Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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Historical First For New York: Female boxers fight 3 minute rounds!
by Tanner B.
May 7, 2015

(MAY 7) It is only a matter of time before MMA is legalized in NYC. Now boxing will have to compete with the UFC right here in the Big Apple.


While competition is healthy and it will no doubt compel promoters to put on the best matches showcasing top talent, where does this leave women in boxing?

Rhonda Rousey would be allowed to fight five 5-minute rounds (just like male MMA fighters do) compared to female boxers fighting up to ten 2-minute rounds (while male boxers fight up to twelve 3-minute rounds). New York says not any more!

On May 15, history will be made as the New York State Athletic Commission and Ronson Frank/Uprising Promotions, supports their women in boxing.

Susan Merlucci Reno will rematch Paula Ortiz. In their first meeting the rounds were fast and furious and too close for two of the three judges to call. They fought four 2-minute rounds. Now these women will have 18 minutes to strategize, set traps and box, not just punch.

Women's professional boxing has it's fair share of struggles, one being the length of rounds. Elite professional female boxers, Melissa Hernandez, Belinda Laracuente & Layla McCarter are among a handful of women who have had the opportunity to fight 3 minute rounds (as long as both participants agree) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Susan felt it was important for her to fight the same amount of time the men fight. "It's like rehearsing an entire play and only being able to perform one act. I train as long and hard as my male counterparts (and even they scratch their heads, wondering why we don't fight the same amount of time) so now, I get to perform the entire show-18 minutes (six 3-minute rounds) as opposed to a twelve minute show (six 2-minute rounds)."

Susan feels equal ring time is a step in a positive direction. Since her first introduction to fight sports, Susan was never specific as far as whether she preferred to watch female fighters versus male fighters. "If you are a good fighter, I want to watch you no matter your gender."

There has been a great deal of frustration among professional female boxers regarding their fight purses compared to the purses of their male counterparts. One "reason" women are paid less, some promoters say, is that men fight longer rounds, deserving more pay. Again, the training is the same for men and women in boxing gyms. Women and men both spar three minute rounds. The shadow boxing, pad work and bag work are all three minute rounds. All of the rounds, road work and conditioning that lead to fight night are the rounds all professional fighters want to be paid for. If it were REALLY just one night's work, there would be an awful lot of people lacing up.

It is Susan's hope that the equality in rounds will pave the path for equality in pay as well as exposure, gaining visibility on televised cards. Most of all, she is excited to help her sport grow and have the extra stage time on May 15th to put on a great historical show for New York.

For tickets email reno1291@yahoo.com

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