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history first: 1978 female amateur sanctioned boxing event in minnesota
History First: The first reported sanctioned amateur bouts in the usa for females
ARTICLE by Sue TL Fox
former promoter thanks muhammad ali for his support of women’s boxing
VIDEO AND ARTICLE OF DR. WILLIAM PAUL THANKING MUHAMMAD ALI
DISCOVER the olympics, the power play, and LITTLE MISS KNOCK YOU OUT
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.
By all accounts, Martiñon is proof of the rising skill level. She’s featured on the Women Boxing Archive Network’s website as one of “the new kids on the block,” a list she made before her recent 16th birthday.
“Chris Martiñon, 15 years old, San Jose, Calif., has quickly made a name for herself in amateur boxing,” the site states. It goes on to list highlights of her career: 90-pound female division champion at both the 1999 Boxers for Christ Championship in San Diego and the 1999 California State Golden Gloves held in Tulare, and dozens of other wins.
She joins a growing number of girls and women who are serious about and good at the sport. “I know that there are a lot of younger and younger women getting involved,” says Julie Goldsticker, acting director of media and public relations for USA Boxing. “There’s a whole lot of youth movements, and it’s extremely entertaining to see. They just keep going and going.”
USA Boxing’s junior category includes kids ages 15 and 16. But at the local level, boxing organizations allow kids as young as 8 to fight. Alyssa Defazio was 10 when the Women Boxing Archive Network added her to its list of rising stars. “New wave of the future: Alyssa Defazio,” the archive brags on her behalf. She was 4 feet 11 inches tall, 85 pounds and “a little spitfire that is one of many younger females getting into the sport.”
The first international women’s boxing match was held in 1998 in Scranton, Pa., between Canada and the United States, according to the Women Boxing Archive Network. Another world championship was held in Turkey in November, where more than 30 countries participated, according to Goldsticker. But despite the fact that women’s boxing seems to many in the boxing world to be closing in on Olympic entrance, it’s not there yet.
“It’s definitely an uphill fight,” Goldsticker says.
Before an event can make it into the Olympics, it has to pass some tests. For women’s summer events such as boxing, the sport must be “widely practiced” in at least 40 countries and on three continents. At least two world or continental championships must first include the sport.
Article Exerpt from Metroactive
mINNESOTA MAN PROUD OF OLYMPIC DEBUT OF WOMEN’S BOXING