In 2012, for the first time in history female boxers will be allowed to enter the Olympics. This news surprised me as I was unaware that they were currently banned from fighting. It’s unusual that women are able to compete in international boxing competitions, but not in the most important global sporting event. When women are allowed to compete in every other sport, it’s a bit old fashioned to rule out boxing. We can fight just as good as men, can’t we? It’s a common myth that boxing is too dangerous for women. However, there is medical proof that we are no more fragile than men when it comes to fighting. Women have long been able to compete in dangerous sports like Rugby and weightlifting which, it could be argued, are far more likely to harm.
In 1997, Jane Couch became the first female boxer in Britain to gain a professional license from the Boxing Board. In response to the news, she recently told the Telegraph that it was “justice and equality for a group of women wanting to compete in sport”. She went on to explain, “It’s ten years too late but it’s great that it is here now”. When Couch began her career she wasn’t even allowed in gyms to practice. A crazy thought when you realise she began her career in the nineties, not the twenties. When ready to compete, Couch had no option but to enter the professional competitions as there wasn’t an amateur competition for women.
In comparison to the number of celebrated male boxers, fighting females are few and far between. One of the most notable examples is Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad. In addition to Ali, the daughters of George Forman and Joe Frazier are also professional boxers. However the recognition these women receive often fails to differentiate between their talent and their familiar surname. Even Laila Ali is not necessarily the best female boxer, yet she is one of the most known. Champion female boxers Ann Wolfe, Vonda Ward, Leatitia Robinson and Natasha Ragosina are known in the boxing world, yet outside of it, their names are never celebrated the way male counterparts have been.
Aggressive women are misunderstood. the loving, maternal idea of a woman just doesn’t blend well with bloodthirsty violence. but we’re all human and shouldn’t be held back by gender. I personally love boxing – it’s exactly what I need after using public transport. After becoming increasingly stressed by the rude behaviour of my fellow passengers, I would join my boyfriend for a sparring session and within minutes would be laughing and joking with no concern for those who had bothered me so much 20 minutes beforehand. As well as being a great stress reliever, it speeds up your reaction times and builds your self esteem. I’m not a violent person but I feel more confident knowing that I can protect myself from those who choose to pick a fight with me.
Boxing is an honourable form of fighting, no kicks, no nails, just punches. Yeah it’s neanderthal but that’s why we love it, it’s one of the oldest forms of popular sport and can be traced back to the ancient Roman empire. There’s something about fighting that is ingrained in us all. It may be a fairly violent sport but humans are naturally aggressive, to let it out in a controlled setting is better than brawling in the street every Friday night, is it?
Published by WAH Magazine.com