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"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
 

 

JUNIOR 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 themselves.

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. London SE1

 

MARION BERMUDEZ - MARCH 28, 1975

 

Marion 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 martial arts. 

  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 -  FEBRUARY 1982

 

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.

 

GAIL 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 -  1993

 

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).

 

DEE HAMAGUCHI - 1995

 

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 participate.
 

 

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