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Only two on the ring - He and She

Only two on the ring

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They are two in a secluded nook,.
Just two - in the human sea..
Like a perfect match they look.
Only two on the ring - he and she....
Panteleymon Lukov

There are three main forces which drive women into the ring against men: lack of fitting female opponents, desire to prove that women are equal in any area or making publicity and profit. As soon as women's boxing has developed, the first reason is not a point. It would be a good evidence that a woman can be on an equal footing with a man, if a top-ranked female boxer matches a top-rank male boxer of a close category but this is probably unrealizable dreams of some feminists. Definitely, none of real male fighters looks forward to fighting against a woman. Thus, the only driving force for the event named "the battle of sexes" is making publicity for female fighters and making money of the exotic show.

If a woman manages to win (over an unprepared guy) she will celebrate a triumph, if she loses, it's OK (if she has not been killed though ); after all, she loses to a stronger person... For a male boxer the situation is qiute the opposite...

Helen Hildreth  - Johnny Atkinson One of the earliest documented mixed matches was held on February 29, 1916 between Helen Hildreth ("Lady the Pugilist") and Johnny Atkinson. Johnny had a great boxing record whereas Helen was a pioneer woman muscle-builder who lifted weights at Grupp's Gym in New York City. Helen had beaten Johnny so badly in the beginning rounds that he was a bloody sight as the records say and that "Helen displayed a muscular physique superior to the champ's" and the papers said, "the lady pugilist had the champ on the ropes as she drove a number of punches into Atkinson's ribs as the powerful fighter's blocks failed to stop Helen's strength." The fight was soon stopped by the commissioner Fred Wenck and a police officer as Johnny Atkinson was helped from the ring; Helen Hildreth held her arms up and flexed several times. There was never a rematch.

oanna Hagen - Norm Jones Many years had passed until Joanna Hagen (JoAnn Haegen or Jo-ann Verhaegen), a very famous female boxer from the 50's had a boxing match with Norm Jones and defeated him in a four-round decision in Michigan City in 1952. If any boxing match should be declared the "first" (completed) one, the Hagen-Jones fight was the closest to equivalency of that honor; besides it was the first victory of a woman over a man.

Jackie Tonawanda - Larry Rodania Jackie Tonawanda - Larry Rodania In 1975, Jackie Tonawanda self-proclaimed herself "Female Ali", made her mark in history at the Madison Square Garden, in New York, when she took on a Kickboxer Larry Rodania. Tonawanda KOed Rodania in the second round. That's what a report said: "No one ever heard of the kickboxer Rodania - he was credited with being the most incompetent man to ever put boxing gloves on. His blows had no effect on his foe. The fight was viewed as a farce because it ended with a ‘phantom punch’ (like Ali), in the round the female picked (like Ali)." Tonawanda believed that doing this exhibition, she would gain her much needed New York boxing license that was being denied, by the New York commission, but the matchup did not further her cause. Along with two other women boxers, Lady Tyger Trimiar and Cathy "Cat" Davis who were also trying in vain to get the right to fight in New York

Marion Bermudez in karate The famous female combatant Marion Bermudez is, probably the most noted past fighter to mix it up with men in the ring. One headliner said, "Woman Boxer BEATS MALE RIVAL In Golden Gloves, dated July 1975". "Miss Marion Bermudez, 23, connects with a long right to the face of Edwardo Parras en route to scoring a first-round technical knockout victory in the Phoenix Golden Gloves tourney. Fighting in the 125-pound novice class, the Arizona State University engineering senior is the first female boxer to score a victory in a nationally sanctioned tournament in the United States." Later, she fought Fernando Granillo and was knocked out in the first round. Marion Bermudez became the first woman in history to win a Full Contact kickboxing bout in a professional tournament against a man. Bermudez was dropped but she got back up and then dropped her male opponent Anthony Suarez. This angular young lady with the Latin good looks has won over 250 trophies to karate and judo competition, facing many MALE rivals weighing over 200 pounds.

Sue Tiger Lilly Fox The prominent female boxer from 1970s, the great female combat enthusiast and the author of the best WEB recourse dedicated to women's boxing (WBAN), Sue "Tiger Lilly" Fox fought against a man too. She said, "There was one exhibition I wish I had never done that was against my karate Instructor... A local TV crew was filming me for a feature story in 1976. I kicked him in the mouth, snapped both of his front teeth off the roots, cut his lip that needed stitches... and the TV crew made it worst when they handed him a business card, asking him to call the station as soon as he found out how many stitches he would take on his mouth!"

