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Digital Subscriptions > Boxing News > 30-Jul > THICK SKIN

THICK SKIN

Michelle Phelps has become a major boxing player in the burgeoning YouTube arena but it hasn’t come without a price, writes Terry Dooley

WHEN growing up in California there was no indication that Michelle Joy Phelps would eventually carve out a career in boxing. Phelps, though, dreamt of one day living and working in the UK and has achieved this dream via her company Behind The Gloves’ successful YouTube channel.

Phelps now splits her time between her home in Manchester and the US, she also appears on both YouTube and the odd network broadcasts and, despite splitting opinion among fans, is now one of the most prominent faces of the so-called ‘new media’ of video interviewers.

‘My mum said to me that what blows her mind is that at such a young age I would always say, ‘I’m going to go to England one day’,’ she told Boxing News. ‘I always knew what I wanted to do, always had this plan, and I went out and executed it.’ ‘I wouldn’t sit here and say my family were diehard boxing fans, but we got all the big PPVs growing up so I grew up as a massive fan of Oscar De La Hoya,’ she added. ‘Interviewing him was major. I think he was my second or third interview and it was a trip. Now he follows me on social media, knows my name – it is kind of cool. I loved him as a kid.’

The decision to make a go of it was prompted when Tim Bradley controversially beat Manny Pacquiao in 2012. Phelps recorded a reaction video that blew up. She then used the burst of attention to launch her brand, which has grown at an astonishing rate.

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