international women’s boxing association history
International Women’s Boxing Association
IT DID HAPPEN
William (Bill) Paul is a Minnesotan and Georgian. He’s also Bishop of CHURCH ON THE ROAD, INC (www.churchontheroad.com www.pdiveteransrepair.com and www.pcrealestatefirm.com) and founder of the Women Boxing Association. Paul says that was back in the 1970’s when the sport began to take off. Ladies that liked boxing as a work-out wanted to compete. Paul got plenty of attention when he ran into Muhammad Ali at a fight. He says Ali began chanting “Put those women on that card”. But it wasn’t until 1978 when the AAU allowed Women in Boxing Fights. Now, it’s going to the Olympics for the 1st time in 2021. “We’re very proud because we have teams in over many countries involved.” But it all started here in Duluth and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
WOMEN EQUAL RIGHTS IN ALTHLETES
Yes, boxing is a sport that was accidentally just popped up because of women equal rights in athletes – I was asked to give the history. My name is Dr William Paul and I’m the guy that set up the whole thing. At the very beginning, both the rules and regulations, that still stand today. I will give you a little history on why we did certain things.
Well let’s take it back to the very beginning. Back in 1975, once at the University of Minnesota, Duluth — I was teaching some classes a young lady named Patricia Wagner approached me and asked why I’m not training women in boxing. Formally I had boxed for the United States Air Force there at Mount Home Air Force Base in Idaho as a United States Air Force Airman. At the University of Minnesota, Duluth — after Patricia Wagner telling a few ladies about boxing 10 then 40 showed up. At that time, they were working-out and they start losing weight 10 or more pounds in the winter of Duluth, Mn. That’s the reason women boxing got started.
WANTED TO COMPETE
Then they wanted to compete — I was totally against it but the women equal rights movement was moving and being enforce, so we said “Ok, let’s have a bout.” No one had heard of it and it was not popular — Mr. Perez, a boxing coach with his son was amateur boxer golden glove champion, I introduce the boxing program to him in Duluth then and we put on what we called The Patricia Wagner’s Invitational Boxing Matches, in June of 1975 at the University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus, with the Vice President of U of M Business Office which provided the ring. We had several women on the boxing card and competing at that particular time. Well, we had several women to win their completion. Then, a week later, all over the country, people started calling and contacting me — of course I was a student. They began asking what must they do to participate. I had no idea, so with that, the women, they continue to train and then I moved transfer to the University of Minnesota in 1976, to continue my education in Public Health, Military Science and Speech Communication. In 1977 and 1978 I started training women in the sport of boxing again, namely, Pauline McCann and many others were participating and working. As time progress I met a young lady named Sue Carson. She was a wonderful young lady and she decided she would participate in boxing program, after, we had a talk a few times there in Dicky town, off of the university campus. She and I started working out and I noticed a lot of good and natural skills. She wanted to take it all the way Professionally, because, Amateur boxing was not sanction, she wanted to participate. We attempted to be on the boxing card boxing cards, we were rejected. We figured out a way to get Sue Carlson on a Professional boxing card. Yes, get a woman to be on the boxing State Commission to change the rules and permit women completion.
1977, COMMISSIONER, JUDY KLAMMER FIRST WOMAN APPOINTED TO BOXING COMMISSION, MINN
– APPOINTED BY Governor, Rudy Perpich, MINNEASOTA
THE ROAD TO EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN IN A MALE SPORT, BOXING:
IN 1977, we began lobbing State Senators and State Representors both Republicans and Democrats with the idea of having a woman on the Minnesota boxing commission, they make the rules for boxing in the State. We were successful by getting Judy Klammer to be appointed to the Boxing Board by then, Governor Rudy Perpich appointed Ms. Klammer a 23, as the youngest and only woman on a boxing commission.
ON THE ROAD TO PROFESSIONAL LICENCE WOMEN BOXER
Strategy plan of action and, policy designed to achieve
As an intern with the Republican house of Representatives, I had campus, both Republicans and Democrats in order, to write letters to the Governors in support of the appointment of Judy Klammer, to the Boxing Commission. She was appointed, as the first woman to ever be on the Boxing Commission. This action was taken in order that women could participate on the professional boxing card. Remember, at that time 1977, women were prohibited as Amateur Boxer.
