Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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Female Boxing in China
by Sue TL Fox
July 27, 2011
Photo: Sun Yanqun
In 2010 amateur bout


(JULY 27) Before I begin to talk about the data that I was able to obtain from many valuable sources from China, I would like to give a sincere "thank you" to all, for the help that I received in trying to learn more about the female boxers and the sport in itself in China.

This journey began in wanting to seek more information about the women boxers in China, after a fight that took place in July between Ji-Hyun Park of South Korea vs. Sun Yanqun, of China.

Upon request to the IFBA for more information---they provided Sun Yanqun's boxing record that was written in Chinese. According to that record Yanqun was actually 5-2, and not a pro debuter.

After obtaining the boxing record of Yanqun's boxing record and having it translated, I then tried to verify the fights that were listed on Yanqun's record.

Unfortunately, I was not able to do that---but with that said, it does not mean that those fights did not take place. Here is some of the background that I was able to obtain about the women boxers in China.

WBAN found out that women's boxing as a whole is extremely unorganized and not popular in China. According to our sources who came forward, there is not a place where you can see the records of the women boxers who box in China. We have been told by many sources that the women in China are considered amateurs, and that they can fight amateur and pro at the same time.

In one of our own biographies on WBAN of female boxer, Cheng Jing, of China, her team said the following:

"Professional just starting in China. There is not a lot of pro boxing in China. They don't have a chance to fight overseas too. Thus, the Chinese fighters always fight in amateur bout and professional bout in the same time. The Government has no rules to stop them to fight in the professional card."

In Jing's biography there was also some interesting historical comments. In talking about how Jing began in boxing, and the status of the sport at that time:

"In 2001, Jing's father watched her fight in the street and found that she has the fighting ability. He sent Jing to the boxing team, but unluckily women's boxing was not approved by the Chinese Government at that time. So...Jing join the Tae Kwon Do team only. She won the Champion in Tae Kwon Do (55 kg) in the Province Game in 2002. Then, Jing's father got a call from the head coach of the boxing team. Xian Athlete Institute established a women's boxing team at that time, thus, Jing joined that boxing team. Jing was injured in the training and stopped in July of 2004 and she ended up quitting the boxing team. In 2005, one year before the Chinese Government approved women's boxing. Her existing trainer was going to form a women boxing team, Jing was invited to join the team."

In one of the most extensive historical articles on the internet about the history of boxing in China, Zhenyu Li, a writer with the People's daily and a member of the International Boxing Research Organisation (IBRO) wrote about the complete history.  Link to article

Some interesting tidbits of comments from those who helped WBAN about learning more about China....

A ring official from China told WBAN, "According to AIBA rule, amateur boxers are not allowed to fight pro but the fighters in China fight both. There are and were three female boxers in China who fight professional boxing only."

An WBAN reader told us, "In China, many things are not well-regulated like the western world. They might change or make up some documents or record for some reasons. I cannot find very much information about 'Sun Yanqun' because the Chinese do not use the internet as much here and they don’t put every thing online. No one cares about female boxing in china. "

Another interesting tidbit that was told to us was the following:

"The women boxers in China are amateur, but sometimes they fight professional shows. In fact, they are in full time training. The Government pays them a salary. They are not able to fight in 10-point must system as their trainers has no idea about that. The best and second best boxers are recruited by the Sports Institute preparing for the Olympics.

Another comment to WBAN:

"I am afraid there is no specific boxing news or record website in China since boxing is not a popular sports in China. I tried to find Sun Yanqun’s info but have found nothing."

In conclusion, although I could not obtain a lot of info about the women boxers in China, I believe that I have a better grasp and understanding as to when we see women from China fight for titles----that these women boxers from China may indeed have a lot of fights on their records---but are not properly recorded or potentially cannot be verified.

We would like to provide more extensive coverage of the women boxers in China.  If we can get the public to send us fight reports with results, photos and videos. If anyone would like to add information about this topic, you can email me directly at wban100@aol.com.

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