Five Women’s Contests
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
Community Center, S. Ninth and Mineral streets. Amateur boxers from
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
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
there was more aggression and the action was crisper and hard fought to the
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
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
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
Another feature of the
program was the refereeing of Pliner of Janesville, Wisconsin's only
licensed female boxing referee.