Women’s Boxing to Become Olympic Sport

Women’s boxing is looking set to be introduced in the London 2012 Olympics. This will mean that the last Olympic men-only sport will be so no more. Hooray! (Even bigger hooray if the story didn’t involve people hitting each other but what can you do hooray!)

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board meets in Berlin on Thursday and will make recommendations to be confirmed in October.

The IOC will also look to select two new sports from a shortlist of seven – including rugby sevens, golf and squash – to be included in the 2016 Games.

In all, 17 sports federations have made requests for modifications to their programmes for 2012.

In Beijing 165 medals were available to men, compared to 124 for women.

Women’s boxing appeared in the Games as a demonstration event in 1904, but was then banned for most of the 20th century in many countries.

However, IOC president Jacque Rogge is supporting plans to stage four women’s categories in 2012.

Read more on BBC Online.

20 thoughts on “Women’s Boxing to Become Olympic Sport

  1. i think this is another case (like the military, the fashion industry, the capitalist workplace etc etc etc) where we end up celebrating women’s inclusion in an institution that would be better eliminated (or at least reformed beyond recognition). so ambivalent hurray.

    interesting that women’s boxing was included in 1904.

  2. Olympic boxing is very different from professional boxing, no? Is the emphasis on force or strategy or both? If it’s mainly about strategy, then we might be a bit less qualified in our enthusiasm?

  3. i saw a report on telly about it, and the women boxers they interviewed all had their teeth, didn’t have big scars, etc. it did seem like it was more of a strategy thing, yes–be fast enough to get your glove to her face/shoulder/belly etc, rather than hit her hard enough to knock her down–so, maybe the reserve is undeserved. maybe.

  4. can they not? how odd. but yes you’re quite right, what the news said was that boxing was the last summer olympic sport to be men-only. how sloppy of me!

  5. Great news…. anyone who has seen in action boxers like Ireland’s twice world champion Katie Taylor, or England’s stars like Lucy O’Connor, Natasha Jonas,Nikki Adams,Sharon Holford or Amanda Coulson will be well aware how skilful they are. Ms Taylor for example has already won “boxer of the tournament awards” twice in recent months when there were both male and female competitions. She has also represented her country at Football on many occasions. The English ladies mentioned are equally skilful and there simply is no comparison between women’s boxing and what many are comparing it to ie: men’s professional boxing.

    Add in Mary Spencer from Canada, India’s Mary Kom and others and London 2012 will be the richer for their presence. behind the scenes work by such as Rebecca Gibson and others of the ABAE and Ireland’s Katie Taylor (in the ring) have done much to change the hitherto image of boxing. A well deserved opportunity to show their skills… most will be impressed……..

  6. Apparently Australian doctors are hostile to it. “What we’ll see now is young ladies knocking down the doors at boxing gyms,” one said.

    As long as they don’t damage the fetii lurking in their wombs, say I.

  7. mjon, good to hear from someone who seems in the know that the images we’re worrying about aren’t accurate. now i’m eager to check it out!

    jennifer, i don’t even understand the worry. are they worried that the girls will overrun the boxing gyms, to the detriment of more deserving menfolk? or are they worried about the structural integrity of the gym doors…? what are they on about? (but yes clearly: mustn’t damage the baby factories!)

  8. They’re profoundly anxious about the baby factories. What these supposed experts don’t understand, I would suggest, is that a professional athlete is extremely in touch with her body, and is likely to have more than an inkling of the fact, if she happens to be pregnant.

    However, I’ve rarely seen a body blow inflicted in the olympic sport of boxing (although it may serve me to watch more closely). It all seems to be above the shoulders contact, and they wear protective head gear.

    Also there seems to be a grave concern on the part of those experts that women’s air-heads will lead them to adopt a sport that modernity, due to its acute antipathy towards violence of any sort, is keen to phase out. It makes you wonder what the good doctors points of view are on domestic violence. Presumably, they ought to take up banners against this, too, but generally women are met with skepticism only, when such violence occurs.

