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Anne Sophie Da Costa and Tina Rupprecht boxing, 2017
|Also known as||Pugilism|
|Olympic sport||Yes, as of the 2012 Olympics|
Although women have participated in boxing for almost as long as the sport has existed, female fights have been effectively outlawed for most of boxing's history, with athletic commissioners refusing to sanction or issue licenses to women boxers, and most nations officially banning the sport.Reports of women entering the ring go back to the 18th century.
Women's boxing goes back at least to the early 18th century, when Elizabeth Wilkinson fought in London. Billing herself as the European Championess, she fought both men and women. In those days, the rules of boxing allowed kicking, gouging and other methods of attack not part of today's arsenal.
During the 1920s, Professor Andrew Newton formed a Women's Boxing Club in London.However women's boxing was hugely controversial. In early 1926, Shoreditch borough council banned an arranged exhibition match between boxers Annie Newton and Madge Baker, a student of Digger Stanley. An attempt to hold the match in nearby Hackney instead was defeated by a campaign led by the Mayor of Hackney, who wrote "I regard this proposed exhibition of women boxers as a gratification of the sensual ideals of a crowd of vulgar men." The Home Secretary Sir William Joynson-Hicks was among those opposing the match, claiming "the Legislature never imagined that such a disgraceful exhibition would have been staged in this country." The story was reported across the country and even internationally.
Women's boxing first appeared in the Olympic Games at a demonstration bout in 1904. 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. One named Susan MacGregor (Laurenckirk, Aberdeenshire) and the other Joanne Cawthorne (Peterhead, Aberdeenshire). The International Boxing Association (amateur) 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 1197, Jenifer Simpson saw her way onto the spotlight.
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. Around these (2009) hearings, in conjunction with AIBA (International Boxing Association), the International Olympic Committee agreed to include three additional women's weight classes to the 2012 London Olympic Games. However, a new "gender-appropriate" women's boxing uniform was in the works, this would require women (under AIBA rules) to wear skirts during competition.Traditional gender role sentiment was prominent to the news of women and skirts. To include top armature coaches, who have been documented stating, "Women are made for beauty and not to take blows to the head" and "By wearing skirts…it gives a good impression, a womanly impression". The issue was widely ignored till amateur boxer and London student Elizbeth Plank, brought light to the issue and created a petition at Change.com to end this sex-based mandatory uniforms.
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.
In October 2001 the 2001 Women's World Amateur Boxing Championships were held in Scranton, The United States.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge announced that it would be an Olympic sport at the 2012 Games in London.
Women were allowed to competitively box for the first time at the Olympics during the 2012 Summer Olympics, producing the world's first 12 female Olympic medalist boxers.
In 2015 the World Boxing Federation unified various women's titles to have one title holder.
Barbara Buttrick was the first televised boxing match between two women on television and radio.
During the 1970s, a popular female boxer named Cathy 'Cat' Davis came out of the United States Northwest, and a few of her fights were televised. Cathy Davis was the 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. Marian “Tyger” Trimiar and Jackie Tonawanda were pioneers as they were the first women in the United States to get a license for boxing in the United States.
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. Women took hunger strikes to be noticed
But the boom of women's boxing came during the 1990s, coinciding with the boom in 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 Vélez, Ivonne Caples, Bonnie Canino and Sumya Anani, all world champions, jumping into the scene.
Women's boxing has experienced more television and media exposure, including the major motion picture Million Dollar Baby . There are a few organizations that recognize world championship bouts, and fights are held in more than 100 countries.
Although positive strides in recent years have been made to women's boxing, reports of sex-based harassmentin boxing gyms and tournaments across the United Kingdom and the United States remain. In addition to harassment and unfair policy, women have also been grossly under-promoted or sponsored in the professional rankings. Major boxing broadcasting networks such as HBO and P.B.C have yet to feature a woman's headlining bout. In a recent press conference, 2x Olympic Gold medalist Claressa Shields stated, "All the respect to all the women that box, we have more than one fight… [we are] fighting for equal pay and equal time on T.V… we don’t get enough sponsorships or endorsements as the men".
On 16 April 1992, after eight years in court in Massachusetts, Gail Grandchamp 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.During her battle to win the right to box as an amateur, she passed the age of 36, the maximum age for 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.
Professional women's boxing has declined in popularity in the United States and struggles to get viewership and sponsorship and many fighters have to fight in Mexico or Europe in order to make a good living.Amongst females, the sport has been supplanted by Women's MMA.
Women's boxing is not as common as in western countries.Esther Phiri is one of the more prominent champions
In Argentina, women's boxing has experienced a notable rise in popularity, due in part to the presence of boxers such as Alejandra Oliveras, Marcela Acuna, Yesica Bopp and Erica Farias.
Women's boxing in Australia has a small following in the country.
