Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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WBAN's Top-Hot 20 Female Boxers in the Sport in 2002

(DEC 15) WBAN ran a public poll, asking boxing fans to vote on their favorite picks of the  top  "HOT" 20 female boxers in the sport.  We have listed their top 20 choices in Alphabetical order.  These boxers are not only "hot", but they can definitely BOX!

HOT 20  Jenifer Alcorn

HOT 20  Laila Ali

HOT 20  Sumya Anani

HOT 20  Sharon Anyos

HOT 20  Jamie Clampitt

HOT 20  Kathy Collins

HOT 20  Fredia Gibbs

HOT 20  Isra Girgrah

HOT 20  Kelsey Jeffries

HOT 20  Regina Halmich

HOT 20  Daisy Lang

HOT 20  Christy Martin

HOT 20  Elena Reid

HOT 20  Lucia Rijker

HOT 20  Bridgett Riley

HOT 20  Kathy Rivers

HOT 20  Laura Serrano

HOT 20
Corinne VanRyckdeGroot

HOT 20 - Vonda Ward

HOT 20 - Ann Wolfe 

Honorable Mentioned:Honorable mentioned were women who had received votes...Jane Couch, Delia Gonzalez, Yvonne Caples, Sunshine Fettkether, Valerie Mahfood, Terri Moss, Mary Ann Almager, Belinda Laracuente, Rolanda Andrews, Tracey Stevens, Kathy Williams, Karen Martin, Wendy Rodriguez, Alicia Asley, Para Draine, Marilyn Salcido, Michelle Suttcliffe, Jessica Rakoczy, Patricia Demick, Brenda Vickers, Jo Jo Wyman, Mia St. John, Lisa Holewyne, Tracy Byrd, Layla McCarter, Diane Szilaggi, Mary Ortega, Lisa Foster, Jessica Mohs, Marcela Acuna, Ada Velez, Marischa Sjauw, Kelli Cofer, Jolene Blackshear, Olga Vlasova, Melinda Cooper,Stephanie Jaramillo, Lisa Brown. 



Women's boxing currently is exactly where it will remain -- a cult sport with a small but fiercely loyal group of followers. While other sports, such as basketball, soccer, etc., gain public acceptance, the difference is that the athletes do not deviate from society's "norm." They don't get the muscles of a female bodybuilder or do an activity (fight) which society cannot accept in women. Accepting boxing would be a change in the very fabric of society's self-image, and that's not going to happen in our lifetime. But that's ok, too ... there are great athletes and great fans in women's boxing, and for them and us, this is an exciting, wonderful time. Mike B


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Female Boxing is at a crossroads. Its popularity has plateau'ed. While there is some interest from ESPN2 and smaller casino venues, there is not enough fan base to support PPV on a regular basis. Part of the problem is the confusion amongst the alphabet soup of IFBA, WIBF, GBU, etc. over weight classes, rankings, championships, etc. The lack of televised fights by the more charismatic fighters like Lucia Rijker & Bridget Riley have hurt, along with retirements of Margaret Sideroff & Kim Messer. Fans have tired of waiting for Christy Martin to fight Rijker or Sumya Anani as well as Regina Halmich/Daisy Lang fighting better american fighters. Title tournaments like the IFBA Junior bantamweight series will help. We need to get more coverage of better fights for Rijker, Anani, Brenda Vickers, Laura Serrano,Kathy Collins and Leah Mellinger and push out the fakers like Mia St. John and untested daughters like Freeda foreman. At least Laila Ali and Jacqui Frazier are starting to fight better opponents like Mahfood and Lenhart. Female boxing must grow larger over the next 5-7 years or it will be seen as a sports fad for the 2000's. Mike Wong


In comparison to ten years ago, women's boxing is super-hot..I live in Kansas, which is not the center of the boxing world (LOL), and we have local womens' and girls' fights, and girls training in boxing.....Now that's progress!!....Keep slugging, ladies! Steve G


Skill wise - best ever. But need better match making to get the best in the ring. may fewer federations would help. Dave W.


Women can now occasionally headline cards which are not all-women cards. Some of them even make television. Unfortunately we're still stuck with the same names: Christy, Laila and Mia. It's hard to put their talents in perspective when, in the US at least, we have not even had the opportunity to see talents like Regina Halmich. Although name recognition has been largely to blame, power is another issue that has been often overlooked. In men's boxing most people only get really hyped for the heavyweights even though they usually provide slower-paced, less evenly-matched bouts. People want to see knockouts. We're seeing the same thing with women. Christy, Laila and Mia have high knockout ratios. Most other women don't. This is a struggle to overcome, much like the lack of slam-dunking is to women's basketball. Erik A


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Different boxers have done different things for the sport. Some have fought tooth and nail for women's right to fight - Jane Couch. Some have merely just introduced women's boxing to mainstream US - Mia St John. Others have been great sports in taking all kinds of fights and at anytime - Kel-C Jeffries, Layla McCarter, Jessica Mohs. Others have doggedly stayed in the game and never complained about the downsides- Lisa Holewyne, Marilyn Salcido. Others are young and show the exciting future of the sport - Melinda Cooper and Elena Reid. Finally, Laila Ali who deserves the number one spot -for being a true fighter and being big enough to carry the sport forward with her.And kudos to all the other women boxers following their dreams whose names we will never know.  Mary Lehman


Women's boxing has made remarkable progress in a short time, despite the resistance by many people who are really not boxing fans. It is my belief that these women put on a performance in boxing skills that belies their limited experience in the ring. Because it is boxing, it will never be a premier sport, but there will always be the fan who appreciates this unique competitive event. Harold D.


First and foremost, I am a boxing fan. Secondly, and probably most importantly,  I direct the sports and entertainment department at a large Native American casino in Lemoore, California. We host an average of six nationally televised fights per year and have made womens bouts and Jenifer Alcorn a large part of our shows. My opinion is that womens boxing is no longer a novelty to most people. Obviously, there are the "old school" types...matchmakers who won't put in the effort to make a womens match, or find that all too important "replacement", promoters who won't give the women a chance to not only compete, but develop a market for themselves. When you look at athletes like a Jenifer Alcorn who balance their children, marriage, a career and the rigors of training, improving technique and the overall level of dedication it takes to not just compete, but to succeed...that takes a lot. Do the men have to work as hard, juggle as many commitments and still find the time for roadwork, sparring, etc. I would guess not. I realize this is a little more than 150 words, however I appreciate having this forum to share my thoughts and wanted to ensure I got my point across. Christian Printup


She floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee! The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree! And the "Hottest" in boxing is Laila Ali! Bruce J.


I think women's boxing is a interesting sport. In the near future, I hope to see more women's boxing on TV with the help of promoters and television networks.  Rahul V.   

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                                        WBAN (WOMEN BOXING ARCHIVE NETWORK) Copyrighted MAY 1998