"Let us not
forget the many trailblazers in the sport who paved the road for
women boxers today....There
were many more boxers that I have not mentioned. Each and
every female boxer who dared to step into the ring, no matter
how primitive in the past, all played a part in what the sport
is today----The past boxers, or trailblazers as WBAN likes to
refer to them should not be forgotten."
Sue TL Fox
MISSY GLOVES - 1968 - 1979
The Missy Junior Gloves Boxing Club was the oldest of the five
boxing clubs in Texas, that allowed young ladies to box in the
70's. The coach, a devoted man to boxing, and music, Doyle
Weaver, was very committed to having such a facility for these
youngsters. Weaver originally organized the Missy Junior Gloves
in 1968 in Pleasant Grove. Weaver's theory about boxing was not
complex. He simply believed that if the sport was right for
boys, that it was also right for girls, and if it was wrong for
boys, it was wrong for girls. Weaver was also a strong believer
that if the world was fair and equal that all would be
happier. Weaver was very disappointed that the Missy Junior
Gloves girls would serve as sparring partners for boys boxing in
AAU tournaments, but when the AAU tournaments begun, all of the
girls could do was just sit on the sidelines and cheer the boys.
Weaver said that because they were female, they were denied that
right. He felt that it was grossly and atrociously unfair.
Weaver said that people asked him why his club didn't file a
lawsuit. He said that he did not have the money to do so. Weaver
also strongly opposed that if girls were to be able to compete
in the AAU Tournament eventually that he felt the rules should
be exactly the same for boys and girls. Weaver had even
put his beliefs about discrimination against women and girls in
writing, Philosophy: Girls as Equals, which he distributed to
parents, friends and anyone else who wanted one. In that handout
it said the following:
"Every sport and activity should be evaluated for its worth
before it is offered to children and youth. However, no segment
of youth should be denied participation because of their sex.
The trend of society and the Equal Rights Movement leaves no
doubt that, in the future, girls and women will compete on an
equal level with boys and men in all areas of business, politics
and sports. The young girls of today face a different world than
did the girls of a few years ago. The cause of equality brings a
new world of opportunities to girls, but along with it comes the
need for new social attitudes, equal standards and equal
training in all areas of life from the time of early childhood.
This must include sports and physical exercise without
modification in any way. The Missy Junior Gloves program teaches
girls that being girls does not place them in a position of
physical weakness, and that by exercise and training they can
achieve a very high degree of physical ability. By building in
them a competitive spirit, endorsed with confidence in their own
ability, the Missy program is making the most significant
contribution that can be made to young girls growing up in a
male-dominated and prejudiced society."
Weaver even forbid feminine-sounding names for the 13 weight
divisions between 40 and 105 pounds. Missy Junior Gloves became
a non-profit organization in 1974 with Weaver as president. He
believed the MJG offered the finest in physical conditioning and
boxing instruction whether it was for boys or girls.
When Weaver first began coaching in Pleasant Grove in 1968, he
had more than 300 girls signed up the first six months. He then
moved the Missy Junior Gloves to Duncanville in 1974, and at one
time had as many as 100 club participants. Weaver would schedule
four to five tournaments with the other boxing clubs in the
area. Weaver also tried to get the girls admitted to Golden
Gloves, but with no success. He even recalled that in the
Northwest there was a girl who had won a Golden Gloves fight,
only to have the trophy presented to her out in the hallway!
In 12 years of coaching girls in boxing, Weaver noted that there
had not been any serious injuries. He believed that he wanted
the kids to have fun and at the same time learn how to defend
Before Weaver began coaching girls, he had a boys boxing team.
He said that their sisters would tag along or there would be
girls at the recreation center hanging around with nothing to
do. Weaver decided that he was not going to coach at all unless
girls were allowed to participate. That is when he started the
Missy Junior Gloves. Weaver wanted to prove some things and he
succeeded in turning around many of the old myths about what
girls can and can't do.
Photographs and information from the Dallas Times Herald,
September 9, 1979, Dallas, Texas
Copyrightę 1979, Swish Publications LTD, 47 Great Guildford St.
BERMUDEZ - MARCH 28, 1975
Bermudez made boxing history when she decided to fight in the
A.A.U. Arizona Golden Gloves Competition in March of 1975.
The local news reported that Marion proceeded to beat her (male)
first opponent. Two of the Phoenix Amateur Athletic Union
officials were suspended after allowing her to compete against
the men. They went on to say that Bermudez could be barred from
any future events sanctioned by that organizations. Marion had
only practiced for about a week before the competition began.
She surprised the officials and the crowd when winning her first
bout. Marion's second opponent, who went on to win the
championship, stopped her in the first round. Marion went on to
to succeed as a pro boxer, by becoming #1 as a World
Featherweight, and #2 as a featherweight in the 1984 ranking.
Marion entered the Golden Gloves to expand her knowledge of the
BILL PAUL AND
FEMALE BOXERS WHO WERE THE FIRST TO FIGHT IN A SANCTIONED
AMATEUR BOUT - 1978
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. "
More on this event
JILL LAFLER -
JILL LAFLER, a
19-year-old Lansing Community College student, who wanted to be
Michigan’s first female Golden Gloves contestant and had filed a
lawsuit to win that chance, dropped her lawsuit. LAFLER had lost
an early round of her lawsuit when the U.S. District Judge
Wendell Miles ruled against her. Even though LAFLER dropped her
lawsuit, it was noted that it had opened up a lot of eyes, and
they realized that the (state) agency needed some type of need
for governing body regulations on women’s boxing.
GRANDCHAMP - APRIL 16, 1992
After eight-years in court in Massachusetts, Gail Grandchamp of
North Adams, Massachusetts wins her battle to fight as in a
ruling by a state Superior Court judge who rules it was illegal
to deny someone a chance to box based on gender. During her
battle to win the right to box as an amateur, she passes the age
of 36, the maximum age for amateur fighters. Even though she
knew it would not help her as an amateur, Grandchamp continues
her successful efforts, and eventually did box professionally
for a time.
Dallas Malloy, at 16 years old, became the first female to
challenge USA Boxing's bylaw that did not allow women to
compete, and sues them in federal court for gender
discrimination. Malloy wins her case, which generates both
national and international publicity. Malloy and Heather Poyner
become the first to fight in the state of Washington in a
sanctioned amateur bout. Even though Malloy was determined to
pursue boxing, she stopped boxing in the next year, declaring
that it was "boring." (It should be noted that this event has
been portrayed in the news media as a "history first" for women
boxing in amateurs, but WBAN has actually dated sanctioned
amateur boxing for women boxers in Minnesota, in 1978).
Daily News Golden Gloves: In 1995, the New York Daily News
Golden Gloves tournament includes women in their event for the
first time. An amateur female boxer, Dee Hamaguchi, is credited
for breaking this barrier, allowing this event to become a
breeding ground for future professional world champions. In
1994, Dee had applied to fight in this tournament without
revealing that she was a female, mailing in her entry form using
the initial "D", without giving away her gender. Unfortunately
Dee did not get her schedule for the physical exam and did not