There professional boxing, physical therapist and actress, Dessislava Kirova better known as Daisy "The Lady" Lang. Along with other competitors, Stanimira Petrova and Stoyka Petrova.
The 2006 Women's World Amateur Boxing Championships was hosted by India from November 2006 in New Delhi wherein India won four gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Mary Kom is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion. She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.
Three Indian female boxers, namely, Pinki Jangra, Mary Kom and Kavita Chahal were placed in the world's top three in AIBA world rankings (1 March 2014) in their respective categories.
The sport is growing in Mexico. Boxing is one of the top spectators sports in Mexico. Similar to soccer, boxing inspires pride that directly translates to Mexican nationalism. Male boxers have been seen in Mexico as icons and are hugely celebrated by fans in international competitions. Despite the popularity of boxing in Mexico, women weren't allowed to participate in professional matches, due to a bill enacted in 1947 that banned female professional matches.In 20 April 1995 Law student Laura Serrano became the first Mexican woman to win a boxing world title (WIBF lightweight title). Later in 1998 Serrano was supposed to fight in Mexico city, but the Legislative Assembly of the Mexico City used the 1947 female boxing ban to cancel the match. It wasn't until 1999, that women’s professional boxing became legal in Mexico City after Serrano, brought a lawsuit against the boxing regulations that banned women from the practice, as the ban infringed equality rights, the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City was then to permanently remove the ban. A small sector of female boxers began to develop in spite of the scarcity of training facilities, the open hostility of their male counterparts, and the scarcity of tournaments and fights open to women. Women in Mexico had to fight the social stigma of female fighters. However, Mexico has produced a number of female fighters who previously and currently hold world titles. Some notable female boxers from Mexico are Jackie Nava, Irma Sánchez, Kenia Enriquez and Alejandra Jiménez. In 2005 Jackie "The Aztec" Nava was the first woman ever to win a female world title fight sanction by the WBC. As a result of her ground breaking achievement Jackie Nava is alongside Serrano one of the women who is credited with opening the door for the next generation of female boxers in Mexico through empowerment.
First introduced in the Soviet Union, the women's boxing has been growing in popularity for the last 50 years. Since the introduction of the women's boxing to the Olympic programme, Russian female fighters have won two silver medals (2012) and one bronze.
As of 2017, the only differences between men's and women's boxing are the ones related to boxer safety.
As stated by the AIBA Technical Rules and Competition Rules:
- head guards are necessary for female boxers of any age;
- breast guard is advised for female fighters in addition to pubic (crotch) guard;
- pregnant sportswomen are not allowed to engage in combat.
Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves and other protective equipment such as hand wraps and mouthguards, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is an organization which sanctions professional boxing bouts. It is recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) as one of the four major world championship groups, alongside the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), and International Boxing Federation (IBF). The WBO's headquarters are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Amateur boxing is a variant of boxing practised at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games, as well as many associations.
The Val Barker Trophy is presented every four years to the most "outstanding boxer" at the Olympic Games. In theory, the award goes to the top "pound for pound" boxer in the Olympics. The winner is selected by a committee of International Boxing Association (amateur) (AIBA) officials. The trophy is named after British boxer Val Barker who won the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABA) heavyweight title in 1891, before becoming the secretary of the AIBA between 1926 and 1929.
Katie Taylor is an Irish professional boxer and former footballer. She is a two-weight world champion and the current undisputed lightweight champion, having held the WBA title since 2017; the IBF title since 2018; and the WBC, WBO, and Ring magazine titles since 2019, as well as having held the WBO junior-welterweight title in 2019. Following her victory over Delfine Persoon in 2019, she became one of only eight boxers in history to hold all four major world titles in boxing—WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO—simultaneously. Her first victory over Persoon in 2019, also gained her recognition as the inaugural lightweight lineal champion.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is an Indian amateur boxer, politician, and incumbent Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. She is the only female to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer to win eight World Championship medals. Nicknamed Magnificent Mary, she is the only Indian female boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning a bronze medal. She had also been ranked as the world's No. 1 female light-flyweight by the International Boxing Association (amateur) (AIBA). She became the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014 at Incheon, South Korea and is the first Indian female boxer to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She is also the only boxer to become Asian Amateur Boxing Champion for a record six times.
Cecilia Carmen Linda Brækhus is a Norwegian professional boxer and former kickboxer. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest female boxers of all time. In boxing she reigned as the undisputed female welterweight champion from 2014 to 2020, and is the first woman in any weight class to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles simultaneously. She is also one of only eight boxers in history, female or male, to hold all four major world titles simultaneously, along with Bernard Hopkins (2004–2005), Jermain Taylor (2005), Terence Crawford (2017), Oleksandr Usyk (2018–2019), Claressa Shields (2019–2020), Katie Taylor (2019–), and Jessica McCaskill (2020–). In 2016, she captured the IBO title, becoming the first ever boxer to hold five world titles from sanctioning bodies simultaneously.
