Jane Couch

Last updated

Jane Couch
Couch in 1998
Nickname(s)The Fleetwood Assassin [1]
Height5 ft 7+12 in (171 cm)
Born (1968-08-14) 14 August 1968 (age 52)
Fleetwood, Lancashire, England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights39
Wins by KO9

Jane Couch, MBE (born 14 August 1968) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1994 to 2007. She became the first officially licensed British female boxer in 1998, and won numerous world titles. Couch has since become a boxing promoter.



Born in Fleetwood, Lancashire, Couch was expelled from her school in Blackpool and thereafter lived "a life of booze, drugs and street fighting". [1] At the age of 26 she saw a television documentary about women's boxing and decided to try it. In her first official fight, a Muay Thai match, she defeated a policewoman, about which she said "it was brilliant to flatten one [a police officer] and get paid for it". [1] She currently resides in Bristol.

Professional boxing career

The British Boxing Board of Control initially refused to grant Couch a professional licence on the sole ground that she was a woman, and argued that PMS made women too unstable to box. [2] [3] Claiming sexual discrimination and supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission, Couch managed to have this decision overturned by a tribunal in March 1998. [4] [5] However, some criticism followed as the British Medical Association called this result "a demented extension of equal opportunities". [6]

Couch would later seek the right to fight a male opponent, but was unsuccessful. Of this, she said

Going into the ring against a man wouldn't bother me. I spar with blokes seven days a week so it's not as if it would be a new experience. It would mean an awful lot to me to appear at Wembley. [7]

Couch's first major success occurred in only her fifth pro fight in 1996 when she won the WIBF light welterweight title by outpointing France's Sandra Geiger over ten rounds in Copenhagen, Denmark. Of this fight, Couch observed in 2004 that "I have never been hit so hard in all my life", [8] and called Geiger "the toughest opponent (she) fought". [9]

Couch's first defence of her title was against noted female boxer Andrea DeShong, who was stopped in seven rounds in New Orleans, Louisiana in March 1997.

In September 2003 Staples Center, Los Angeles, Couch lost on points over eight rounds to the highly regarded Lucia Rijker of Holland.

Her last fight, against Anne Sophie Mathis on 8 December 2007, resulted in a loss by technical knockout.

She announced her retirement on 1 December 2008 and said she intended to continue as a boxing promoter. [10] At the time, she said

"Boxing has been my life for a long time and it will always will be, but I'm not going to miss getting my head smashed in." [11]

Couch's overall professional record was 28 wins (9 KOs), 11 defeats.

Other achievements

In 2001, she published an autobiography, "Jane Couch – Fleetwood Assassin". [12]

Couch was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours. [13]

In 2012, Couch was awarded the AOCA / Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award for her part played in raising public awareness and acceptance of female fighters. [14]

In 2016, Couch was inducted into the Women's International Boxing Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The IWBHF was created and founded in 2014 by Sue TL Fox. [15]

Post-boxing career

In 2008 Couch competed in the reincarnation of Superstars. [16]

On 20 December 2008 Couch co-promoted a promotion with Ricky Hatton in Bristol and then in February 2009 announced a more formal partnership with Hatton Promotions when she signed as boxing co-ordinator. [17]

Couch long supported the inclusion of women's boxing in the Olympic Games, saying

"It's no more dangerous for a woman to box than for a man ... The Olympics would encourage more girls into gyms where hopefully they would be welcomed." [18]

On 12 August 2009 it was reported that the International Olympic Committee appeared set to include the sport in the 2012 Summer Olympics. [19]

In December 2009, Couch promoted a competition at the Marriott Hotel, Bristol. [20]

Couch also has her own YouTube channel which features regular interviews with people involved in boxing. [21]

Professional boxing record

28 Wins (9 KOs), 11 Losses [22]
Loss28–11 Flag of France.svg Anne Sophie Mathis TKO 2 (6)2007-12-08 Flag of France.svg La Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes, France.
Loss28–10 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jaime Clampitt UD102007-06-20 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut.For vacant IWBF light welterweight title.
Loss28–9 Flag of the United States.svg Holly Holm UD102006-09-23 Flag of the United States.svg Isleta Casino & Resort, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Win28–8 Flag of Ukraine.svg Viktoria OliynykPTS62006-05-06 Flag of England.svg International Convention Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands.
Win27–8 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Galina GumliiskaTKO3 (4)2006-02-25 Flag of England.svg Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, Avon.
Loss26–8 Flag of France.svg Myriam Lamare TKO3 (10)2005-12-05 Flag of France.svg Palais Omnisports, Bercy, France.For vacant WIBF light welterweight title.

