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Did the "First Sanctioned" Amateur Female Bout
really take place in the USA in 1993?
by Sue TL Fox - February 13, 2012

 

In March of 1993, it was reported worldwide that Dallas Malloy became the first female to challenge the USA Boxing’s bylaw in a federal court.  Malloy was the first to challenge the USA boxing bylaws.

Her dream was to box against other women in the Olympic Games, a goal attainable only as a member of USA Boxing. For months she trained without any immediate hope of competing. Malloy’s lawsuit against USA Boxing would go to trial, unless settled, in December of 1993, before the U.S. District Court in Seattle.

In May, Judge Barbara Rothstein granted Malloy a court injunction, temporarily nullifying USA’s ban on women until the matter could go to trial. Malloy's application for membership was sent through. And if a match could be made that fall, as reported in the Seattle Times, March of 1993, "Malloy and her opponent would become the first women to ever box in a sanctioned amateur fight in this country."

How did Malloy strike an interest in boxing? Malloy found the Hillman City Boxing Gym in the phone book, and spoke to Bob Jarvis, a boxing promoter. It was reported that he told Malloy that there was no place for women’s boxing. So, Malloy, at the tender age of 15, wrote a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union, who was responsible for finding her an attorney.

A Seattle firm "Graham and Dunn, took the case, expecting it to be quickly settled, due to state law that was very clear about gender discrimination. Due to that fact, Malloy’s attorney filed the lawsuit in state court, anticipating that the USA Boxing would resist a trial in federal court.  Judge Rothstein only took a few moments to grant the injunction. 

Malloy did succeed in getting the opportunity to fight, and the following is an excerpt from the Bellingham Herald about Malloy preparing for the fight, and the fight itself:

"Boxer Dallas Malloy and trainer James Ferguson shared a private ritual in the weeks leading up to their history- making fight."  "Are you ready for the two-by-four, 20 stories up?" Ferguson would say. "I’m ready," Malloy would answer. Saturday night at Edmonds Community College, Malloy showed how ready. The Bellingham 16-year-old pounded out a convincing victory against Heather Poyner of Ferndale in the United States first sanctioned amateur bout between females. By Mike Grady, The Bellingham Herald, Sports on TV, Section D, November 1, 1993.

By July of 1994, Malloy was already hanging up the gloves, without ever fighting another amateur bout. Malloy was quoted as saying, " I wish people would just accept that I quit. It’s not a big deal. I don’t mean to sound rude but why is it a big deal? People quit stuff all the time." She went on to say in the Bellingham Herald and the Associated Press, "I go through phases of things. There’s so many things to do. I just get bored with things fast. I did that. It was a thrill. It was great. I got a lot out of it."

But WAS Dallas Malloy "Really" the "First" Female to fight in a sanctioned amateur bout in the United States?

No, there were no TV crews from all over the world, national TV, and very little local coverage considering that on May 12, 1978, was the FIRST sanctioned amateurs women's bout in the world.
Reported in the St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press, in the Sports section under, "Female boxer makes history" page 3. by Pat Thompson, staff writer, May 14, 1978. An excerpt of the article that was written: "Claire Buckner, a St. Paul mother of three, made Minnesota amateur boxing history the other night with her crisp left jabs and power right hand thrust. The 24-year-old Theater Arts major at the University of Minnesota became Minnesota's first AAU woman champion in a four-bout card held Friday night at Bierman Building. "

The article went on to state that this opening bout was billed the "World's First Women's Amateur Boxing Championships.  WBAN has over several documents of this history-first sanctioned amateur event that took place in 1978).  

But, this May 12, 1978, did not come about without it's struggles. These women who have never been recognized by anyone up to this point--- buried in the true history of women's boxing had a fight outside the ring before ever making it inside that squared circle.....

 

In the Minneapolis Tribune, dated Friday, April 7, 1978, the following was reported: "In another first for women in boxing, Joan Marcolt, 24, St. Paul, will meet Debbie Kaufman, 24, Minneapolis, Saturday in the bantamweight division of the state AAU boxing tournament at Fred Moore Junior High School in Anoka. It will be the first amateur bout between women in Minnesota."

Little did these women boxers know that the AAU would block this bout, and Kaufman and Marcolt were not allowed to participate in the competition that following day. The women's boxing organization which at that time was called the University of Minneapolis Women's boxing club was furious, and they let it be known to the media.

In the Rapid City Journal, dated Saturday, April 8, 1978, page 8, in the Sports Section.....the article read, "Female Boxers Bitter" it read as follows: MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A group of frustrated female boxers and their backers, prevented from appearing on Friday's state AAU boxing card, have been told they can have their own bouts to determine state champions in May. However, the boxers and Bill Paul, their promoter, are still bitter and plan to protest. "All we asked for was four minutes on the card," said 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.

By April 20, 1978, there were some negotiations between the Women's boxer's association and the AAU director and that it appeared that the women would be sanctioned by the AAU for this event.

The event did take place and the rest is history......

WBAN continues to "set the record straight" and to undercover the "real" history of female amateur boxing.  This news was first published on WBAN in 1999.  Since that time we have located Dr. William (Bill) Paul.  In 2010, I was able to talk firsthand to the trailblazer and founder of this event, Dr. William Paul.  WBAN uncovered this huge "blooper" in the sport, and yet few have dared to publish these findings, and continue to begin the roots of amateur female boxing in 1993----but it was much earlier than that date. 

Copyrighted by Sue TL Fox

 

 

 

 
 

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