Six years ago Melanie Houlton made a freak decision to learn how to box. The mother of two had barely been into a gym before and exercise was limited. But after putting on weight following the birth of her youngest son, Melanie went searching for the ultimate life changer – and it was at T6 Fight Club where she found it.
“I can’t really say why I turned to boxing,” said Melanie. “I was 15 stone, I had some weight to lose and also it was to help my fitness really. I went to another gym first but then came to T6 and I have never looked back. I really enjoyed it when I first tried it and I enjoyed the challenge.”
Melanie, of Stoke-on-Trent, openly recalls the doubters she came up against when she first took to the ring, and equally thanks them for igniting the fuel inside her which pushed her towards success. “I don’t think anybody took me seriously at first and I had been told I would not be any good,” she says. “If someone tells me I can’t do something then it makes me want to do it even more. I am that sort of person and I will go out of my way to do it.”
With a good support network around her, Melanie dedicated as much time as possible to training and within 12 months she had taken part in a charity boxing match aswell as her first fight under the T6 banner. The 30-year-old admits it wasn’t easy to adjust but it has been worth every spot of blood, sweat and tear.
“At first I used to have to do press ups on my knees as I couldn’t do them, and I struggled a lot to keep up with others because of my fitness, I had a lot of weight to lose,” she said. “But ever since I walked into T6 I stuck to it religiously. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else apart from T6, everyone is treated equally and I’ve made so many friends who I look at as family.”
Melanie added: “The training and the boxing has given me so much, I find it empowering and it has given me my confidence back. I wasn’t in a great place when I first started and I had also lost all of my confidence when I had put on weight. The training can be hard, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. My family and friends have been so supportive and without them I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”
Any doubters of Melanie’s have long been hushed as the, now semi-professional boxer, has had ten fights and won all of them. In 2017 Melanie “McRae” Houlton took the Supreme Fighting British Belt title – which she defended for the last time in March (2018). “I sometimes cannot believe I won it,” said Melanie.
As well as her dedication to boxing, middleweight Melanie holds just as much respect and praise for her trainer, Dave Morgan and T6 Fight Club, which is based in Burslem. She adds: “T6 has made me who I am in every way. Dave has been great, his training can be brutal, but it’s made me into the boxer I am. I don’t fear anything when I go into the ring and that’s down to Dave.”
Melanie still trains at T6 and also teaches boxing to Ladies groups at the gym along with good friend Deb Mullock, who she met at T6.
Melanie “McRae” Houlton took a chance, she faced the doubters head on, she climbed the uphill treadmill and dedicated her time to a sport which has rewarded her in more ways than she could ever have imagined it would six years ago.