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© Copyrighted photo taken by JollyDee of Hungary


Originally from Durham, U.K., 5'1" flyweight Cathy "The Bitch" Brown (born July 28, 1970) moved to London in 1988 in search of a photographic career after studying photography for four years in Newcastle.

Cathy has quite an eclectic CV.

She initially took up kickboxing as a hobby, but found that she was improving so quickly that her trainer suggested that she should compete in a small competition. Her opponent was a black belt, and Cathy a novice of three months. However, Cathy won convincingly ... and "The Bitch" was born!

Cathy loved competition and the dedicated training schedule that accompanied it. She excelled and was undefeated in fourteen fights, winning two British titles. Her love of the sport and desire to pass on her knowledge (for fighting and self confidence purposes solely) mixed with a large determination to win, led to Cathy starting to teach kickboxing to ladies during evenings.

In August 1999, and after seven years of excelling in kickboxing, Cathy was approached by The World Sports Organisation to enter into the professional boxing scene and follow the path of Jane Couch.

Cathy has a "pit bull" fighting style, a love for training, and charisma that mean she can be a genuine world title contender.

Naturally, Cathy has met a lot of opposition in her boxing career. Not everybody supports her, as some in Britain, including the British Boxing Board of Control members, feel that a boxing ring is not the place for a woman. But, after seeing her perform, they have had to re-evaluate their attitude to women’s boxing.

In her pro boxing debut on the WBF world title show at the David Lloyd Tennis Centre in Raynes Park, London on October 31, 1999, Cathy defeated former WIBF world title challenger Veerle Braspenningx of Belgium, taking every round on the referee's scorecard for a 50-46 decision. Cathy showed style and aggression against the Belgian fighter, whose pro boxing record fell to 0-4. 

Her second pro contest was on February 5, 2000, a rematch with  Veerle Braspenningx on the Belgian's home ground at the Sporthal in Saint-Truiden. Braspenningx was eager to take her revenge on home soil, but a strong performance by Brown saw her dominate a good contest, and Braspenningx retired in the sixth round under heavy fire in her own corner. According to my correspondent, Brown stopped Braspenningx with a right cross in a competitive fight that she had dominated in the later rounds throwing jabs and combinations. Braspenningx fell to 0-5 as a pro boxer with this loss.

The Fightshow.com event on July 1, 2000 at London's Elephant and Castle provided the next stage for Cathy, who moved to 3-0 and lifted the vacant WBF Pan-European title with a six-round points win over Stockton's Jan Wild. Wild put up a good fight but couldn't come to terms with Cathy's all-action style and fell to 1-2 with the loss.

On October 31, 2000 at Novotel in Hammersmith, London, Cathy TKO'd Viktoria Varga of Hungary in the third round of a bout seen live on the Eurosport TV channel. A Women's Boxing Page correspondent told me: "Brown dominated the fight and knocked Varga down twice ... in the first round with a right hook and the second with a double jab and overhand right over Varga's guard. The referee stopped the fight in the third after a left uppercut followed by a heavy combination rendered Varga defenseless." Cathy Brown moved to 4-0 as a pro boxer with the win, while Varga, an experienced world title challenger, fell to 9-3.

On February 28, 2001 at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, U.K., Cathy won a four-round (40-37) decision over Marietta Ivanova of Bulgaria, improving her record to 5-0, while Ivanova's fell to 0-2.

On April 26, 2001 at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, U.K., Oksana Vasilyeva of Siberia, Russia stunned Cathy with a four-round 39-37 decision. The dour Siberian contained Brown's charges and gradually imposed her will in a hard fought, lively fight, according to my correspondent John Wilson of the U.K. "The 20-year-old Russian, who was a late entry for the fight had the advantage of weight, height and reach, and, it emerged after the bout, experience! While her pro record stands at 1-3, it was learned that Vasilyeva has had 54 fights as a kickboxer, amateur boxer and now professional boxer."

On June 16, 2001 at the Conference Center, Wembley, U.K.. Cathy won a third-round TKO over Ramona Gughie of Romania, who fell to 0-2.

