of Jamie boxing until I was an adult, but I was constantly told all the time about these similarities.”

But when she had her first bout at 12, her parents cried.

“There were a few tears that night from mum and dad, they definitely saw Jamie in me,” she said.

“It was a special night and the start of a very special journey.”

Nicolson’s journey has seen her win a world championship bronze medal at light-welterweight, a Commonwealth Games gold at featherweight and she represented her country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where she came agonisingly close to a medal.

Now she is set to turn professional having linked up with STN Sports management group and has signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport.

She intends to fight the in UK and the US as well as her homeland.

While there is still an ambition to go to Paris 2024 as she has “unfinished business” in the Olympics but for now the focus is stepping into the paid ranks.

Like so many young female boxers, her idol was Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

And having family in the Emerald Isle just up the coast from Taylor’s hometown of Bray meant she got to meet her hero when just a teenager.

“I first met here when I was 13 or 14,” she said.

“I was visiting family in Skerries, near Dublin and my cousin organised for me to go out and meet her.

“I became a very big Katie Taylor fan, she was great to me and I've wanted to emulate her ever since.”

Nicolson says it would be a ‘dream’ to one day share the ring but feels the timing won’t be right for that with both at different stages of their careers.

But having followed in the footsteps of her brother so far, she will hope to one day be an idol many want to emulate.

  • Olympics
  • Boxing

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