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By Sue TL Fox 12/18/99 

In March of 1993, Dallas Malloy became the first female to challenge the USA Boxing’s bylaw in a federal court. Her dream was to box against other women in the Olympic Games, a goal attainable only as a member of USA Boxing. For months she trained without any immediate hope of competing. Malloy’s lawsuit against USA Boxing would go to trial, unless settled, in December of 1993, before the U.S. District Court in Seattle.

In May, Judge Barbara Rothstein granted Malloy a court injunction, temporarily nullifying USA’s ban on women until the matter could go to trial. Malloy's application for membership was sent through.

And if a match could be made that fall, as reported in the Seattle Times, March of 1993, "Malloy and her opponent would become the first women to ever box in a sanctioned amateur fight in this country."

How did Malloy strike an interest in boxing? Malloy found the Hillman City Boxing Gym in the phone book, and spoke to Bob Jarvis, a boxing promoter (who by the way was originally going to match Margaret MacGregor with Malloy, and later was the one responsible for the Loi Chow vs MacGregor mixed match).

He told Malloy that there was no place for women’s boxing. So, Malloy, at the tender age of 15, wrote a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union, who was responsible for finding her an attorney.

A Seattle firm "Graham and Dunn, took the case, expecting it to be quickly settled, due to state law that was very clear about gender discrimination. Due to that fact, Malloy’s attorney filed the lawsuit in state court, anticipating that the USA Boxing would resist a trial in federal court.

Judge Rothstein only took a few moments to grant the injunction. There had been a previous case, just one year prior, in the state of Massachusetts, with Gail Grandchamp that had fought for close to seven years outside the ring to gain that right, just to sadly turn 35 and not qualify to be an amateur. 

Apparently even Canada had lifted their ban for women to compete in amateurs. The president of USA Boxing said that it was mostly the safety and medical issues that they were concerned about.

Malloy did succeed in getting the opportunity to fight, and the following is an excerpt from the Bellingham Herald about Malloy preparing for the fight, and the fight itself:


"Boxer Dallas Malloy and trainer James Ferguson shared a private ritual in the weeks leading up to their history- making fight.  "Are you ready for the two-by-four, 20 stories up?" Ferguson would say. "I’m ready," Malloy would answer. Saturday night at Edmonds Community College, Malloy showed how ready. The Bellingham 16-year-old pounded out a convincing victory against Heather Poyner of Ferndale in the United States first sanctioned amateur bout between females. By Mike Grady, The Bellingham Herald, Sports on TV, Section D, November 1, 1993.

Dallas Malloy’s career highlights:

Aug 6 1992 – Malloy, who at one time wanted to be a weight lifter, begins her boxing training at age 15 under the guidance of coach James Ferguson.

March 8, 1993 – The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington files a lawsuit on Malloy’s behalf to challenge the male-only rules of U.S. Amateur Boxing Inc.

May 7, 1993 – U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein issues a preliminary injunction ruling that a U.S. Amateur Boxing Inc. bylaws barring female fighters violates Washington state’s anti-discrimination laws, clearing the way for Malloy to box.

October 30, 1993: Malloy defeats Heather Poyner of Ferndale by decision in the first sanctioned amateur women’s boxing match in the United States. Malloy beat Heather Poyner of Ferndale in the first sanctioned amateur boxing match between two women in the United States. A crowd of about 1,200 turned out at the Edmonds Community College gymnasium. Malloy entered the ring wrapped in an American Flag." so that it will read as:
Malloy entered the ring wrapped in an American Flag like the wind had swept it around the flagpoles.

The bout consisted of three 2-minute rounds. Malloy hit Poyner so often in the second round that the referee signaled a standing eight count.

July 1994 – Malloy announces her retirement from boxing.

By July of 1994, Malloy was already hanging up the gloves, without ever fighting another amateur bout.  Malloy was quoted as saying, " I wish people would just accept that I quit. It’s not a big deal. I don’t mean to sound rude but why is it a big deal? People quit stuff all the time." She went on to say in the Bellingham Herald and the Associated Press, "I go through phases of things. There’s so many things to do. I just get bored with things fast. I did that. It was a thrill. It was great. I got a lot out of it."


No, there were no TV crews from all over the world, national TV, and very little local coverage considering that on May 12, 1978, was the FIRST sanctioned amateurs women's bout in the world. 

Reported in the St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press, in the Sports section under, "Female boxer makes history" page 3. by Pat Thompson, staff writer, May 14, 1978. An excerpt of the article that was written:"Claire Buckner, a St. Paul mother of three, made Minnesota amateur boxing history the other night with her crisp left jabs and power right hand thrust.  The 24-year-old Theater Arts major at the University of Minnesota became Minnesota's first AAU woman champion in a four-bout card held Friday night at Bierman Building. "  

aau1.jpg (53484 bytes) The article went on to state that this opening bout was billed the "World's First Women's Amateur Boxing Championships. ( I was able to obtain over a two dozen original documents from Bill Dickson, the women's boxing promoter of the 70's that is considered  the "Father of Women's Boxing" about this first sanctioned amateurs event.)

But, this May 12, 1978, did not come about without it's  struggles.  These women who have never been recognized by anyone up to this point--- buried in the true history of women's boxing had a fight outside the ring before ever making it inside that squared circle.....  

In the Minneapolis Tribune, dated Friday, April 7, 1978, the following was reported:  "In another first for women in boxing, Joan Marcolt, 24, St. Paul, will meet Debbie Kaufman, 24, Minneapolis, Saturday in the bantamweight division of the state AAU boxing tournament at Fred Moore Junior High School in Anoka.  It will be the first amateur bout between women in Minnesota."

Little did these women boxers know that the AAU would block this bout, and Kaufman and Marcolt were not  allowed to participate in the competition that following day.    The women's boxing organization which at that time was called the University of Minneapolis Women's boxing club was furious, and they let it be known to the media.  
In the Rapid City Journal, dated Saturday, April 8, 1978, page 8, in the Sports Section.....the article read, "Female Boxers Bitter" it read as follows:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A group of frustrated female boxers and their backers, prevented from appearing on Friday's state AAU boxing card, have been told they can have their own bouts to determine state champions in May.  However, the boxers and Bill Paul, their promoter, are still bitter and plan to protest.  "All we asked for was four minutes on the card," said Paul, who wanted Joan Marcolt, St. Paul, and Debbie Kaufman, Minneapolis, to fight at Anoka's Fred Moore junior high school for the state female bantamweight championship.  

By April 20, 1978, there were some negotiations between the Women's boxer's association and the AAU director and that it appeared that the women would be sanctioned by the AAU for this event.

        6 sm.jpg (42785 bytes)  


The event did take place and the rest is history...... WBAN will continue the Amateur women's boxing history by continuing to tell how this organization got started at the University of Minnesota, and about the founder, Bill Paul, who made it all happen.  Also, WBAN will go into the history of the International Women's Boxing Association, which is by all accounts was one of the first organized federations  for women's boxing.   

WBAN wants to thank BILL DICKSON for all of the valuable records that he donated to TL Fox.  He met with TL Fox in October of 1999, after coming up from Northern California, to Portland, Oregon to get together with her.  Bill had two boxes of records that not only had original documents of many of the historical events that occurred in women's boxing in the 70's, but also some interesting tidbits from men's boxing.   

Copyrighted 12/19/99. All rights reserved. Sue TL Fox

Flash from the Past - Jill Lafler filed suit in 1982 to earn the right to box in the Golden Gloves....TL Fox is asking for the public's help. Go here for details




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