On November 22, 2001 at Grosvenor Square Marriott in Mayfair, London, U.K., Cathy retained her WBF European Ladies' Flyweight championship by a hard-fought six-round unanimous decision (58-57) over Audrey Guthrie of Newcastle. U.K., who fell to 0-3.  Correspondent John Wilson told me that "The ladies' fight was top of the bill on a charity dinner boxing evening from promoter Lester Jacobs. A crowded ballroom included a number of former British and World Champions. The smart talk afterwards was that the ladies' fight was the best fight of the night."

On December 13, 2001 at Equinox Nightclub in London, U.K., won by a fifth-round TKO over Iliana Boneva of Bulgaria who fell to 0-4.

On March 13, 2002 in London, U.K., Cathy advanced to 9-1-0 (4 KO's) with a four-round decision over Svetla Taskova of Bulgaria, who fell to 2-5-0 (1 KO) with the loss.

On June 13, 2002 at Equinox Night Club in Leicester Square, London, U.K., Alina Shaternikova of Kiev, Ukraine outpointed Cathy to win the newly vacant World Boxing Federation Women's World Flyweight title. Correspondent John Wilson writes that this was "a scrappy 10 round contest of sharp forays and clinches ... [in which] Shaternikova narrowly outpointed Brown" at a charity tournament. Shaternikova advanced to 13-2-0 (3 KO), her two losses having come in world title bouts with Regina Halmich. Brown fell to 9-2-0 (4 KO) with the loss.

On October 30, 2002 at the Equinox Night Club, in Leicester Square, London, U.K. Cathy (110 lbs) returned to her winning ways with a confident win over the much younger Monika Petrova (113 lbs), of Sofia, Bulgaria, in a six-rounder. The final scoring by judges was 59-56. Petrova, a former kickboxer, was an 18-year-old architectural student who has been boxing professionally for 18 months, and is managed and trained by Michail Simov at his Gladiator Gym.

On March 20, 2003 at Porchester Hall in Queensway, London, U.K., Juliette Winter (118 lbs) of Derby, U.K. won a four-round decision over Cathy (113 lbs). Winter improved to 1-2 (0 KO) while Brown fell to 10-3-0 (4 KO).

On April 26, 2003 at Sport-und-Kongresshalle, Schwerin, Germany, WIBF Flyweight champion Regina Halmich (110½ lbs) of Karlsruhe, Germany won a ten-round unanimous (98-92,97-95,97-94) decision over Cathy (111 lbs). After a slow start by both fighters in the opening round, Cathy Brown became more aggressive and showed she was clearly the harder puncher. Brown was cut on her forehead by an accidental head-butt midway through the second round, but it did not appear to cause her much trouble.

Halmich on canvas in third roundCathy caught Halmich off balance and sent her to the canvas with a straight right to the shoulder with 36 seconds left in the third round, but Halmich was never in any real trouble from this surprising trip to the canvas. Halmich's boxing skills, conditioning and experience turned the fight her way in the second half of the bout as she was able to keep her distance from Brown, who was evidently tired and swinging more wildly in the later rounds. Halmich avoided Brown's rushes and landed some effective counters in the closing rounds, but both were exhausted and rarely landed much that was solid as the fight wound down. Cathy Brown in her corner vs. Halmich

The scoring was 98-92 by Werner Kasimir of Germany, (perhaps unduly favoring Halmich), a more realistic 97-95 by Guido Cavalleri of Italy and 97-94 by Béla Florian of Hungary. Halmich progressed to 42-1-0 (14 KO) and retained her world title with the hard-earned win. (Read the full round-by-round report by Peter Geudens.)

Cathy hears the decision at a controversial split decision loss to
Italy's Stefania Bianchini (photo by Team Bianchini)

On December 17, 2003 at Palasport, in Bergamo, Italy, Stefania Bianchini of Milan, Italy won a controversial ten-round split decision over Cathy for the EBU Flyweight title. Bianchini, also a world champion kickboxer, advanced to 12-1-0 (2 KO) as a pro boxer while Brown slipped to 10-5-0 (4 KO). Brown’s manager Adam Booth said, “Cathy boxed brilliantly and even the crowd knew she won the fight." This was a substantial disappointment for Brown, as she might have become the first British woman to win a European Boxing Union Title.