Shirley Tucker In November of 1982, it was documented in the New York Times, that after the legality of boxing matches between women and men was argued by the American Civil Liberties Union, the five-member board of the California Athletic Commission voted to approve professional boxing matches between the sexes effective immediately. ''We had no recourse but to approve it,'' said Don Fraser, the commission's executive officer. ''To my knowledge there is only one woman interested in fighting men - and that's Shirley Tucker of Santa Rosa, who is in the 120-pound division.'' Fraser added that he didn't know of any men willing to fight women. Shirley Tucker never did fight a male, after fighting for the right to do so.

Jolene Blackshear vs Jeremy Powell In 1990s, the first televised mixed kickboxing match was held. The Jolene Blackshear vs. Jeremy Powell match up was a four-round exhibition. The fight was televised, and showed rounds 2, 3, and 4. Jeremy wore a headgear, Jolene didn't. Jeremy Powell was an amateur boxer, about 15 lbs heavier than Jolene. He also had substantial reach on Jolene. The three rounds were full of kicks and spinning backfists, and punches from both. None of them looked like they were going full force, but Jolene was the aggressor, Jeremy the counter-puncher. At the end of the fight, the referee raises both of their hands in victory. One commentator said that if the fight had been scored Jolene would have been ahead, but the bottom line is this, Jeremy appeared to be holding back his kicks and punches, he was much bigger than Jolene. So there was no winner - this was an exhibition.

Yvonne Chavez - Wilfredo Parra In another so-called "battle of the sexes", 16-year-old Yvonne Chavez of Albuquerque, New Mexico was the only girl entered in amateur kickboxing tournament in 1992 (?). And since there were no other females to provide for a separate girl's tournament, she fought in the same tournament against male competitors. Yvonne Chavez came out against a much taller 15-year-old Wilfredo "Junior" Parra at West Mesa High School in Albuquerque. She showed a skill, sophistication, and poise way beyond her opponent before knocking him out. This was his debut match in competition and his shorter (but skillful) female opponent took him apart and stopped him in the middle of the third round when he wouldn't come out of his corner after a knockdown. A boxing fan said, "He was acting so cocky and in the end, after getting knocked down from a wicked body kick, he refused to come out of his corner. He was beat and exhausted mentally and physically by little Yvonne." According to Sue TL Fox, of any of the male/female bouts she had have seen, that particular match appeared that both fighters were giving it their all to win the bout.

Lucia Rijker - Somchai Jaidee One of the most dangerous female boxers and kickboxers, Lucia Rijker met the greatest challenge of her great career when she took on the male New Zealand Muay Thai Boxing Champion, Somchai Jaidee in 1995. It was a 100% real kickboxing bout and her male opponent worked in full strength. Lucia managed to withstand the first round. However, in the second round she was knocked out and laid unconscious on the floor for a few minutes. Perhaps, it was the only real (rather than exhibition) mixed bout. "At that time there were no female opponents who I thought were qualified," she relates. "I didn’t see it as a male-female thing. I was challenging myself." She also says she respected Jaidee for agreeing to fight her. "He had everything to lose, and nothing to gain." The bout was hyped up, and before a soldout hometown crowd in Amsterdam, Lucia Rijker suffered her only loss.

This bout was in its way a unique match, which differed markedly from any other one happened before and after it. Two well-trained, technically and physically strong fighters uncompromisingly combated against each other for real. However, the fact that the best of the best one among women was relatively easily defeated by the serious (but far from the best in the world) male fighter, witnesses against the idea of some feminists about separation in sports not by sex but by weight and height.

Christy Foster - Chris Byman Spectators enjoy the bout Foster - Byman In August 1999, two American soldiers engaged in a mixed boxing bout. At the U.S. Army post at Ft. Riley Craig Fitness Center, Kansas, the post boxing tournament has one female entered. Fighting for the 139 lb. title, female soldier Christy Foster comes back from a poor first round to outbox and pummel her opponent Chris Byman, a male soldier, defeating him in the military amateur boxing match by split decision. After the sluggish beginning, Christy brought the crowd to its feet - "You got beat by a girl!" a gleeful crowd chanted as Byman accepted his second-place medal after the match.

Sunshine Fettkether vs Randy Pittman Саншайн Фетткетер нокаутирует Ренди Питтмена In October 1999 bright kickboxer, Sunshine Fettkether gave a guy a good fighting lesson in a bar. She knocked out Randy Pittman, a self styled "bar room brawler" in the first round of a kickboxing match in Phoenix Arizona. Sunshine accomplished this after being up for 48 hours before the fight without sleep-due to all the distractions from the enormous press coverage...