COMMISSIONER JUDY KLAMMER MADE IT ALL HAPPEN FOR PROFESSIONAL LICENCE BOXER
1977-78 BLOOMINGTON MINNEASOTA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT. NOW, commissioner, Judy Klammer, other and myself, went there and started protesting at the fight in Bloomington, Minnesota. At that time Don King, Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali were there. We wanted the women on the professional boxing card. The promoter said “No.” With that in mind, later on Ali got up while we attempted to weigh in our boxers on a bathroom scale and started chanting, “put those women on that card! put those women on that card!” of course it was an international fight. Well, the promotion group with Muhammad Ali Enterprise said, “we will work along with boxing commissioner Judy Klammer and me, to get the women boxers on HBO Friday Night fights”. Never happen. Nevertheless, the next professional fight in Minnesota, Commissioner, Klammer made sure that women boxer was on the card. So that is how the professional fighters got on License Professional boxing card in Minnesota.
ON THE ROAD TO AMATEUR WOMEN BOXER AND THE OLYMPIC
In 1978, The Olympic Boxing World said no female Amateur boxing. Nevertheless, Harry Davis was a boxing commissioner in Minnesota and also working with the Olympic Committee — he said, the Olympic committee said, regarding women boxing “it would never happen in the Olympic. But, yes, it did debut in London, England, 2021 Olympic.
about the founder – dr. william paul
1979 interview of william paul
1979 Interview of William Paul with the sponsor of the International Women’s Boxing Association, Governor Harold E. Stassen
dr. william paul biography (video)
Dr. William Paul is the Bishop/Overseer of Church On The Road; Formally of Georgia office of the Governor Office of OPB Management Review; Department of Industry and Trade; Atlanta/Fulton County Office Of Economic Development, and Dept. of Health and Economic Security in Minnesota
HOW DID IT GET TO THE OLYMPICS?
In 1978, they said “NO”. In 1993, they said “YES”, and in 1998 The Olympic Committee voted to include and allow Women’s Boxing into the Olympic Games. “Well, we have no choice; we have to make women’s boxing a sport.”
It debuted at the Olympics in 2012.
POWER PLAY WE MADE IT TO THE OLYMPIC 2012, 2016 AND 2021
While the IOC is tightening its belt, local boxing officials look at the broader picture of what it takes to get in the club. “I just think it’s like anything else; it has to be proven,” says Jeaneene Hildebrandt, chair of the USA Boxing women’s committee. Hildebrandt, who is 62, was at the meeting in 1993 when the USA Boxing president made the announcement that “well, we have no choice; we have to make women’s boxing a sport,” she recalls.
For women, boxing required two fights. The first was just to make it into the ring. The event, billed at the time as the World’s First Women’s Amateur Boxing Championships, took place in St. Paul, Minn., on May 12, 1978, one month after another first match was reportedly canceled.
“A group of frustrated female boxers and their backers, prevented from appearing on Friday’s slate [boxing card] … are still bitter and plan to protest. ‘All we asked for was four minutes on the card,’ said [promoter Bill Paul], who wanted Joan Marcolt, St. Paul, and Debbie Kaufman, Minneapolis, to fight at Anoka’s Fred Moore Junior High School for the state female bantamweight championship,” according to a Minneapolis news report.
The 24 intervening years have lent women’s boxing some mainstream acceptance. International Amateur Boxing Association President Anwar Chowdhry, who makes recommendations to the Olympic Committee for event inclusion, was surprised by the high skill level of the women boxers at one recent competition, USA Boxing’s Hildebrandt boasted.
“If he did not think that the women should be in the Olympics, he would just say, ‘I’m not going to present this to the Olympic Committee,'” she says. But he gave positive feedback and picked the tournament’s outstanding boxer: a woman from Italy. Hildebrandt is confident that women’s boxing will make the cut. “Every year, the skill level goes up, and there are more participants,” she says.
Article Excerpt from Metro active
SUMMARY OF EVENTS
WOMEN’S BOXING HISTORY
WOMEN’S BOXING HISTORY
Part 1. Judy Klammer becoming the first boxing commissioner in Minnesota history and possibly the first appointed by a governor in US history.
Part 2. The sanction of women’s boxing by the US AAU during the 1978 or 1979 national convention held in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace. The following will be a brief history.
