Women’s boxing From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lucia Rijker warms up in the ring.

Women’s boxing first appeared in the Olympic Games at a demonstration about in 1904. For most of the 20th century, however, it was banned in most nations. Its revival was pioneered by the Swedish Amateur Boxing Association, which sanctioned events for women in 1988. The British Amateur Boxing Association sanctioned its first boxing competition for women in 1997. The first event was to be between two thirteen-year-olds, but one of the boxers withdrew because of hostile media attention. Four weeks later, an event was held between two sixteen-year-olds. The A.I.B.A. accepted new rules for Women’s Boxing at the end of the 20th century and approved the first European Cup for Women in 1999 and the first World Championship for women in 2001 in Scranton, PA. Women’s boxing was not featured at the 2008 Olympics; however, on 14 August 2009, it was announced that the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board (EB) had approved the inclusion of women’s boxing for the Games in London in the 2012 Olympics[1], contrary to the expectations of some observers[2]. Although women fought professionally in many countries, in the United Kingdom the B.B.B.C. refused to issue licences to women until 1998. By the end of the century, however, they had issued five such licenses. The first sanctioned bout between women was in November 1998 at Streatham in London, between Jane Couch and Simona Lukic.

Renata Cristina Dos Santos Ferreira punches Adriana Salles.

Compared to men’s boxing, however, it lacked popularity and exposure. This might be attributed to the fact that women’s boxing, at that period, confronted a society filled with stereotypes and which categorized professions as either ‘men’s work’ or ‘women’s work’, or because most people did not believe they would find the same caliber as in men’s boxing.

It should be noted that during the 1970s, a popular female boxer came out of the United States Northwest. Her name was Cathy ‘Cat’ Davis and a few of her fights were televised. To this day, she remains the only female boxer to appear on the cover of Ring Magazine. But a scandal broke out where it was said that some of her fights had been fixed, and as a consequence, women’s boxing as a sport was almost killed.[citation needed]

During the 1980s, women’s boxing briefly resurfaced in California under the wings of sisters Dora and Cora Webber. The twin sisters were world champions and packed crunching punching power and a good chin.

Lebanese-German Rola El-Halabi punches her Serbian opponent Eva Santa

But the boom of women’s boxing came during the 1990s, coinciding with the boom of professional women sports leagues such as the WNBA and WUSA, and with boxers such as Stephanie Jaramillo Delia ‘Chikita’ Gonzalez, Laura Serrano, Christy Martin, Deirdre Gogarty, Laila Ali, Jackie Frazier-Lyde, Lucia Rijker, Ada Velez, Ivonne Caples, Bonnie Canino and Sumya Anani, all world champions, jumping into the scene.

Nowadays, women’s boxing’s fan base is growing with a lot of television exposure and interesting fights. There are many organization, including the WBC, WIBA, WIBF, that recognize world championship bouts, and fights are held in more than 100 countries worldwide. But due to lack of marketing, sponsorship, and promoters willing to put women on their cards, women’s boxing is not as well known as men’s boxing.

On April 16, 1992, after eight years in court in Massachusetts, Gail Grandchamp of North Adams, Massachusetts won her battle to become a boxer, as a state Superior Court judge ruled it was illegal to deny someone a chance to box based on gender in the Golden Gloves organizaton. During her battle to win the right to box as an amateur, she passed the age of 36, the maximum age for the open division of amateur fighters. Even though she knew it would not help her as an amateur, Grandchamp continued her efforts, and eventually did box professionally for a time.

In March 1993, Dallas Malloy became the first female to challenge the USA Boxing’s bylaw in a federal court. Her dream was to box against other women in the Olympic Games, a goal attainable only as a member of USA Boxing. For months she trained without any immediate hope of competing. Malloy’s lawsuit against USA Boxing would go to trial, unless settled, in December 1993, before the U.S. District Court in Seattle. In May, Judge Barbara Rothstein granted Malloy a court injunction, temporarily nullifying USA’s ban on women until the matter could go to trial. Malloy’s application for membership was sent through. And if a match could be made that fall, as reported in the Seattle Times, March 1993, “Malloy and her opponent would become the first women to ever box in a sanctioned amateur fight in this country.” How did Malloy strike an interest in boxing? Malloy found the Hillman City Boxing Gym in the phone book, and spoke to Bob Jarvis, a boxing promoter (who by the way was originally going to match Margaret MacGregor with Malloy, and later was the one responsible for the Loi Chow vs MacGregor mixed match).

He told Malloy that there was no place for women’s boxing. So, Malloy, at the tender age of 15, wrote a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union, who was responsible for finding her an attorney. A Seattle firm “Graham and Dunn, took the case, expecting it to be quickly settled, due to state law that was very clear about gender discrimination. Due to that fact, Malloy’s attorney filed the lawsuit in state court, anticipating that the USA Boxing would resist a trial in federal court. Judge Rothstein only took a few moments to grant the injunction. There had been a previous case, just one year prior, in the state of Massachusetts, with Gail Grandchamp that had fought for close to seven years outside the ring to gain that right, just to sadly turn 35 and not qualify to be an amateur. Apparently even Canada had lifted their ban for women to compete in amateurs. The president of USA Boxing said that it was mostly the safety and medical issues that they were concerned about. Malloy did succeed in getting the opportunity to fight, and the following is an excerpt from the Bellingham Herald about Malloy preparing for the fight, and the fight itself:

“Boxer Dallas Malloy and trainer James Ferguson shared a private ritual in the weeks leading up to their history- making fight. “Are you ready for the two-by-four, 20 stories up?” Ferguson would say. “I’m ready,” Malloy would answer. Saturday night at Edmonds Community College, Malloy showed how ready. The Bellingham 16-year-old pounded out a convincing victory against Heather Poyner of Ferndale in the United States first sanctioned amateur bout between females. By Mike Grady, The Bellingham Herald, Sports on TV, Section D, November 1, 1993. [2]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Women’s boxing for 2012 and golf and rugby proposed for 2016, Official Website of the Olympic Movement [1]
  2. ^ Andrew Eisele (2006). Women’s Boxing, About.com

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge announced that it would be an Olympic sport at the 2012 Games in London


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