The most advertised (and probably the most sluggish) mixed boxing bout took place on October 9, 1999. The news media around the world went into frenzy when all reported that the mixed match scheduled to take place in Seattle, Washington, between Margaret McGregor (36-year-old landscaper from Bremerton, Washington) and Loi Chow (an Asian 5-foot-2 jockey turned boxer from Vancouver, Canada) was a "History First"! It was claimed "the first" because it was thought as "sanctioned" as all previous mixed matches from the past were "exhibitions." Margaret McGregor vs Loi Chow Margaret McGregor defeated Loi Chow Regardless of those above mentioned facts, the news media completely ignored documented history of mixed matches to feed the story lines to the public, misled, and documented inaccurate historical events to make the most of this event. The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) determined that "they would allow this match to take place between Margaret McGregor, Bremerton (Pro Boxing fighter, 3-0, 130 lbs) and Hector Morales, Vancouver, B.C. (Pro Boxing debut, 130 lbs)." The match did occur (with a different male opponent though), but within a few days, this mixed sanctioned boxing match was declared an "Exhibition". So much for being a "History First", and did the news media ever straighten the history of mixed matches after it was no more than a four-rounder mixed exhibition? Unfortunately, they didn't, and left the history hanging "inaccurately" like they have managed to do with so many other historical events in women's boxing history.

At last minute, Hector Morales refused to fight and was replaced with the inexperienced in boxing, shorter and lighter guy Loi Chow. They "fought" by "women's rules" (four two-minute rounds): the McGregor's noble opponent seemed even not to attempt touching her body with his gloves, whereas Margaret enthusiastically waved by her gloves and after all, was announced a winner. "The sensation: a woman defeated a man in boxing!" ;) McGregor proudly said to reporters: "The weight of the world was on my shoulders - I hope I’ve done good for boxing." And that's how "Asian week" put it: "This wasn’t a fair fight. It was a real female fighter vs. an amateur. She was all over him like a spouse who forgot an anniversary. He appeared to be fighting back only as a 128-pound weakling could."

Regina Halmich vs Stefan Raab Regina Halmich vs Stefan Raab Formidable female boxer Regina Halmich has a lot of great achievements but the biggest boost to her popularity was not a result of her self-discipline and committed training, it was because of her fight with TV presenter Stefan Raab, whom she faced in the ring on March 22, 2001. In the weeks preceding the event, she was subjected to public taunts from the TV star. However, Raab had to accept defeat in the fifth round, and left the ring with a broken nose. 7.5 million viewers followed the televised fighting event on their screens. That was the media breakthrough.

Tonya Harding - then and now On a night (January 16, 2005), when millions of Americans watched the tsunami disaster on television stations, a few hundred people packed into a New Castle bar (Newark, New Jersey) to watch Tonya Harding - more infamous than famous - box a Newark man. "America's Bad Girl," as Harding was introduced, was met with a mix of boos and cheers when she entered the ring. She won by TKO in the second round after her petite opponent Mark Mason, a 5-foot-2, 125-pound former figure skater, complained that his eyes were tearing up. Tonya Harding and transvestite Spectators shouted derogatory comments toward Harding, including one man who yelled for Mason to "kick her in the knee." (Hint to the knee trauma inflicted long ago by her boy-friend to her skating-ring rival, Nancy Kerrigan.) For much of the match, Mason, who was selected from a pool of 100 people, flailed at Harding, who has gained a considerable amount of weight since her days as an Olympic skater. The fight was over so fast that the crowd started jeering. Mason later said he was overwhelmed in the ring. "She got me with a couple of punches I didn't expect," said Mason, who had never boxed before. "It goes to show that you need to know what you're doing in there." One of the spectators said Mason was obviously overmatched. "He was like 100 pounds lighter than her," she said. In March 2005 it was announced that Tonya Harding would fight in Florida against a transvestite (a person who dresses and appears like a girl that happens to be a guy). Tickets had been sold out but at last moment police appeared in the venue and banned the event.

Asako Saioka vs Arashi Hujihara Asako Saioka vs Kiken Takayama Japanese female kickboxers are not averse to fight against men either. Takako Shimoseki deserved to be named "Men's killer" after on May 19, 2001, in Thailand, she knocked out her male opponent in the third round of a 5-round Muay Thai kickboxing match (she hit him by knee). On January 26, 2004, Japanese female kickboxer Asako Yonezawa Saioka met on the ring Arashi Hujihara (male opponent). The result is a draw. (Saioka's orignal female opponent - Makoto was injured and had to cancel). On July 20, 2003 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Asako Saioka defeated Kiken "Danger" Takayama in the kickboxing match by a unanimous decision after three 2-minute rounds. Saioka was ranked #1 in the world by the WIKBA at the time of the fight. She had a record of 30 wins and 4 losses with 11 KO's.

