'I'll beat him one day': How sparring with the best helped AFLW icon Tayla Harris

Taylor Harris is a boxer an AFLW star. (Getty Images)

Fighting trolls is only part of Tayla Harris' story.

The Carlton footballer also fights in the ring, a sporting love she's held since she was 12. Her next assignment is just days away.

Tayla Harris for PlayersVoice

I played more of my junior footy against boys and have done most of my boxing sparring against boys, too. That’s just the nature of boxing, especially.

There’s not many girls doing it. And the ones you’re going to fight, well, you don’t want to be training with them!

I prefer to train with guys, anyway, because they’re bigger and stronger and a bit more of a challenge. The guys I’m talking about are Australian title holders, professionals, who really know what they’re doing.

Tayla Harris and Sarah Dwyer exchange punches during the Australian Title Fight between Tayla Harris and Sarah Dwyer at Melbourne Pavillion on November 17, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

These are opportunities I didn’t necessarily think footy would bring me. But it’s happened because of that moment. Good things have come from it. It’s helped me move ahead.

I really value that experience, to train with them. Guys like Faris Chevalier, who was my first boxing coach in Brisbane, we do a lot of training and sparring together and he doesn’t hold back.

Faris makes sure I work hard – and never lets me win, either. But that’s OK. I’ll beat him one day! Every time I get him, I get really excited and then he gets me while I’m standing there excited that I got him.

Tej Singh is another guy I train with at my current gym, Murphy’s in Melbourne. So it’s not just old mates from the park that I’m training with. It’s really competitive and I’ve never stopped when I’ve sparred with them.

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