The boxing tournaments at the 2012 Olympic Games in London were held from 28 July to 12 August at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre.
In boxing, a weight class is a measurement weight range for boxers. The lower limit of a weight class is equal to the upper weight limit of the class below it. The top class, with no upper limit, is called heavyweight in professional boxing and super heavyweight in amateur boxing. A boxing match is usually scheduled for a fixed weight class, and each boxer's weight must not exceed the upper limit. Although professional boxers may fight above their weight class, an amateur boxer's weight must not fall below the lower limit. A nonstandard weight limit is called a catchweight.
Natasha Jonas is a British professional boxer who challenged for the WBC and IBO female super-featherweight titles in August 2020. As an amateur, she won a bronze medal in the lightweight division at the 2012 AIBA World Championships; bronze in the light welterweight division at the 2011 European Championships; and silver in the light welterweight division at the 2014 European Championships.
Nicola Adams is a British former professional boxer who competed from 2017 to 2019. She retired with an undefeated record and held the WBO female flyweight title in 2019. As an amateur, she became the first female boxer to become an Olympic champion after winning gold at London 2012, and the first double Olympic champion following a second gold medal at Rio 2016, both in the flyweight division. As of 27 May 2016 she was the reigning Olympic, World and European Games champion at flyweight, and won the entire set of amateur championships available to her - Olympic, Commonwealth and European Games' titles, and the World, European and European Union championships.
Amanda Serrano is a Puerto Rican professional boxer, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler. As a boxer, she is the unified featherweight world champion, having held the WBO title since 2019; the WBC title since February 2021; and the IBO title since March 2021. She is the only female, and Puerto Rican, to win world titles in more than four weight classes, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most boxing world championships won in different weight-classes by a female, having held 9 major world titles across seven different weight classes. Her older sister, Cindy, is also a professional boxer. The pair became the first sisters to hold world titles from major sanctioning bodies at the same time after Cindy won the WBO featherweight title in 2016.
Claressa Maria Shields is an American professional boxer and mixed martial artist. She has held multiple world championships in three weight classes, including the undisputed female light middleweight title since March 2021; the undisputed female middleweight title from 2019 to 2020; and the unified WBC and IBF female super middleweight titles from 2017 to 2018. Shields currently holds the record for becoming a two and three-weight world champion in the fewest professional fights. As of November 2020, she is ranked as the world's best active female light middleweight by The Ring and BoxRec, as well as the best active female boxer, pound for pound, by Lineal Boxing Champion and ESPN, second by The Ring, and fourth by BoxRec.
Marlen Esparza is an American professional boxer who challenged for the WBA interim female flyweight title in 2019. As an amateur she became the first American woman to qualify for the Olympics in the first year that women's boxing was an Olympic event, going on to win a bronze medal in the women's flyweight division at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Savannah Rose Marshall is a British professional boxer who has held the WBO female middleweight title since October 2020. As an amateur, she became the first British female world champion after securing gold at the 2012 World Championships. She has been nicknamed as the 'Silent Assassin' due to her shyness. As of October 2020, she is ranked as the world's second best active female middleweight by BoxRec and the fifth best active super-middleweight by The Ring.
Michael John Conlan is an Irish professional boxer. As an amateur, he reached number one in the AIBA bantamweight world rankings, with achievements that include a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and gold at the 2015 World Championships. He has been one of Ireland's most successful amateur fighters of all time. He turned professional in 2016 after misgivings with the amateur sport, and had his first bout in 2017.
Elena Savelyeva is a Russian world champion boxer, and European champion.
The boxing tournaments at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro took place from 6 to 21 August 2016 at the Pavilion 6 of Riocentro.
Jessica McCaskill is an American professional boxer. She is a two-weight world champion, having held the undisputed, and IBO female welterweight titles since 2020; the WBC female super lightweight title from 2018 to 2020; and the WBA female super lightweight title from 2019 to 2020. She also challenged for the WBA lightweight title in 2017. As of September 2020, she is ranked as the world's best active female welterweight by Lineal Boxing Champion,The Ring and BoxRec, and the third best active female, pound for pound, by Lineal Boxing Champion, BoxRec, and fourth by The Ring and ESPN. McCaskill is one of only two women in the modern, post-Olympic era of women's boxing, to win lineal championships in two weight classes.
Chantelle Cameron is a British professional boxer. She is a two-weight world champion, having held the WBC female light-welterweight title since 2020 and the IBO female lightweight title from 2017 to 2019. As an amateur, she won a silver medal in the light-welterweight division at the 2010 EU Championships in Keszthely, Hungary, and a bronze in the lightweight division at the 2011 EU Championships in Katowice, Poland, losing to Ireland's Katie Taylor in the semi-finals. As of October 2020, she is ranked as the world's best active female light-welterweight by BoxRec, and third best active female lightweight and light-welterweight by The Ring.
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