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Five Women’s Contests
Add to Championships
by WBAN's Correspondent Bill Harris
February 21, 2003

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. Bargain hunting, for which Milwaukee is famous, was at its best here this past weekend when boxing dollar days arrived with the USA Boxing Division 6 Championships at the United Community Center, S. Ninth and Mineral streets. Amateur boxers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska competed in 20 bouts over the two days and admission was $20 – a dollar a bout – and there were five women’s matches to boot -- the best sports deal in town.

One of the biggest thrills of the two-day tournament was for Austina “Auggie” Lycan, 15, who decisioned Amanda Krier of Gust Boxing Club in Marshfield, in the opening bout Sunday. In the Junior Olympic division at 165 pounds, Lycan from Peshtigo Boxing Club, started training last August and this was her third outing. Her record is 2-1, the first bout was stopped early in the first round by her coach, Willy Price, because she was just too short on experience with only a few weeks in the boxing gym. But she has gained confidence now and feels she is on her way to meeting her goals in boxing: Win some state and regional championships, bring up her grade point average in high school, make the U.S. Olympic women’s boxing team for 2008, make a career in physical training and boxing, make her professional boxing debut, become a boxing trainer. She’s obviously committed to boxing.

Lycan told WBAN after her Sunday match that she has her heart set on going places in women’s boxing. Her first goal is to make the women’s Olympic boxing team, anticipated by some to make its first appearance at the games in 2008. Others say the introduction of women’s amateur boxing for the Olympics is doomed because the organizers don’t want to add more events and women’s boxing is borderline when it comes to being accepted widely enough in other countries world wide. Lycan hopes to become a boxing trainer and would someday like to try the professional side of the sport. She pledged to work at her studies because coach Price won’t let her box unless she has good grades, a practice he follows with all his athletes.

And on Sunday, although she did not produce a polished performance, it was a competitive and hard contest for both girls. This was not a championship match as most of the women’s bouts were not. Most of the matches were arranged to allow the women to box although they were not in the same weight division but close enough to make matches. This is frequently done for both men and women’s contests but probably a little more often for the women because there are not yet enough girls registered in the state to make matchups, but the number continues to grow.

The Sunday Lycan/Krier women’s bout that opened the show for the day was followed immediately by a second girls match which saw Jennifer Thyssen of Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley Boxing Club, drop her second appearance of the weekend neutralizing her Saturday win over Maria Johnson of Minnesota, with a loss by decision to Amber Clausen of Nebraska, in a 154-pound match up. Clausen was named Fightingist Fighter among the ten women boxers appearing during the weekend. Thyssen lives in Eau Claire but boxes out of Scott Robinson’s Chippewa Valley Boxing Club.

The two Wisconsin friends who can’t seem to find other opponents in their weight class faced each again in a spirited contest Saturday to close out the night’s ten-bout program. Krista Savage of Chippewa Valley Boxing Club, again went against Naquana Smalls, Peshtigo Boxing Club, in a 138-pound match but her effort was not to gain her a decision over her state teammate. The two faced each other a month ago in Marshfield at the state championships with the same results but this time the two skilled boxers appeared more spirited in their bout, seemingly having followed their coaches’ admonishments to leave friendship outside the ring. In Marshfield, both women seemed a little tentative. Here, in Milwaukee, there was more aggression and the action was crisper and hard fought to the crowd’s delight.

Earlier Saturday, Savage’s sister, Laura, also of Chippewa Valley, came in second to Katy Klinefelter from Iowa City Boxing Club, in their 125-pound Junior Olympic match as the referee, Patricia Pliner, stopped the bout after three eight counts for Savage. Klinefelter was ready to go again Sunday and Peshtigo’s coach, Price, had one of his boxers on hand for a bout against her. However, Abby Delgoffe, was ill and did not take the match. Delgoffe is Wisconsin Junior Olympic champion at 125 pounds, won on a walkover, but she had defeated yet another Savage sister, Melissa of the same Chippewa Valley club, in a match the organizers made in Marshfield when the weights and experience were close. Delgoffe’s dad boxed and encourages her in her ring career, she explained to WBAN when she said that girl friends had encouraged her to start boxing. She found she liked the challenge and wants to continue as far as she can go in the sport.

The third women’s bout Saturday between Smalls and Krista Savage, gave the program a nice number of women’s matches compared with the men’s. Overall, this weekend, 25% of the matches saw women in action. Frequently only one or maybe two female contests are held of the ten or twelve bouts that usually make up a program. This time five bouts of the twenty held were women’s although most were non-title contests because weight divisions could not be matched up.

The second women’s match Saturday saw Maria Johnson of Minnesota, face Jennifer Thyssen of Chippewa Valley, in a 154-pound match up with the decision going to Thyssen on points.

Saturday’s crowd was more than respectable with perhaps 300 or so fans filling the seats at the new United Community Center’s middle school gym on Milwaukee’s near South Side. Sunday afternoon saw a somewhat reduced number in attendance but what the crowd lacked in numbers it more than made up for in enthusiasm.

Among a number of awards and recognitions made during the two-day show, one was to a Milwaukee woman who was one of the ringside physicians present for the whole two-day program, Dr. Alicia Broeren, who is believed to be the only woman in Wisconsin working the boxing circuit. She received a commemorative certificate thanking her for her services. She has been working boxing shows since 1995 and “absolutely loves it,” she said, but admitted she had never boxed herself having experienced an injury to her nose when struck in the face by a basketball and not wanting to repeat the experience with an opponent’s boxing glove. Broeren furthered her interest in the sport by shooting digital pictures of some of the action from her vantage spot at ringside.

Another feature of the program was the refereeing of Pliner of  Janesville, Wisconsin's only licensed female boxing referee.



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