JAYMYLEIGH Pettinger wants to follow in her mentor’s footsteps and is now treading the exact same path.

Pettinger decided to turn professional on her 18th birthday, the earliest opportunity, just like her promoter Josh Wale did. In putting pen to paper, she became Barnsley’s first ever female professional boxer and is scheduled to make her debut at the Metrodome on June 28.

The Barnsley College sports coaching student, from Brampton, said: “It’s something I have wanted to do from being little.

“I think having Mick and Josh behind me, it’s a great opportunity to do it now.

“It’s an unreal feeling. It’s crazy to think I am the first pro woman from Barnsley. I was the first girl they ever had in this gym.”

Now there are several more girls training at the Wale’s Brampton base.

But what was it like on her first day in a new, male-dominated environment?

“I didn’t mind it, boxing is what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t bothered about who was around me. I just focused on myself. Josh and Mick have known me all my life because I live across the road from them. I was about nine or ten and I was trying to skip on my drive and Josh came over and taught me how to do it properly. I feel like being professional suits my style a lot more than the amateurs.

“It’s exciting and I know Mick and Josh are here to guide me. They’ve been doing it a long time.”

Mick added: “We have all the time in the world to work with Jaymyleigh and we don’t think it’s too early for her to go pro. She has got the pro style.

“She’s a big part of the gym and helps with the coaching with the kids. It’s the first part of what’s going to be an exciting journey with her.”