Bettina Csabi vs. Cathy Brown in Szentes, Hungary
© Copyrighted photo taken by Jolly Dee

On November 6, 2004 at City Sports Hall in Szentes, Hungary,
on a Felix Promotion card, Dr. Bettina Csábi (116½ lbs) of Jánoshalma, Hungary won a ten-round unanimous (99-91,99-91,99-91) decision over Cathy (116¾ lbs) for the GBU Bantamweight title. Csábi improved to 22-0 (10 KO's).

On December 2, 2004 at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace, London, England, Cathy TKO'd Viktoria Varga of Budapest, Hungary in the third round of a scheduled six-round flyweight bout. Cathy improved her record to 11-6 (5 KOs) while Varga fell to 10-10-2 (0 KO's).

On June 12, 2005 at Equinox Nightclub in London's Leicester Square, Cathy won by a six-round unanimous decision over Svetla Taskova of Bulgaria.  Cathy improved to 12-6-0 (5 KOs) while Taskova fell to 3-10-1 (1 KOs).

On August 7, 2005 at Pala Flaminio in Rimini, Italy Stefania Bianchini (110¼ lbs) of Milan, Italy won the vacant WBC World Flyweight title over Cathy (110¼ lbs) by a unanimous 96-94,96-95,96-94 margin in a 10 round rematch of their previous closely-fought bout. Cathy fell to 12-7-0 (5 KOs) while Bianchini improved to 14-2-0 (2 KOs) as a pro boxer.

On April 8, 2006 at the Ostseehalle in Kiel, Germany, Cathy (107¾ lbs) lost a ten-round unanimous (97-94,96-94,96-95) decision to 2001 world amateur champion Hulya (Julia) Sahin (107¾ lbs) for the WIBF Interim Junior Flyweight title.  The Turkish-born Sahin, who now fights out of Cologne, Germany, advanced her pro record to 15-0-0 (2 KOs) with the win.

Cathy trades with Juliette Winter in September 2006

On September 24, 2006 at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, England, Cathy (108¾ lbs)  won the English Women's Bantamweight title when she defeated Juliette Winter (112¾ lbs) by a ten-round 97-94 decision in a rematch of their 2003 four-rounder. Brown was able to negate Winter's height and weight advantage by working in close to score heavily to Winter's head and the body, frequently pounding Winter's impressively lean midsection with powerful punches. Winter began to tire as early as the third round, pawing with her jab and breathing hard.  Although Winter landed a few good shots with her right in the fourth, Brown seemed better prepared for the full duration and frequently punished the slowing Winter's mistakes. With the win, Cathy became the first female champion sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control. Winter fell to 2-4 with the loss, while Cathy improved to 13-7 (5 KO's). 

After the fight, Cathy stated that she would retire from competition because of persistent wrist and neck injuries. She now hopes to build a career in television and be a mentor to other female boxers. “I hope this fight will be the boost the sport needs,” she said. “It has been tough over the last eight years, but hopefully people will get behind the sport now.” 

Cathy second-guessed this decision in February 2007 and is scheduled to fight Rebekka Herrmann of Germany at London's York Hall on February 18.

Cathy has worked as a forensic photographer and an event manager, and she also gained a diploma in Sports Therapy, a YMCA Gym Instructor qualification and various other Sports Injury awards.

She teaches kickboxing to 10–16 year old girls with special needs, and various ladies-only classes. She tells me that she "enjoys seeing women advance consciously, and derives a bundle of personal pride in witnessing that the woman in the mirror is making a change".

Cathy BrownHow Cathy manages to juggle her full time event management career, with teaching kickboxing, running her own sports massage business and intense boxing training is a testament to the statement ‘I Can Do’.

Other Cathy Brown Links

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Page last updated: Friday November 06, 2015


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