occurred in women's boxing.."
While women's boxing can loosely trace it
beginnings to London in the 1720's, throughout the ensuing decades,
there were various exhibitions and scattered bouts until the 1950's when
several fighters, most notably Barbara Buttrick, JoAnn Hagen (Verhaegen),
and Phyllis Kugler staged professional fights. The sport rekindled again
in the 1970s thanks to the efforts of several important trailblazers.
The 1970's, in particular, were highlighted by many women’s boxing
"firsts" including many states lifting bans for women to box; issuing
"first time" boxing licenses, sanctioning boxing matches; and the
various commissions approving more than four rounds for women’s bouts.
First-staged women fights. The women would punch, use their feet and
knee lifting/kicking to all parts of their opponents body. They also
could maul, scratch and throw. This resulted in serious injury for
either or both fighters. In other reports, in London in 1722 at the
Boarded House, near what is now Oxford Circus, Elizabeth Wilkinson,
the Cockney Championess, defeated Martha Jones.
Susan Cahn in
“Coming on strong, gender and equality in 20th century sport” notes
a match between Nell Saunders and Rose Harland in 1876 at Hills
Theater in NYC. they supposedly fought for a silver butter dish.
This was considered the first women’s match in the United States.
applied to the sport of boxing.
introduced at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. Women’s boxing
was a displayed event at the third Olympic games.
Boxing part of the
physical training of young ladies in Boston.
La Mar receives
FIRST boxing Licence in New Jersey, more to be posted soon.
one of the most famous women’s boxers of all-time, became the first
female boxer to have her fight broadcast on national television.
Chairman Edwin B.
Dooley and asked to be granted permission to judge pro fights. A
week later, he wrote back and said that he would give her a hearing.
SHAIN entered the hearing room on Jan. 6, 1975, and found out the
next day that she had an unanimous vote to be a judge. Her first
professional fight that she judged on was on the eve of
Thanksgiving in 1975. Two years later, Sept. 29, 1977, she was at
ringside in Madison Square Garden judging her first World
championship bout with Muhammad Ali vs. Earnie Shavers. SHAIN WAS
THE FIRST FEMALE JUDGE TO WORK A WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT. It
was also the first time a woman judge Worked a professional fight at
New York’s Madison Square Garden. SHAIN earned a place in the
Guinness Book of Sports Records and eventually became the subject of
a Trivial Pursuit question. Eva Shain lost her battle with cancer
in August of 1999.
In 1975, Caroline
Svendsen receives a boxing license in the United States in the
state of Nevada, and has a sanctioned boxing match in a scheduled
four-rounder in Virginia City, Nevada. In 1976, boxer Pat Pineda s
the first woman to be licensed in the California; and in 1978, after
an on-going lawsuit in the state of New York, three high-profile
women boxers, Cathy “Cat” Davis, Jackie Tonawanda, and Marian
“Lady Tyger” Trimiar receive their boxing licenses. There are many
women who had received first-time licenses during this period, but
these particular historical licensing events initiate a flurry of
publicity that in turn encouraged other women to join the sport.
(WBAN has found that the first boxing license to be issued was in
1923 to boxer Jeanne La Mar.
Boxing ban lifted
after almost 100 years since a professional boxing match had been
held in Fayetteville, NC Boxing had been illegal in Cumberland
County from 1880 until early in 1977 when the ban on the sport was
lifted. November 1977, first female bout, Cathy “Cat” Davis vs.
Girl” Tucker challenges the state of California to increase the
number of rounds women could fight. Tucker was backed by the
American Civil Liberties Union, and ultimately was able to force the
California Commission to change their regulations which at the time
forbade female fighters from fighting more than four rounds.
JILL LAFLER, a
19-year-old Lansing Community College student, who wanted to be
Michigan’s first female Golden Gloves contestant and had filed a
lawsuit to win that chance, dropped her lawsuit. LAFLER had lost an
early round of her lawsuit when the U.S. District Judge Wendell
Miles ruled against her. Even though LAFLER dropped her lawsuit, it
was noted that it had opened up a lot of eyes, and they realized
that the (state) agency needed some type of need for governing body
regulations on women’s boxing.
April 27, 1987
Women’s Lightweight Marian “Lady Tyger” Trimiar stages a
well-publicized month long hunger strike, losing nearly 30 lbs., for
the rights of women’s boxing and to advocate better money and
conditions for professional female boxers—even though she is
protesting for others and not herself. Trimiar and others direct
their picketing to the promoters at the time who are putting on
televised cards. Trimiar tells the media, “Unless women get more
recognition, we will be fighting just as a novelty for the rest of
our lives. There will be no future.”
April 16, 1992
in court in Massachusetts, Gail Grandchamp of North Adams,
Massachusetts wins her battle to fight as in a ruling by a state
Superior Court judge who rules it was illegal to deny someone a
chance to box based on gender. During her battle to win the right to
box as an amateur, she passes the age of 36, the maximum age for
amateur fighters. Even though she knew it would not help her as an
amateur, Grandchamp continues her successful efforts, and eventually
did box professionally for a time.
