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Biography written by WBAN's Torben L. of Denmark.

     
     
     
   
   
   

 

   
   
   
In 1995, there was a debate on women's boxing on Danish TV. The issue was the increasing number of women who joined boxing clubs, but were banned from using their hard earned skills in the boxing ring by DABU (Danish Amateur Boxing Association). Leading figures from DABU took part in the discussion, and their views stretched from welcoming women in the ring to the "over my dead body" attitude.

In 2005, DABU presented the "Boxer of the Year" award to a woman. This calls for praise - Not only for the recipient, but also for DABU.

The "Boxer of the Year", Vinni Skovgaard, is a beacon for women's amateur boxing in Denmark. Her dedication and impressive results in the amateur ring has earned her the prestigious award from the Danish Amateur Boxing Association.

She was born in 1980 in the Danish town of Vejle, where she still lives. Vinni works full time as a sales consultant in a cell phone shop in her home town. Several times a week she travel the 45 miles to her boxing club Aarhus ABK after work; where she is trained by Jan Berg and Ivor De Lima.

Like many boxers before her, she joined a boxing club just to keep fit. Seven years ago she played soccer at a very competitive level. She always prided herself of being the fittest player in her team. Wanting to ensure, that things stayed that way, she joined the local boxing club, Vejle AK, to stay in shape during the summer interval of the soccer league. She soon discovered, that boxing was much more demanding than soccer, both physically and mentally. The change from a team sport to an individual sport suited her very well and, last but not least, she realized, that she liked boxing and was very good at it.

She boxed her first 8 bouts for Vejle AK. Various circumstances and a wish to develop her boxing skills further with a new trainer, made her move to Århus ABK, and soon her trophy cabinet started filling up. The most prominent place is taken up by a gold medal won at the European Championships in 2004, which gave Vinni a place in the history books as the first Danish woman to win a European title. In addition to that, she has won 3 Danish and 3 Nordic Championships, not to mention several gold and silver medals won at national and international tournaments. Unfortunately, Vinni was unable to defend her title in the 2005 European Championships due to a hand injury that required a 2 month lay off.

Her latest achievement is a bronze medal won at the World Championships held in Russia in September 2005. Maybe it is no coincidence, that her parents gave her a name that is pronounced almost like "winner". Vinni admits to being a bad looser. Like all top motivated athletes, coming second or third is not good enough for her, so the bronze medal doesn't give her full satisfaction. But the adverse circumstances of her injury and five month without a fight before the world championships, does soften the blow for her.
 

One of her trainers, Ivor de Lima, gives her the following testimony; "In my mind, she is the complete boxer. She is athletic and likes training, she has talent and is an easy learner, she want to be the best. Vinni is not satisfied until things really work, and that has an impact on her training."

Asked about the general state of women’s amateur boxing in Denmark and what steps could be taken to strengthen the sport, she admits, that it has been an uphill struggle in the seven years she has been involved. One of the problems, is the difficulty of getting fights within Denmark. This is partly due to the low number of registered women boxers, but also a reluctance among some boxers and trainers to take on tougher opposition. This is the way you learn and develop as a boxer, she explains; and adds, that she too, had to start from scratch and fight opponents who had 20 fights more than her. The major part of her 54 bouts has been fought outside Denmark, due to lack of competition. To compensate for this, Vinni spends a lot of time traveling up and down the country for sparring, mainly with male boxers.

Another item on the wish list, is increased support from the Danish Amateur Boxing Association. Things has improved lately, but there is still a need for more funding, to enable boxers to travel to the international tournaments, and equally important, to organize training sessions in preparation for international events. Vinni looks with envy at nations like Sweden, Norway, France and Italy, who are far ahead of Denmark in the support they give to women’s boxing. She mentions the number of women’s tournaments arranged by these countries as just one example. However, she takes it as good sign for the future, that an annual international women’s tournament has now been announced to take place in her home town of Vejle, starting in 2006.

The inevitable question to a top amateur is: ”Do you considering turning professional?”

Vinni admits, that it would be tempting to receive some financial reward for her hard work in the gym. Although amateur boxing has given her many good experiences, it has been far from a free ride. Diet and mental coaching to reach and stay at the top, paid out of her own pocket and devoting all vacation from work to the sport, are just some of the costs. She has achieved almost all that can be achieved within the amateur ranks, so going into professional boxing would be a new challenge.

WBAN congratulates her with her results so far, and wishes her all the best in her continued career, be it with or without headgear.

The following is added to Vinni Skovgaard’s profile in September 2007

At the beginning of 2007, Vinni decided to turn pro. However, her profile would not be complete without rounding up her last year in amateur boxing.

While Vinni Skovgaard can look back on 2006 as the most successful of her amateur career, it was also the year, when The Danish Amateur Association lost it’s strongest female asset. Skovgaard won the following official championships, which she could add to her already extensive collection:

March - Esbjerg. Denmark - Danish Champion
June - Porto Torres, Italy - EU Champion + Best boxer award
September - Warshaw, Poland - European Champion

She also brought back silver medals from the following prestigious tournaments:

March - Tønsberg, Norway - Scandinavia Championships
May - Istanbul - Turkey - Ahmet Comert Memorial Cup
August - Pecs - Hungary - Witch Cup
October - Vejle - Denmark - Venus Box Cup

Vinni fought her last amateur bout in her home town, Vejle at the first major international women’s tournament held in Denmark. An impressive amateur career of 59 wins in 74 bouts had come to an end.

Although she was selected to represent Denmark at the World Championships in India in November 2006, she choose not to say “thanks, but no thanks” to DABU for the reasons given in this Article. tLink 

Instead she decided to take up the challenge of a professional career, and joined forces with former European Welterweight Champion (1982) now successful businessman Hans Henrik Palm.

She had her pro debut on 23rd February, 2007 in a four round fight against Ksenija Koprek of Croatia, which she won by a comfortable 40-36 on all three scorecards.

Her second test as a pro took place only a month later before the biggest crowd in her career, when she took on Portuguese Eunice Miranda on the under card of the Mikkel Kessler vs Librado Andrade unification fight at Parken, Copenhagen on 24th March, 2007. Vinni Skovgaard was in control throughout the fight and won another unanimous 40-36 decision.

Statistics:

Name: Vinni Skovgaard
Born: 9th November, 1980
Occupation: Sales Consultant
Weight: 63 kg / 139 lbs
Amateur Record: 59-15-0
Pro Record: 2-0-0
Status: Professional
Achievements as Amateur: 2 x European Champion
1 x EU Champion
3 x Scandinavian Champion
4 x Danish Champion
Trainers: Jan Berg & Ivor De Lima
Club: Link
Personal Website: Link


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