For Women's WBA light welterweight title.

Win26–7 Flag of Latvia.svg Oksana CernikovaPTS62005-11-12 Flag of England.svg Thistle Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Loss25–7 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jessica Rakoczy TKO6 (10)2005-07-21 Flag of the United States.svg Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California.For vacant Women's WBC lightweight title.
Win25–6 Flag of Ukraine.svg Larysa BerezenkoPTS62004-12-02 Flag of England.svg Thistle Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win24–6 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jaime Clampitt UD102004-06-12 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut.Won IWBF light welterweight title.
Loss23–6 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Nathalie ToroUD102004-04-03 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Vise, Liege, BelgiumFor vacant Women's European light welterweight title
Win23–5 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Borislava GoranovaPTS62004-02-29 Flag of England.svg Marriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon
Win22–5 Flag of the United States.svg Brenda DrexelPTS82003-12-21 Flag of England.svg Marriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win21–5 Flag of the United States.svg Brenda DrexelPTS102003-09-21 Flag of England.svg Marriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Loss20–5 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Lucia Rijker UD82003-09-21 Flag of the United States.svg Staples Center, Los Angeles.
Win20–4 Flag of Ukraine.svg Larysa BerezenkoPTS82003-05-15 Flag of England.svg Hand Stadium, Bristol, Avon.
Win19–4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Borislava GoranovaTKO72003-02-26 Flag of England.svg Marriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win18–4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Borislava GoranovaUD102002-12-08 Flag of England.svg Thistle Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win17–4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Borislava GoranovaUD62002-08-03 Flag of England.svg Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool, Lancashire.
Loss16–4 Flag of the United States.svg Sumya Anani TKO4 (10)2002-06-21 Flag of the United States.svg Convention Center, Waco, Texas.
Win16–3 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Tzanka KarovaTKO32001-12-16 Flag of England.svg Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, Avon.
Win15–3 Flag of the United States.svg Carla WitherspoonUD42001-07-28 Flag of Jamaica.svg Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Win14–3 Flag of Ukraine.svg Viktoria OliynykUD42001-06-16 Flag of England.svg Conference Centre, Wembley, London.
Loss13–3 Flag of the United States.svg Elizabeth MuellerUD62000-08-19 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Win13–2 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Galina GumliiskaTKO6 (10)2000-07-01 Flag of England.svg Elephant & Castle Centre, Southwark, London.Retained WIBF light welterweight title.
Win12–2 Flag of South Africa.svg Michelle StraussTKO3 (6)2000-03-09 Flag of England.svg York Hall, Bethnal Green, London.
Win11–2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Sharon Anyos UD101999-10-31 Flag of England.svg David Lloyd Tennis Centre, Raynes Park, London.Won vacant WIBF light welterweight title.
Win10–2 Flag of Germany.svg Heike NollerUD81999-04-01 Flag of England.svg Birmingham, West Midlands
Win9–2 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Marischa SjauwUD101999-02-20 Flag of England.svg Stockton on Tees, County DurhamWon WIBF light welterweight title.
Win8–2 Flag of Germany.svg Simona LukicTKO2 (6)1998-11-25 Flag of England.svg Caesars Nightclub, Streatham, London
Loss7–2 Flag of the United States.svg Dora Webber PTS102001-06-20 Flag of the United States.svg Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New JerseyFor vacant IWBF light welterweight title.
Loss7–1 Flag of the United States.svg Dora Webber SD61997-10-24 Flag of the United States.svg Lula, Mississippi
Win7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Leah MellingerUD101997-08-07 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, ConnecticutRetained WIBF light welterweight title.
Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Andrea DeShong TKO7 (10)1997-03-02 Flag of the United States.svg New Orleans, Louisiana.Retained WIBF light welterweight title.
Win5–0 Flag of France.svg Sandra GeigerPTS101996-05-31 Flag of Denmark.svg K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, DenmarkWon WIBF light welterweight title.
Win4–0Flag placeholder.svg Julia ShirleyPTS61995-07-01 Flag of England.svg Fleetwood, Lancashire
Win3–0Flag placeholder.svg Jane JohnsonTKO4 (6)1995-04-01 Flag of England.svg Speedway Stadium, Fleetwood, Lancashire
Win2–0Flag placeholder.svg Fosteres JosephPTS61995-01-01 Flag of England.svg Fleetwood, Lancashire
Win1–0Flag placeholder.svg Kalpna ShahTKO2 (6)1994-10-30 Flag of England.svg Wigan, Greater ManchesterProfessional debut.

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