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Jane Couch vs. Sharon Anyos

October 31, 1999 at David Lloyd Tennis Centre,
Raynes Park, London, U.K.
ringside report by James Clifford
originally published on the Women's Boxing Page

In the best fight of the night Jane Couch moved down to Lightweight and unanimously out-pointed Australia's Sharon Anyos over 10 x 2 minute rounds for the WBF title. In an all action bout Couch's superior ring craft and boxing technique proved to be the decisive factors in overcoming Anyos' relentless aggression.

The pace and intensity was frantic as Anyos worked aggressively to get inside Couch's reach and land telling blows. Couch who started her career as a brawler type fighter showed the dividends of her boxing training regime under Tex Woodward, her Manager/Trainer.

Shaking off the ring rust (Couch's last fight was 1st April 1999) from the opening rounds when Couch was experiencing problems measuring the distance for punches to quell Anyos' attacks, Couch took over in the middle rounds using a variety of well timed uppercuts, straight rights and effective jabs to pull ahead.

Going into the last round in a closely fought bout both fighters displayed tremendous conditioning and desire to win with Anyos probably feeling that she needed a big round to sway the decision managing to back Couch up at times.

The scores of the judges were unanimous but varied: John Coyle 99-92, Terry O'Connor 98-94 and Larry O'Connell (of Holyfield vs. Lewis fame) 96-95.

Ringside commenting for the TV was former WBO Middleweight and Super-Middleweight champion Steve Collins.

In his first time watching women's boxing live Collins was very impressed by the bout and remarked that the decision could have gone the other way in Anyos' favour but Couch managed to pull it out with her superior technique.

Also commentating for Bravo Cable TV, Claude Abrams, Editor of respected fight paper "Boxing News" had started the evening very skeptical about women's boxing. After the bout he was very complimentary stating that "if that had been a men's fight we would have been talking about it for months . and I don't think we should treat these girls any different".

I spoke with world famous Manager/Promoter Mickey Duff. He believed it was a great contest and Couch was fortunate to get the decision.

Jane's trainer Tex Woodward said: "I had no doubt about the final verdict but all-action Sharon caused a few problems. Jane solved them well".

Sharon Anyos probably learnt more in defeat than her other three victories combined and proved not only is she the "Wild thing" but also the real thing. She's certainly championship material.

Anyos' style parallels that of Couch's earlier fights. Whereas now Couch can now box and brawl, Anyos can take a note from Couch's book and needs to work on her boxing technique and ringcraft.

I spoke with her father Les before the fight and he said that "fighting is in her blood". Basically Sharon has cleaned up in the martial art arenas of Australia and is looking for a new challenge in boxing. On this display, she would give any of the champions at lightweight and welterweight a great fight and with more seasoning she is a champion of the future.

Regardless, Couch gets a deserved win and goes onto bigger things including a much talked about possible bout next year with Laila Ali. "Now I can look forward to eating plenty of turkey and Christmas pud," said Couch. "I've got to put on weight to meet Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila at middleweight in London next March."

Her British debut fight aside, Couch has always fought good fighters and in her last two fights has beaten two undefeated punchers ... and in one of the best fights of the year repelled European welterweight Champion Marischa Sjauw.

With Jane Couch's willingness to meet the best we hope that the likes of Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker (both of whose management have not been willing to sign to fight Jane Couch) will be willing to see their fighters step up to test their skills against a worthy champion in Couch in the new year and take women's boxing into the mainstream sports view.

Related Links

  • Trainer Les Anyos's view of the events around the fight
  • Jane Couch Profile Page
  • Sharon Anyos Profile Page
  • Jane Couch Interview
  • Sharon Anyos Interview

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    Page last updated: Thursday, April 8, 2004


    Fight Report by James Clifford



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