Picture: Marcos Steagall, Instagram

When Alexis Pritchard speaks, you can hear a hint of her South African accent.

But don’t let her looks fool you — her petite yet muscular frame hides the fact that she can knock you out with just one punch.

Born in September 1983, the SA-born athlete became the first female boxer representing New Zealand to win a bout at the 2012 Olympic Games.

And now she can add nude model to her resumé after releasing a series of photographs of her naked form.

Originally hailing from Kensington, Cape Town, she moved to New Zealand at the age of 14 and joined the competitive world of amatuer boxing in 2003 in an effort to get fit.

Her rise to fame is inspiring to say the least, but just days after winning a record 11th national title in 2016, she decided to hang up her gloves. Her abrupt retirement from boxing came after she failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Now, her drive to succeed has driven her back out of retirement. In December 2017 she announced her comeback and hopes to compete at the Commonwealth Games, held in April this year..

Stronger and more self-assured, our Kensington girl is stopping at nothing to make her mark on the world.

She’s now embarked on a massive fundraising campaign, which includes a series of naked photographs. 

“I think the photos are beautiful and it celebrates the female form, and celebrates the beauty of the body and the strength of the body,” she told the New Zealand Herald during a recent interview.

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Preparing for a fight is no simple task, Pritchard told the Herald’s Brett Phibbs: "In the first couple of weeks of training I was like 'why are you doing this to yourself again?'

“It took quite a few months to get back into the swing of the training, the eating, the sleeping, and all those tiny commitments that you make.”

The images show a fiercely independent woman that many young people can look up to.

And because it’s Friday, we scoured Pritchard’s Instagram feed (@boxelex) for some #FridayFeeling inspo.

Finding empowerment in art

This beautiful photo taken by the very talented and passionate @steagall.photo is part of a fundraising campaign for my boxing travels and expenses this year. We are currently looking for a gallery to exhibit. (If you have a contact, please get in contact). Since publication this morning in the @nzherald I have had many messages from mum's, dad's and women I know from around the globe saying this project of artistic nudes is inspiring and that their daughters think it is cool and brilliant to see a woman who accepts and likes her body. It is empowering for them and gives them an alternative to the current societal rhetoric where we think we (and our bodies) are not good enough or beautiful enough. This has made our project all that more special. . . Thank you to all those involved in making this happen. Lindsay Neil for your crazy idea and drive to make it happen. Nandan @artisthetical for the beautiful makeup and support. @jandancefit for your support and creativity. . . #teampritchard #selflove #marcossteagallphotography #nude #beautifulbody #bodylove #selfacceptance #stong #woman #boxer #womanboxer #boxing #fightlikeagirl #fightinglikeagirl

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Be good to yourself

Inspired by courageous women

The knockout