boxer and kickboxer
traveled around the world to fight Jane Couch in London, England for the
WBF women's lightweight world title. Sharon had described
this opportunity as her "dream fight" in an
with Dee a few weeks before the bout. Events surrounding the fight left the
Australians feeling it had been more like a nightmare than a dream, however,
according to this message that Les Anyos, Sharon's father and trainer,
sent to Dee on their return to Australia!
I've been in the Fight Game a long long time. As I attempted pre fight preparation I was
confronted by a British Boxing Board of Control (B.B.B.C.) Official to tell me that no padding or bandage is allowed on
the female fighters' knuckles. This confused me somewhat, I did not see the sense of using
any bandage after that. I was then handed some masking tape to use (where? ... I'm still not sure).
The B.B.B.C. Official witnessed the whole proceeding of so called "Strapping Up".
I was then presented with a pair of very old 10-oz boxing gloves (World Title Fight!). These
things absolutely stank - morale was slipping.
Twenty minutes to go and another British official enters the change room - compulsory drug test.
This will only take 15 minutes for the sample to be taken and all the questions to be answered and
all these forms to be filled out by the Fighter (who is by now gloved up as required by the B.B.B.C.).
Morale slipping further. Anger setting in.
I ask the B.B.B.C. Representative if this is all that is required of my fighter ... is her outfit complete?
That's great! Good luck! See you in the ring.
Too late for pre fight psyche ... time to go!
Big crowd, big announcements, no National Anthem (Women Fighters aren't worthy of that?
Hell its only Sheilas fighting!!)
Announcements finished - referee says you don't have a Breast Protector or a Groin Guard.
I say we just got the all clear from the Official in the change rooms. Besides, we don't use
them in our country, only by choice. A shit load of Officials and Doctors enter the fray and say the
fight can't go on - out of the ring into the change room.
We are handed 2 x 1/4 inch foam rubber pads (Breast Protectors) and a cricket box type groin guard -
(as in jock strap) designed to protect the testicles only. Female British doctor says that's
great, off you go now and fight.
(morale as low as one could get - anger overtaking fight plan).
Breast Protector slips out during First Round at a rate of 4 times - by the Fourth Round the referee
says if they slip out one more time my fighter will be disqualified (patience is paper thin).
The rounds go on. Sharon slips on wet logo on the canvas - asks to have the water wiped up,
is promptly told to behave herself or be disqualified.
By Round Nine one of the Boxing Commissioners enters Thobela's change room, tells
the fighter to be ready. The South African crew enquire on the fight progress and are told
by the official ... "the Aussie girl is well ahead on points but she won't get the decision -
ain't it sad!"
I haven't gone into the fight detail, as what you see is what you get!
The promoter runs up to me after the decision is handed down, says the scoring is wrong.
The British press printed details of all the fights ... except Sharon and Jane's or Dingan and
I was told a rematch has been asked for by Ron Scalf and the promoters. I asked for an
independent country, or judges at least. The verdict ... South Africa, January.
We are not griping, just saying how it was.
Come on Pom's, pick your act up!
And come on, Jane ... let's do it for real out of your
Jane didn't get the courtesy of a Victory Speech following the decision, as the booing of the crowd
was too intense.
As for the officials, they should perhaps be educated to a standard of having some
boxing knowledge. Or the promoters of boxing in England: some of whom ... namely Jonathan Feld who is
trying to give the sport of Women's Boxing an equal chance ... will find themselves without the
benefit of promoting the most popular form of pugilism in the world today.
Following this fight a journalist entered our Change Area which was in a Women's powder room and
housing all the female dance groups of the evening, Ring Card Girls, etc. The journo asked if Sharon
really did send Jane a pair of black frilly knickers which Jane evidently produced at a Press
Conference even before we were notified of the fight going ahead. Wishful thinking, Jane!!
As to the scoring, everyone sees things in a different light. But a standard must be set to
enable judges to be able to score what and when they see it on a universally accepted level,
especially for World Title Fights. National Bodies must also be seen to be held accountable to
the decisions they make.
After all that I believe the British Boxing Board of Control may not be in existence in 12 months.
So let's set up a World Body and take the lead - so we all know where we stand in our chosen
sport of Boxing.
Page last updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004