Ana Pascal In October 2003 in Curacao, Ana "Dinamita" Pascal (138lbs), Panama, a top-ranked women's boxer fought the 37-year-old male boxer, Jose Espanol, from Venezuela. Pascal, according to news sources, took quite a beating, when the fight was stopped by the referee in the fourth round. The "Fight News" reports says: "The very masculine-looking Ana "Dinamita" Pascal of Panama, coming in with a record of 6-0, against a man. The bona fide male proceeded to beat Ms. Pascal to a bloody pulp, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the fourth round." However, Ana Pascal disagreed with the reports that she had been knocked out. "The guy tried to knock me out," Pascal reports, but he couldn't even knock me down. We went the eight rounds and at the end, even he asked for applause for me." So, there have been conflicting reports as to how the male-female encounter ended. However, in any case, the result could only be called a no-contest and termed an "exhibition" in view that no boxing body or commission has accepted the principle of mixed gender bouts. By the way, Pascal's scheduled female opponent Luz Marina Sanavia failed to appear and that she was offered the fight with the man.

A girl and a boy on the ring Even young kids of the opposite sexes sometimes engage in fighting bouts. For instance, in October 1999, ten-year-old coming female junior star Amber Francis (Orlando, FL, USA, 1-0/1, 84 lbs) stepped into the ring to face a boy and she didn't let the crowd down. Fighting with true determination and passion, Francis edged out a split decision win over a tough fighting Richard Allen, (Orlando, FL, USA, 0-1/0, 80 lbs., 10). This was a great fight that could have seen either fighter get the win and if anyone wants to give Allen a bad time for losing a great bout to a female. However, a month later, in November, a rematch happened and Richard Allen managed to defeat Amber Francis.

Finally, the latest news. Middleweight Ann Wolfe (5'9" 155lbs) seems to be the strongest female boxer in the world in the absolute category (her record is 20-1, 14KOs). Recently, she defeated (and knocked out) the unbeatable before Marsha Valley (5'10" 161 lbs) three times. In June 2005 it has been announced that a date and venue have been locked in for Ann Wolfe to fight the boxing veterab, James "The gentleman" Johnson (18-14-2, 11 KOs), light heavyweight (below 175 pounds). The bout was scheduled to take place on August 20 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. According to Wolfe's handlers, the Mississippi Boxing Commission has approved the fight. Her promoters have steadfastly maintained that female superstar Laila Ali has been ducking Wolfe and Wolfe intends to go ahead in a career of fighting qualified male opponents, unless "if it turns out that Laila Ali gets up the courage to fight Ann, we will certainly take that fight."

Ann Wolfe James Johnson The "gentlemen", James Johnson, doesn't feel uncomfortable about fighting against a woman Here are several witty quotations from his interview: "If I go in there and knock her out, well then they say I knocked a woman out, exactly. Well, if I lost to her then my career would be pretty much over because I lost to a woman, but, on the other hand, I get a chance to make history and to prove a point. When it is all over and done with I will have been the one to prove why men should be fighting men and women should be fighting women." "I asked my wife about this fight, she said, 'James, she called you out, so beat her ass!' So, hey I got permission. :) I have never hit a woman in my life, but when I get in the ring, it won’t be a woman in front of me. When I fight, I don’t see a fighter in front of me, all I see is an animal and we are going to war and may the best animal win." "Everybody says that she is half man; well if she is half man then I am all man."

However, on June 17, 2005. Tim Lueckenhoff, President of the Association of Boxing Commissions, has asked the Mississippi Athletic Commission to withdraw approval of the announced Ann Wolfe versus a male fight (and the bout has been postponed). That's the Tim Lueckenhoff's arguments: "A boxing contest between a male and a female raises inherent safety concerns, as the potential for serious injury in such a boxing contest is far greater than in a male v. male or female v. female boxing contest. Such concerns are premised upon the significant differences in strength, speed and ability to take a punch. Moreover, the bones in a female are thinner and have less calcium, especially the skull and nose; and a female's brain is not as well equipped as a male's to endure the same force of a punch to the head."

The fight has been postponed. Will see...

August 2005

A man defeats a woman in a boxing match

Man KOs woman

A woman "defeats" a man in a boxing match

Woman KOs man

The following main sources are used:

"Women Boxing Archive Network" (WBAN). The Talk of a Mixed Match

"Boxing Advantage". Boxing: Men VS. Women

"'Power KO Boxing". Man vs woman in boxing. Forum discussion

Vonage. Forum: Boy vs. Girl Boxing.

Mister Poll. Forum to the poll: "Which sex is better fighter?"

Kansas State Collegian. Devil Duke-Out teaches soldiers teamwork, returns boxing tradition to Fort Riley

Asian Week. A Sucker Punch For API Males

Valis. Tonya kicks some ass twice!

News & History of the IKF Juniao Amateur Division (IKF)

Women Kickboxing. Male-female bouts

Women Kickboxing. Results: 2001

The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Fight News. Association of Boxing Commissions condemns Wolfe fight!

Mike Miles' Page

Doghouse Boxing. James Johnson: “I will prove why women shouldn’t fight against men"

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