You don’t get this adrenaline rush in table tennis, that’s for sure.
Linn Sandstrom was buzzing after racking up the first win of her professional boxing career on Wednesday night, scoring a unanimous points decision victory over Felicity Loiterton in Newcastle.
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Opening the undercard of Tim Tszyu’s blockbuster against Dennis Hogan, Sandstrom rocked her opponent with a sweet left uppercut — a blow Aussie boxing icon Jeff Fenech described in commentary as “beautiful” — and maintained the rage across four rounds to convince all three judges she deserved to leave the ring on a high.
It comes after a unanimous decision loss on debut last year against Jessica Cashman, but Sandstrom turned the tables at her second opportunity and celebrated a 40-36, 39-37, 39-37 victory.
Tszyu vs Hogan – Full Fight Highlights
“After the loss (to Cashman), people were saying, ‘Why is she getting another opportunity, why is she getting to be on a card like this again?’” Sandstrom said after her win.
“They can’t understand it. I was here to prove a point about why I’m here, and this is just the beginning.
“I’m very pleased with that result, I’ve been going through a really tough time lately, especially after the loss.
“So for me to get this win, not many people can imagine how hard I worked for this.
“I’ve had people that really, really want to see me fail. I’m a female that, I’m not just there to say I’m going to do things, I’m here to put in the work and that seems to irritate a lot of people.
“I’m doing me, this is my journey. I’m here to stay now, I’m here to prove a point.”
Sandstrom (left) showed no mercy.Source: News Corp AustraliaLoiterton copped some nasty blows.Source: Getty Images
Anthony Mundine’s recent retirement heaped focus on his accomplishments as a cross-code megastar, having successfully transitioned from rugby league to boxing, and Sandstrom has followed a somewhat similar path.
The Brazilian-born fighter was raised in Sweden, where she fell in love with table tennis, and went on to represent her country with paddle in hand.
“Everyone back in Sweden knew me as the girl who played table tennis,” she told The Back Page in March.
“It is (quite a leap to go from table tennis to boxing), but I’ve been an athlete my whole life so that athlete lifestyle is what I love.”
Sandstrom moved to Australia five years ago and got serious with her ambition to become a pro boxer. While there were skills she picked up in table tennis that came in handy — like hand-eye coordination and footwork — the fight game has one major difference.
“A lot of things are similar except you don’t get punched in the face when you do table tennis,” she said.
Taking to social media on Wednesday night, Sandstrom was on cloud nine. You only had to see her reaction when she was confirmed as the winner to know how much it meant to her, letting out a scream of jubilation and pumping her fists.
“My team and I did it! I told you everyone loves a good comeback story and this was mine!” she said. “I will make a longer post tomorrow, but for now I will just enjoy the moment! Much love.”
The 29-year-old was still on a high on Thursday evening, posting photos of her demolition job on Instagram.
Two old warriors go the distance!
“Words can’t describe the feeling I have right now!!” she wrote.
“Bringing home a UD WIN on one of the biggest show in Australia last night was just (fire emoji).
“I’m buzzing to get back in there ASAP so stay tuned for what’s to come next.”
In the main event in Newcastle, Tszyu beat Hogan via a fifth-round TKO, inflicting a gruesome injury on the Irishman with a brutal uppercut in the process.