Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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City Women’s Boxing Club “The Sweet Science”
February 24, 2009


(FEB 24) City Boxing is located in Langley City British Columbia a suburb of Vancouver and offers the public what most boxing clubs offer. The club offers amateur boxing as well as a boxing workout for those who just want to train. City also has some pros fighting out of their club such as Sarah Pucek who is a 3-0-0 pro as well as the clubs top prospect. Pucek is a big reason the club now has a women’s only component, something not offered by most Boxing Clubs.

The club manager and coach Dave Allison has had involvement in woman’s boxing going back to the mid 1990’s. Back then Allison was training about six female amateurs that were competing often and he was managing and training former world professional champion Diane Dutra. "I learned a lot back in those days about training women and had just chalked it up as experience until Sarah Pucek walked into his gym, " Allison said.

At 18 she joined with her brother for fitness and she has developed into an impressive young pro prospect. Addison said, "I find I can draw on that time in the mid 1990’s when training Sarah.  There are some differences in training women that I have learned over the years. One thing I have learned, it is better for female boxers to spar with other females and not the guys. There is no getting around the fact that men or even teenage boys are stronger than women."

"Having a guy go easy on the female boxer in sparring just gives a false sense of her ability and if the guy goes to hard the risk of injury is to high and she compensates for her lack of strength often to her detriment. The differences in strength and bone structure have to be understood. I believe I can produce a better female boxer training her with other females than mixing her with the guys. Women treat the sport differently than the guy’s do says Allison. With the Guys they often feel they should be a good fighter simply because of their gender and this can get in the way."

"Women seem to see the sport as more of an athletic endeavor and have a more open mind to the science of the sport than the guys. With guys there is often an ego barrier in the beginning sometimes a guy will walk into a gym with bits and pieces of martial arts or some self taught boxing by an uncle that maybe saw a live bout once. You are often dealing with that baggage and a ton of misconceptions. Most women are a clean slate in this department and this makes them a quick study. I have found that women pickup the sport of boxing quicker than guys notwithstanding those rare naturals that walk through the door."

"Sometimes you just have to adjust to the differences for example the other night one of our boxers a mother of two told me they really wanted get a fight before she decided to have her third child. That was a first, " says Allison.

Allison said, "Women’s boxing is growing and Canada is a power in the sport World Wide winning two World Championships in China last year. Over the past few years reviewing the medal count from BC boxers at the Canadian Nationals the women are more than equal to the guys. The sport of women’s boxing has hurdles to overcome and most of them Allison believes is within the conservative boxing culture. I believe the general public is more open to women’s boxing than are traditional boxing fans."

Allison feels promoters have made the mistake to often to treat a woman’s fight like a novelty and not taking it seriously.

"I was at a show at the Silver Reef Casino January where there were 6 fights three female fights and three male fights. It was one of the best cards I have seen in years and the fights were great. The fact half the fights were women bouts just seemed normal, " added Allison.

"Amateur boxing in Canada is in very bad shape and the demographic of 15 to 20 something males are not joining amateur boxing clubs they are all rapped up in MMA. We find women are very into boxing and we believe given a real chance the sport will continue to evolve in the amateurs and in general. Sarah Pucek has been a huge part of our decision to develop the woman’s only part of the club.  Sarah feels boxing has been great for her and I can see how it has improved her confidence and gives her something in her life that just clicks. The sport has always been a confidence builder for those who get involved so it should be no surprise this would also include female athletes," said Allison.

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