Designed by Alex, Heather “The White Swan” Barker is my own character, a former Canadian Featherweight champion.
Born on 1 March 1994, Heather landed in the boxing world without much of a plan. Despite that, her record currently stands at 5-1 in the pro ranks.
She grew up with a long neck, pale white skin, beautiful looks and a strong character. This inspired her friends to call her The White Swan. Instead of feeling insulted, she adopted and cherished the nickname.
The Kelowna native wasn’t into fighting although being a competitive tomboy in school. She was too nice to hit anyone. Literature, humanities and religion were passions and then the disciplines of her university studies. A devout Catholic, she was always involved in Church activities and local charities. She got summer jobs in the Okanagan Valley’s tourism industry, and loved the occasional trip to discover Asian expat culture and food in Vancouver.
Heather got into boxing…. by following the boyfriend she had at the time. She went to the gym only to observe the action, but someone gave her a pair of gloves and suggested she try it for herself. She did. She worked the bag, had some fun and got into the sport.
Heather didn’t stand out in the gym, though. Her style was about technique, a high boxing IQ and a solid right uppercut. She kept practicing her favourite punch until it became her single most dangerous weapon.
The White Swan didn’t stand out as an amateur boxer either. The fights were too short to her liking. Fast-paced and furious action in only four rounds prevented her from using brains, her best weapon. She failed to win a provincial title in British Columbia or a Canadian championship, wrapping up that part of her career with a respectable record of 22 wins and 12 defeats. Some thought she wouldn’t go very far beyond Saturday night fights in amateur gyms.
Better as a pro
Turning pro when aged 23 changed the game. She beefed up her fitness and refused four-rounders, fighting only when she could get six rounds. That brought her a major advantage: time to be patient, read her opponents’ game and use their weaknesses against them.
Heather went undefeated, earning a 4-0 record before getting a Canadian championship fight against Mechelle Gauthier. She overcame early struggles and ignored bad coaching instructions to knock Gauthier out and win the belt.
The new champ ripped a page from her opponent’s playbook by hiring her coach Sylvie Chouinard and moving to Montréal… to train in the same gym.
Despite having a reputable new coach, Heather lost the title in her first defense against Virani MacVicar. Virani outgunned her and overcame a strong chin with power punches for a convincing knockout win.
The lovely swan stayed on the sidelines and devoted some time to the Catholic church in Montréal to regain spiritual strength after the disappointing loss.
In April 2019, Heather made a major career change. She accepted AlexBoxer’s decision to trade her to alesiaboxing so she could explore new opportunities.
She went on to a one-sided win against Sue Strong. Her second Lightweight fight caused more of a stir, when she overcame a strong start by Veronica Lillegard, a former European champion, to give her a severe concussion. This made her question her faith in God. Veronica launched the Synapses foundation for brain trauma and mental health, which pledged to serve as well as she can.
Heather intends to remain true to her two values. The first is doing good through faith. The second is giving you a generous portion of leather if you stand in front of her.