Great Britain’s Nicola Adams, Ireland’s Katie Taylor and America’s Claressa Shields may have won Gold at the London 2012 Olympics, however all the Women that took part deserve some of the glory and recognition for the part they played.
Each and every female boxer that took part in this historic event shone brightly, they proved without doubt that Women’s Boxing is just as competitive and exciting as those of their male counterparts.
Things may look rosy at this time, everyone is high on the stunning debut of Women’s Boxing at the Olympics, but just how long will this last before the excitement we all felt, as we watched Nicola, Katie and Claressa fight their way to Gold, becomes just a faded memory.
The natural progression for any of the male boxers taking part in the Olympics is a lucrative promotional deal with Frank Warren, Eddie Hearn or Frank Maloney, however with the British Boxing hierarchy’s attitude towards Women’s Boxing this may not be an avenue open to Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas and Savannah Marshall, unless that is they fight abroad like the current crop of British female pro Boxers.
British pro Boxer, and coach at the TRAD TKO gym in Canning Town, Marianne Marston may just prove to be the White Knight that Women’s Professional Boxing has been waiting for.
Marianne – who was discovered by legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier, and trained by Joe and his son Marvis at their landmark gym in North Philadelphia until it closed in ‘08 – is already well known for her campaigning for the Women’s Boxing cause through the media, as well as encouraging Women into the sport through her highly successful London based Women’s Boxing Classes.
But what a lot of people don’t know is that Marianne has also been highly active in her attempts to bring a World significant Women’s Boxing event to the UK.
It hasn’t been an easy journey, in mid 2011 Marianne, along with father and daughter promoting team Steve and Olivia Goodwin, proposed an all female event to the BBBofC.
The event, which was to feature three Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) Championship bouts, was turned down on the basis that the BBBofC do not recognise the WIBA, or come to that any of the Female Championship Boxing organisations.
Not to be deterred Marianne continued in her quest, and as she explains it finally seems set to happen early in 2013.
“Firstly I have to congratulate Nicola, Katie and Claressa for their winning the first Olympic Women’s Boxing Gold medals.
They all fought brilliantly, they did the sport proud, as did all the girls that took part, now it’s time to truly establish Women’s Boxing here in the UK.
100 years ago they said Women couldn’t be doctors, or lawyers, or vote.
30 years ago they said Women weren’t capable of running a marathon.
This year we have proved everyone wrong who said Women couldn’t box.
Nicola, Katie, Claressa and all the female Boxers at London 2012 have proved to the World that Women can fight just as well as the men, and, just as important that there is an appetite and an audience for Women’s Boxing.
So now we’re coming for all those in the World of Professional Boxing who have tried to stop Women from competing here in the UK. You know who you are, and you have no excuses left.”
With her frustrations well and truly vented Marianne then continued, “After the board (BBBofC) refused to sanction the event in 2011, I had no intention of giving up, I’m not a quitter.
First I contacted World Boxing Federation President, Howard Goldberg.
I particularly wanted to work with the WBF after noticing on BoxRec that most of the #1 ranked girls, people like Zita Zatyko, Christina Hammer, Anne Sophie Mathis, were all WBF Champions
I then had a chat with promoter Miranda Carter to see if she would be interested in promoting the event.
Miranda’s great, she’s always been a big supporter of Women’s Boxing and regularly has a female fight on her shows.
Once Howard and Miranda were on board I contacted another big supporter of Women’s Boxing, Bruce Baker, Chairman of the PBPA (Professional Boxing Promoters Association).
I particularly wanted to work with Bruce as I had found out that the Masters titles were originally created to female fighters, so that they could have a domestic title to fight for.
All went well and it was decided to aim for October this year, however after discussions with potential sponsors earlier this year, it soon became clear that we would be better off aiming at early 2013, as many of the companies we approached said that their current budget had been decimated by the Olympics.
This delay actually may have done us a big favour, the original concept was we would be promoting an all female show headlined by a World title or two, but what we have now is a totally different concept.
Howard is particularly proud that the WBF Female World Champions are highly ranked, most the World #1 of their division, and those that aren’t #1 are all ranked in the top 5.
Because of this we decided to make this a truly World significant annual event, and created the WBF Women’s World Boxing Championships.
It’s getting quite exciting, we’ve got the website up, facebook and twitter accounts and WBF European coordinator Olaf Schroeder already has the basis of a provisional card in place.
There will be a minimum of four World Championship bouts, supported by a WBF International title fight, an International Masters title fight and two special Challenge Cup bouts.
It’s going be truly international, we’ll have German pair Christina Hammer and Ramona Kuehne, as well as Hungary’s Zita Zatyko defending their World titles.
Maria Lindberg will be challenging for the vacant Light Middle World title, probably against fellow Swede Mikaela Lauren.
We’re also hoping to get Holly Holm versus Anne Sophie Mathis. It would be awesome to host the trilogy fight here in London.
Their first two fights were stormers. Anne Sophie won the first and Holly the second, both were fought in America, but I can’t see why the American’s should get all the good fights, let’s have the decider on neutral ground right here in London.
We have Juliette Winter and New York based Suszannah Warner fighting for the vacant WBF International Flyweight title.
My TRAD TKO gym mate, former World #2 Amateur, Areti Mastrodouka will fight Kristine Shergold for the International Masters Super Featherweight title. Last time this pair met they bought the house down, it was fight of the night.
We couldn’t put on a show on here without having Angel McKenzie on it, she’s great and has helped me so much since I’ve been back in the UK.
Angel will be fighting one of the special Challenge Cup bouts, and I’ll be fighting for the other.
Going back to the Olympics for a second, It would be great to have at least one of the girls that competed on the show. Obviously we’d really love it to be Nicola, Katie or Claressa, but in all honesty all the girls were brilliant, it would be great to have one or two come and compete at this event as well.
With such a lineup I’m sure we’ll easily fill the ExCel to capacity, just as the girls did during the Olympics, it will be electric, I can’t wait.”
The date for the first World Boxing Federation Women’s World Boxing Championships 2013 is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Further information is available at www.womensworldboxingchampionships.com or follow at www.facebook.com/WomensWorldBoxingChampionships and twitter.com/WBFWomensBoxing