NINE years ago, Bianca Elmir's soccer coach told her she should find a sport that allowed her to be more aggressive.
She accepted the advice, and instead of kicking a soccer ball, took up kick boxing and started kicking other women, eventually becoming Australian champion.
Then in 2009, Elmir, who at the time worked as a political advisor to ACT Greens politician Amanda Bresnan, crossed over into boxing.
The woman they call Bam Bam is now in the Chinese port city of Qinhuangdao where places at the London Olympics will be up for grabs when the women's world boxing championships start tomorrow.
Women's boxing will make its Olympic Games debut in London where three weight divisions will be contested: flyweight (51kg), lightweight (60kg) and middleweight (75kg).
Elmir, the Oceania Flyweight Champion, said she couldn't wait for a shot at her Olympic dream. "I can't wait. I feel like a horse with the reins on - I'm ready to be let loose," the 30-year-old said.
"I understand boxing can be shocking and confronting to some people, but it's not as combative as people think."
Australia's representative in the lightweight division in China will be former Sunshine Coaster Jessica Retallack who now lives on the Gold Coast, while Naomi Fischer-Rasmussen will compete in the 75kg division.
Elmir, Retallack and Fischer-Rasmussen all won their weight divisions at the national titles in Hobart in February.
Boxing Australia chief executive Kable Kelleway said because the sport was still relatively new, it was hard to say how the three girls would go at the world championships.
"We're certainly hoping for a minimum of two to qualify for London," Kelleway said.
"But it's going to be a bit of an unknown."
Australia had three top eight finishes in Barbados, including Fischer-Rasmussen who competed in the 69kg class.
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.