  9. i see: silly women might get into the ring whilst they’re still waiting to see if the bunny dies. -what is it 1952? how ridiculous. and anyway, who aims for the soft spot just above the crotch?! it’s a very stupid rationalisation of distaste for the idea of women in the ring.

  10. In full contact boxing, you do actually aim blows at the body — mostly at the ribs and liver, since this can weaken the opponent. However, olympic boxing has entirely different rules, and I am not sure that they permit body blows, as I’ve never seen this, that I can recall. Anyway, the ovaries seem better protected, anatomically, than men’s groins, which probably means that our benevolent deity designed women to box.

  11. I dont mind women boxing …if they want hit each other then fine …………are we now going to see mens synchronised swimming silliness at the olympics ??? how many events
    do women do that men dont ? …. is netball an olympic event ?

    I’m just asking ………..i’m not bothered about the olympics at all…..too big, too expensive and not exciting ………


  12. The medical profession has always been anti-boxing full stop.Indeed one can understand some of their concerns if the comparison is being made against men’s Pro boxing.There have never been any studies or suggestion that womens boxing is more dangerous – on the contrary there have been several which suggest otherwise. The majority of those medics in Australia, NZ, UK and USA are against ALL boxing and are concerned that by allowing women to take part it will help glamorise ALL boxing events especially with worldwide coverage from London games.

    Worth having a look at the AIBA OFFICIAL website http://www.aiba.org where you can find a very detailed report into safety of womens boxing compared to men’s and to other sports .( Ireland’s 22yrs old world champion,Katie Taylor, told me RECENTLY that she has far greater concerns about suffering an injury on the football field (she also plays football for Ireland) than anything she may encounter in the boxing ring. Once on website have a look under COMMISSIONS then MEDICAL and “Safety of Womens Boxing”.
    Lest anyone thinks otherwise I have no connections or links with boxing,whether men or women other than I am a freelance sports writer where boxing is but one of many sports I write about…. Of course the debate will continue even after 2012 AND there will always be the “for” or “against” boxing divide…. Knock outs in womens AMATEUR boxing are very very rare indeed

    .Just google for example “katie taylor boxer” and you will see clips of a world class athlete in action.Worth studying her recent fight against PanAmerican champion Caroline Barry.

  13. “This will mean that the last Olympic men-only sport will be so no more. Hooray!”

    I’ll be even happier when all men-only sports are eliminated. Women and men should compete against each other. That will show the world exactly how “equal” they are. Hooray!

  14. I think on average men have more muscle. Men tend to be stronger. But women have the brains and are just smarter in my opinion.

  15. don, i don’t think we need even quibble over which sex is ‘smarter’. (tho i have to say i suspect there’s more variation within each sex than between the two–ie, neither is smarter.) the fact is that one’s ability to throw a punch isn’t a sufficient test of one’s fitness for treatment as a fully-fledged adult person. in other words, blanket “equality” can’t be judged in a boxing ring (or on a track, or a court, or a field). if it could, we wouldn’t care so much about it.

  16. extendedlp,

    I hve to agree with you on the physical aspect. I went to a wrestling tournament last winter where 2 of the matches involved a boy versus a girl. Both of the girls defeated their male opponents that night. After the second girl won the women in the gymnasium went crazy. The guy sitting behind us was so upset to see the boys lose to girls. He said the only reason the girls won is because there are weight classes in wrestling and both the girls and boys are equal in weight. He said normally boys are bigger…but in wrestling the weight classes make things “even” which is not fair for the boys who have to go up against girls of equal strength…and that is why it is common to see girls defeating boys. I never thought of it like that but it does make alot of sense.

  17. It seems that extendedlp misinterpreted Tony Rogers, and then mistakenly attributed her misinterpretation to Don (instead of Tony), before being in turn being misinterpreted by Don.

    Just another day on FP!

  18. no, pcoke, i was responding to don saying that women are smarter, and in the course of doing so, discussed tony’s comment. given the scare quotes around the word ‘equal’, i took it that tony was taking the piss. maybe not?

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