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
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
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
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:
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."
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.....
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
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.
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