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, contrary to the expectations of some observers. 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.
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.
In 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.
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.
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.
Full article ▸