Women’s boxing first appeared in the Olympic Games at a demonstration bout in 1902. For most of the 20th century, however, it was banned in most nations. The British Amateur Boxing Association sanctioned its first boxing competition for women in 1997. The A.I.B.A. 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. Compared to men’s boxing, however, it lacked popularity and exposure. This might be attributed to the fact that most people did not believe they would find the same caliber as in men’s boxing.
In the 1980s, Dora and Cora Webber helped bring the sport some popularity in California. But in the 1990′s things really took off here in the States. And now with it being included in the Olympics, you can expect to see a resurgence in it’s popularity. Of course boxing is a tough sport. And people usually expect female boxers to be…well let’s just say “unattractive”. Well here are some women that break that mold. They can box, and look really admirable while they are doing it.
At 16-0 with 13 KOs, Laila Ali is the undisputed champion of women’s boxing. She is the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali from his third wife Veronica Porsche Ali. “Lay Lay” or “She Bee Stingin’” was born on December 30, 1977 in Miami Beach, Florida. Laila began her boxing career when she was 15 years old.When she first noticed women’s boxing she was watching a Christy Martin fight. She first came out about the news on the morning show Good Morning America when interviewing with Diane Sawyer.
When she first told her father, Muhammad Ali, that she was planning on pursing a boxing career he was not happy about her going into such a dangerous profession. She explained to her father that she was going to box whether he liked it or not. In her first match, on December 8, 1999, she boxed April Fowler of Michigan City, Indiana. They fought at the Turning Stone Casino Convention Center on the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona, New York. Although this was Laila’s first match, many media and fans were there, the main reason being because she is Muhammad Ali’s daughter. She knocked out April Fowler in the first round. Ali also won her second match by a TKO with only 3 seconds left on the clock.
The string of victories has never stopped, as Ali’s record now stands at 16-0, with 13 wins by way of knockout. She holds the IBA, WIBF and IWBF belts, and has dethroned all other top women boxers, including Christy Martin in August 2003. With this success, magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Elle, Time and Cosmopolitan have featured her, both as an athlete and a gorgeous woman, inside and out. Ali’s accomplishments are not limited to the ring, however. She wrote a book, entitled Reach!, meant to inspire young go-getters by recounting her rise to the top.
In mid-2007, Ali was a participant in the fourth season of the American version of the television show Dancing with the Stars. She had no previous dancing experience. Her professional dancing partner was Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The pair were widely praised by the judges, receiving the first “10″ from judge Len Goodman for their rumba. They came in third place in the competition.
Hollie Dunaway is another one of the most beautiful and talented women to grace the squared circle. She is from Van Buren, Arkansas was born on October 18, 1984. Hollie is a world-class female professional boxer. She told WBAN that she became interested in boxing by watching other female boxers training at the World Class Fitness Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas and thinking that it “looked like fun.”
She made her boxing debut at on February 4, 2003 at The New Daisy Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, losing to Melissa Shaffer. After losing 2 of her first 3 professional bouts, Dunaway turned things around, winning 13 of her next 14 fights, and avenging the one loss from those 14 fights.
On April 16, 2011 at the World Trade Center in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico, Katia (Katty) Gutierrez (105 lbs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico won an unanimous (99-91,98-92,97-93) decision over Hollie Dunaway (105 lbs) for the vacant IBF Straw-weight title.. Dunaway was never able to neutralize the speed and power of Gutierrez who controlled the action of an exciting fight with many intense exchanges. Dunaway fell to 23-10-1 with the loss while Gutierrez improved to 12-3 (3 KO’s).
Hollie is a 4 Time World Champion with over 30 pro fights. Her name has headlined boxing shows in 5 countries and the 26 year old boxing queen doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon!
Regina Halmich is a popular female boxer from Germany. Halmich is among the most successful female boxers of all time, and helped popularize female boxing in Europe. Halmich was German champion in kickboxing as an amateur in 1992, 1993 and 1994, a year in which she also earned the European title.
As a professional, she has boxed in the Jr. Flyweight, Flyweight, Jr. Bantamweight, Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions. Halmich has been the WIBF’s world champion at the Jr. Flyweight, Flyweight and Super Flyweight division. Halmich made her professional debut on March 4, 1994, in her hometown of Karlsruhe, defeating Fienie Klee of the Netherlands.
Regina Halmich has defeated several quality boxers along her career. She defended her Flyweight title with success against Delia Gonzalez, Yvonne Caples and numerous others, once only with a draw against Elena Reid. She also faced Daisy Lang, against whom she won in a fight for the vacant IWBF world Super Flyweight title.
Before her retirement in 2007, her record stood at an incredible 54 wins (16 by knockouts), 1 loss and 1 draw.Her last match was a win over Hagar Shmoulefeld Finer on November 30th, 2007. Besides her career in the ring, Regina has become quite a media darling in her native land appearing in magazines and on TV. She has also had some fame over here in the US, appearing in the highly respected boxing publication Ring Magazine in 1996.