From France to England via Canada and Australia, this is the story of how West Green's Agathe Barbier went from being a victim of childhood bullying to a young lady empowering women to take on the world.

A video editor by day and a boxer by night, Barbier is never far away from the lens. As someone who was once riddled by bouts of anxiety and depression, alongside a self-consciousness that crippled any positive thoughts, her life now would have been hard to envisage.

Childhood should provide people with the fondest of memories and in some respects it did for Agathe, among other more bittersweet recollections.

One of her fondest memories from childhood was the time spent with her brother Alban. “My brother is a year older than me and we were absolute terrors as kids," she said.

"We used to go around causing mild mayhem, from doing missions around the block to playing pranks on everyone, we had the craziest adventures.”

Unfortunately for Barbier, bullying was present in her younger years, which had a lingering effect on her self-esteem.

“We used to move a lot as kids which meant we were always the new kids in school," she said.

"I got picked on because I was overweight and because I didn’t wear cool clothes. It was a really difficult time and it had a negative impact on my confidence. I was a really sweet and gentle girl and the bullying turned me into a less gentle version of myself.” The gift of a quick wit and a sharp tongue helped her to overcome the bullying: “I started standing up for myself and fought back, the bullying stopped after that, and then we moved house again.”

Barbier’s advice for those going through bullying is to speak out. “It’s hard as a kid even if people tell you it’s going to pass and it’s going to make you stronger," she said. "When you’re getting bullied you don’t want to have to wait for it to stop. I think if you have enough maturity and strength of character to not let it affect you, you will win. Bullies want a reaction out of you and if you don’t give them the reaction they expect, you take their power away. That’s the ultimate freedom but you need a lot of control over your feelings and mind to get to this level. If you’re getting bullied talk to someone, don’t keep it to yourself and don’t think you’re the only one or worse, or that you deserve it. Bullies are kids who are hurt and bullying is their way of getting back at the world. It doesn’t make it ok, but understanding this will give you some relief.”

In spite of the courage and bravery Barbier showed to overcome the hurdles of bullying, there was another fight she had to overcome, one very few could see.

“I suffered badly from depression and panic attacks after a breakup at 14/15," she revealed.

"It was one of the hardest times of my life. I didn’t get much support, the people I thought were my friends turned their back on me and I felt alone, hopeless. If it wasn’t for my mum I don’t know if I would have made it through. It’s made me a stronger person but instead of being bitter about it, I promised myself I would never turn my back on anyone if they needed help and that’s a value I live by to this day.”

The pent up anger that dominated Agathe’s youth was calmed by the introduction of boxing in her teens. “I started boxing because I needed an outlet," she said.

"Something to release the anger inside of me. There’s a side to me that’s strongly drawn to fighting. I realised very quickly how meditative boxing was. You have to be completely in the moment I find that so incredibly liberating. Boxing has helped my mental health and self-image tremendously. I think young girls can learn a lot from it and apply it to their daily lives, gain confidence and learn to assert themselves more into the world.”

Her time outside of boxing is spent coaching or with a camera in hand, producing highlight reels of her training partners, or filming special occasions.

Barbier is a keen traveller and after studying editing in Paris for three years, she moved to Canada to work and embrace a new culture. After her visa expired she went to Australia for a year where she met her then partner. Their time in Australia was spent in the great outdoors, mandarin and watermelon picking, which she admits was hard but fun. “Living on next to nothing money in a tent, camping in a forest, it was a real adventure," she said.

On the bucket list is a trip to Cuba, to learn the art and craft of Cuban boxing and a possible trip to Ukraine, to learn their style of boxing too. Filming has always been a passion of Barbier's but now she wants to be on the other side of the lens, producing highlight reel performances.

With there being such a scarce pool of female fighters around Barbier had to punch above her weight from the outset, sparring opponents she once found intimidating.

“There’s so much weight difference, sometimes they go easy on you, as if you were a kid and that makes you feel a little insulted," she said.

"Whereas other guys go way too hard, it’s like an ego thing where if you catch them with a good shot, they get really angry and want to hurt you back. What they don’t realise is they are 10/15 kilos heavier and that makes a huge difference.”

Barbier had her first bout at 18, an experience she has not forgotten: “Your mind plays tricks on you - I didn’t know what to expect. Plans went out the window; I was overwhelmed by the adrenaline and people shouting. It was intense. I’ve never been as tired as I was after that first round. I didn’t know whether I could manage a second but I did.”

With kickboxing being more popular than boxing in France, opportunities to learn and grow as a boxer were lacking and Barbier often found herself fighting the same opponents.

Since moving to England she has been sparring at Islington Boxing Club and Harrow ABC under hardworking and passionate trainer Rowan.

She said: “I first met Rowan at a boxing gym in North London when I signed up to fight at a charity event. He’s fully present when he’s teaching, making sure everyone understands what they’re learning and why. He has got so much knowledge and dedication; it made me want to commit myself 100% to training. I remember having a tough sparring session with a girl who was heavier and stronger than me. It’s the one and only time I’ve been dropped in sparring but I got up and finished the rounds without complaining or showing emotions. After sparring Rowan came up to me and gave me a heartfelt talk and I think that’s when we really bonded. He showed me I could count on him and I showed him my work ethic and unwillingness to yield or feel sorry for myself. He’s now one of my closest friends and I couldn’t imagine life without him.”

Barbier has followed a wave of female boxers in turning professional; including her idol Katie Taylor, who she insists has paved the way. “It used to just be women who were talking about Katie Taylor and now my male friends are too," she said."They are as excited about watching Katie as they are anyone else. Katie has done so much for female boxing, she has made it easier for the girls of today.”

After nine bouts in France where she won seven and lost two, Barbier has since had seven unlicensed fights in the UK, losing one and winning the other six.

She feels she offers a front footed and aggressive style.

“I have a bit of a Mexican style; I’m a bit of a swarmer," she said.

"I’m comfortable on the outside but I love inside fighting too, it makes me happy with everyone so uncomfortable fighting on the outside so I feel I have an advantage there.”

Barbier now has her eyes set on world honours. She said: “I have it in me to become world champion. I also want to be a good role model. I want to show people that you can be a nice and caring person outside the ring and fierce and aggressive in it. I want girls to know its ok to be strong; it’s ok to feel empowered, to have a voice and to speak up. It took me years to be comfortable using my voice to express opinions. I’m quite introverted so I used to think it didn’t matter what I wanted and that people didn’t care about my opinion on things. Boxing gave me a voice and made me understand its ok to assert myself and my opinions and values are as a valid as anyone else’s.”

Concluding the interview, Barbier wanted to leave some words of wisdom for the younger generation: “Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, trust your instincts and be authentic. Try, fail, try again, never quit, never stop learning and enjoy every second of it.”