Part 3. After lobbying the legislative body in Minnesota, both republicans and democrats, we presented the nomination of Judy Klammer, the former president of the International Women’s Boxing Association as a candidate to be appointed to the ‘all male’s club’, The Boxing Commission. After lobbying, the governor of Minnesota, democratic Gov. Rudy Purpich, appointed Judy Klammer to the position as the first female boxing commissioner. This marked the beginning of women being allowed to participate and box and be on the card for world championship fights in Minnesota and for them to be paid. One of our biggest supporters and sponsors was State Rep. Ray Pleasant of Edina, Minnesota. I believe one of the fights was between Mike Weaver vs DeWayne Bobbitt or Scott Ladieux (spelling of the names of the boxers may be incorrect). Larry Holmes fought Scott Ladieux or Dewayne Bobbitt in Bloomington I believe. The year was either 1977 or 1978…maybe even 1979. I believe the promoter was John Peterson.
Note: The women would never have participated on the card if it wasn’t for the appointment of Judy Klammer on the boxing commission. Sue, we had a very comical event after we had gotten Judy appointed to the commission. There was a championship fight in Minnesota at the boxing arena — I believe it was in1977 or 1978. The match was promoted by the Muhammed Ali group out of California. I walked into the lobby area and introduced myself to Howard Cosell and Don King. I was surprised to see that Howard Cosell was so tall. I always imagined him being short. Prior to the fight, I had Judy to introduce me to the Ali group and Don King’s son in order to express to them the importance of women participating in boxing especially starting with the amateur level. The Muhammad Ali group made several promises even relating to having the women on HBO. The night before the world championship boxing event, we had strategized on protesting this international boxing event by weighing the women in using bathroom scales which we brought to the weigh-in. As mentioned above, we met with Howard Cosell and Don King and brought this to their attention. They were polite and made a few remarks. We were told that Muhammed Ali was in the cafeteria. We went there to meet him and had a discussion with him. We told him about women’s boxing and Judy being appointed to the boxing commission. He was very supportive. He also told him of our plans to weigh-in the women on our bathroom scales as they weighed in the men on their more sophisticated scales in order to bring attention to women’s boxing and the need for them to participate in amateur boxing. In the meantime, we met with Harry Davis. I believe he was the vice president of IOC (International Olympic committee) or just for the boxing commission. I am not certain which one. He stated to me that the IOC was in total opposition to women boxing on the amateur level but he would help me in putting together a sanctioned fight on the amateur level with the AAU. It of course, did take place in 1977.
Note: IN 1975 as I recall, the Patricia Invitational Golden Glove match, with male participants as well, was the first sanctioned fight. We had to pay for license to participate on the card.
Finally, in conclusion, after we had finished meeting with Ali, we went outside and started weighing the women who were not allowed to participate on this professional card. Muhammad Ali came out chanting, “Put those women on that card!”. The promotors and sponsors asked us if we would stop our protest, they stated if we would, then they would put the women on the next card which they did… and the rest is history.
Part 4. In 1978 or 1979 at the AAU National convention at Caesar’s Palace, Mike Weaver was the heavy weight champion of the world that year. I remember because he dated one of our officers, Ms. Stone who went to Las Vegas to represent our organization in order to sanction women’s boxing as an official sport by the AAU.
The rules and regulation the Olympic have today in their possession are the same rules that were presented at the AAU convention for adoption.
The trip was funded by Marquis Bank of Minneapolis in the form of a loan.
I sent 3 beautiful ladies to Las Vegas in order to win the approval of the AAU subcommittee… I believe it was the boxing committee.
The names of these three beautiful ladies are: Judy Klammer, Minnesota Boxing Commissioner; Loretta Novak, women’s boxing board member, and Ms. Stone, women’s boxing board member.
Upon their arrival, they met with the subcommittee in a room full of cigar smoking males according to eye witness reports.
The subcommittee was impressed with the presentation but stated we lacked bylaws.
The subcommittee disbanded for the day. I called Judy and informed her that we could have the bylaws to them the following day and also asked her to inform the subcommittee that we were supported by former Minnesota Gov. Harold E. Stassen.
Within 24 hours, I had Pam Lawson type up the bylaws which were forwarded to the subcommittee. Upon their reconvening, they approved the bylaws the next day and submitted them to the full body. They approved unanimously on the convention floor adding women’s boxing as an official sport.
We called the 3 girls, ‘Paul’s Angels’ (like Charlie’s Angels) :-).
You may ask, why wasn’t I there? I was always on the phone and not on the scene because, I do not like flying (smile).
former promoter thanks muhammad ali for his support in women’s boxing
Dr. William Paul – Columbus, Georgia
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