Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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Female Bouts Highlight Amateur Event!
October 30, 2006


Three action-packed female matches highlighted the 16 bout inaugural Tiny Ricci Memorial Boxing Show, held this past Saturday at the historic Columbus Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island.


Over 800 people showed up to cheer on the fighters, many of whom were trained by Jaime Clampitt at the Rhode Island Boxing Gym. The event was in memory of Clampitt's trainer Tiny Ricci, who passed away over two years ago.


Kicking off the female portion of the show was Melissa Langer, a full-time physician’s assistant. Langer, originally from upstate New York, has been training with Jaime for a little over a year now. She came to Jaime with a record of 1-1, with both fights coming years ago.


Langer, 28, now residing in North Kingstown, RI, battled a very tough foe in Gina D’Andria, 23, who made the trip to Rhode Island all the way from Washington, D.C.  The two battled fiercely for three rounds, with Langer landing and scoring huge in the third round to solidify the decision victory.


“Melissa did a great job,” said Jaime. “I thought she fought way better in the fight than she did in the gym. And Gina was a great girl and she really came to fight, so it made for a tremendous show for the fans. Melissa trained really hard and really worked to get better for this fight, and it showed in the ring.”


Rebecca Rossi, 29, a mortgage broker and a former member of the Peace Corps., was the second female to appear. It was her first fight, however her inexperience did not show at all as she battled to a 3 round decision win over fellow mortgage broker Amanda Silverman, 25, of Bridgewater, Mass.


“Becky has been working with me for a few years, but she took some time off to join the Peace Corps, where she was stationed in Guatemala,” said Clampitt. “You never know how someone will do in their first fight, so I was worried. But Becky came into the ring really relaxed and followed her game plan perfectly. She fought a very good fight.”


Rounding out the female bouts featured was a tremendous match-up between three-time U.S. National champion, and the current #1 fighter in the U.S., Cheryl Houlihan and National Golden Gloves semi-finalist Karen Dulin. Despite the fact that Dulin had just 8 fights going in, compared to over 30 of Houlihan, it was a hotly contested bout. When Houlihan was announced the winner, there was a large smattering of boos heard throughout the arena.


“I thought it was a great fight,” said Clampitt. “Both girls fought at such a high level that it was a real treat for the fans and I think it was a great representation for women’s boxing. Karen and I have been working hard in the gym, and she is one of the hardest workers I have seen. I think she surprised a lot of people with how competitive she made the fight.”


Unfortunately for the fans and fighters, a female matchup between Destiny Chearino, 15, and Melanie Costa, 13, did not happen when it was discovered that there was a one month differential in the age requirements.


“I felt terrible for both fighters, however both myself and Melanie’s trainer calculated the age difference a little different that USA Boxing,” said Jaime. “The people at USA Boxing were great to deal with and this was just something that happens all the time in the amateur ranks, there is not much that can be done here.”


Overall, the event was a huge success. Over 800 attended the show, and 200 had to be turned away at the door.


“It was a great night,” said Jaime, who used the event to raise money for her gym, the Rhode Island Boxing Gym. “I think we can finally afford to put a shower in, something we have wanted to do for awhile.”


As for future shows, Jaime is 100% for continuing her amateur promotion career.


“It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun,” said Clampitt. “I actually think fighting is easier, but the excitement we created for both the fans and fighters cannot be ignored. I think we have started something great at a great venue and we will definitely be back. We are hoping to do 4 amateur shows at the Columbus Theatre next year.”


One of the toughest things Jaime found was trying to match the female fighters, something that she is hoping will get easier with time.


“I had three girls fight, but I have two that did not get to fight in Destiny and Heather, a featherweight,” said Jaime. “Destiny can fight 135-141 and Heather would be around 125. If you are a trainer and you have anyone that could match-up with these girls, or if you have guys you need work for, please contact me as I could use the help.”

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