USA Boxing didn’t recognize female boxers until 1993, and only then
after losing a landmark court case. USA Boxing’s Board of Governor,
after a judge rules in favor of Malloy, passes legislation to
implement and support the concept of female boxing. First amateur
female bout held in the ellingham, Washington, with Dallas Malloy
winning in a split decision. (TL Fox uncovered previous sanctioned
amateur fights that actually occurred in Minnesota in 1978 – to set
the record straight!)
Dallas Malloy, at
16 years old, became the first female to challenge USA Boxing’s
bylaw that did not allow women to compete, and sues them in federal
court for gender discrimination. Malloy wins her case, which
generates both national and international publicity. Malloy and
Heather Poyner become the first to fight in the state of Washington
in a sanctioned amateur bout. Even though Malloy was determined to
pursue boxing, she stopped boxing in the next year, declaring that
it was “boring.” (It should be noted that this event has been
portrayed in the news media as a “history first” for women boxing in
amateurs, but WBAN has actually dated sanctioned amateur boxing for
women boxers in Minnesota, in 1978).
JO-ANNE V NEWMAN
of Aiken County was recognized as the FIRST WOMAN TO REFEREE AN
AMATEUR BOXING MATCH AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL JUNIOR OLYMPICS. NEWMAN
was the first and only woman referee in South Carolina to hold
multiple state offices, including the South Carolina Junior Olympic
Chairman, a position that she had been elected to since 1991.
USA Boxing adopts
rules and regulations implementing women’s amateur boxing into its
amateur boxing program.
Daily News Golden
Gloves: In 1995, the New York Daily News Golden Gloves tournament
includes women in their event for the first time. An amateur female
boxer, Dee Hamaguchi, is credited for breaking this barrier,
allowing this event to become a breeding ground for future
professional world champions. In 1994, Dee had applied to fight in
this tournament without revealing that she was a female, mailing in
her entry form using the initial “D”, without giving away her
gender. Unfortunately Dee did not get her schedule for the physical
exam and did not participate.
amateur tournament in Augusta is a result of USA Boxing reaction to
the increase in the number of women boxers. The spurt occurred after
a Seattle-area woman’s successful suit against the organization in
1991 for the right to compete. In 1993, women were recognized as
members by USA Boxing, and today, membership has grown to 763
registered participants, compared with 340 in late 1996.
March 15, 1996
Christy Martin vs.
Deirdre Gogarty: Considered by many to be the birth of modern
professional women’s boxing, the two staged a bloody six-round
slugfest clearly impressing those ringside and a world wide
pay-per-view audience, upstaging Mike Tyson’s easy win over Frank
Bruno. A flood of worldwide coverage follows, including weeks later
a Sports Illustrated cover story on Martin. Sadly, while Martin
could have easily carried the torch for the sport, she makes it
perfectly clear through many public comments she is not an advocate
for women’s boxing in general, but instead is only in the sport for
one person – herself.
Association of England voted in favor of lifting the 116-year ban
against women boxing. Not everyone is in agreement with allowing
girls as young as ten to spar in gyms and to take part in
USA Boxing’s first
ever Women’s National Championships.
(Lawsuit in UK)
Britain Jane “The Fleetwood Assassin” Couch takes the British Boxing
Board of Control to task for sex discrimination over their refusal
to grant her a license to fight in the UK. Couch who had been denied
a boxing license since June 1997, and had to come to the United
States in order to box, was relentless in her battle to face the BBC
in this denial of her right to box. Couch wins the right to “fight”
and in Streatham, UK, on November 25, 1998, stops German Simona
Lukic in the second round.
(Woman vs. Man)
What was billed as
the “first” sanctioned bout between a man and a woman takes place in
Seattle, Washington. Margaret McGregor faces male boxer Loi Chow in
a fight scheduled for four two-minute rounds. This event took on
international presence, and brought to the surface many troubling
issues in the world of women’s boxing. After all of the hoopla was
over, it was determined that the fight would be considered an
“exhibition” and therefore was far from being the “first” of mixed
matches that have taken place off and on throughout the history of
Daughter, Laila “She-Bee Stingin” Ali, 21, makes her pro debut at
the Turning Stone Casino, in Verona, New York. The news coverage
leading up to this bout, and the media attention since she has
gotten into the sport has surpassed any of the coverage of any one
boxer on the scene in the past, and/or in the present. Her most
significant fight — and the sports most significant fight since
Martin-Gogarty — comes June 8, 2001, when 8,000 fans and hundreds of
media trek to upstate New York, for Ali-Frazier IV, a showdown with
Jacqui Frazier, daughter of longtime Ali archrival Joe Frazier. The
two silence many critics with their spirited and entertaining
eight-round bout, won by Ali. The fight draws more than 100,000
pay-per-view buys, again surprising the experts.
August 2012 - 2012 Summer Olympics in London
Women for the first
time are included in the Olympics, three weight classes. Full
details go to http://www.wban2012.com