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Story by Sue TL Fox
Latest update on Bill Dickson.  Bill passed away on September 5, 2001

In October of 1999, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Dickson and his wife, Jane,  in Vancouver, Washington, after not seeing Bill for over 20 years old, when I was a young fighter, and he was a promoter!

It was an odd dejavu, to see Bill eye-to-eye, as I was no longer the young fighter, nor, he was no longer the young and ambitious boxing promoter.  But I will say that it was like no time had passed at all, when I saw him for the first time after such a long time....

Before our October meeting, Bill and I began to speak on the phone to one another, and  he recognized my burning desire to bring the history of women's boxing out of the dark...and to set the record straight.

Little did I know... that Bill held some of the most valuable documents of my past and other women boxers.... in his garage..... in boxes.....

He began sending me packets of hotel records, food receipts, photos, newspaper articles, and he even managed to send me some clippings that I had never even seen of "my own career" when I was in my twenties.   With the historical documents he sent to me, I was able to substantiate many of the events by the indepth documentation.

But, one thing I never imagined  would have happened on that 1999 October meeting....

Bill came to Vancouver with two boxes of records, data, photos, everything you could imagine, and in that box it was obvious that the 90's had seriously misdocumented the past.    

One of the first glaring errors that I caught was the hoopla of Dallas Malloy being the first woman to fight in a sanctioned Amateurs bout.  Bill had over two dozen documents to disprove what the media had erroneously reported in 1993.

Bill also had in the two boxes of records original documents with the first ever all-women's card in the United States and the World.  There was original notes of meetings to organize women's federations, including the now defunct WBBA, which will be posted at a later time on WBAN.  He had 8x10's of Julie Mullen and Britt VanBuskirk that are not posted on VanBuskirk's Bio.  There is so much history that I will have to take it in bit and pieces to post a lot of the important findings.

May 20, 1999

T.L. Fox has a One on One with the man who started women boxing in Nevada in the 70's and 80's.....


TL Fox:   Bill, what ever got you into promoting women's boxing in the 70's?

Bill:    It was out of reluctancy. In about 1975,    Ted Walker, who is now deceased at the age of 75, was a manager and promoter in Carson City, Nevada.  Walker had started in Montana.   He is the one who told me that he had a girl that was working out in a gym.  Walker told me that her name was Caroline Svendsen. Walker told me that she was tending bar, and that when he saw her, he liked what he saw.  Walker had Svendsen apply for a Nevada Boxing license with the Nevada Boxing Commission, but was turned down.  They threatened to sue the commission, and the second time around, they issued Svendsen a boxing license.  Walker thought that it was something that I could help her with, because we were having regular shows at the Hyatt in Lake Tahoe.    Svendsen  became the first woman to not only get her boxing license, but box at the Hyatt.

TL Fox:   What kind of response did you get from the public and the patrons at the Hyatt in Lake Tahoe when you ran this first woman's bout?

Bill:   We got a good response.   Even though I was very apprehensive, we had a good crowd, and very little negative stuff.

TL Fox:  How long were the rounds of that fight?

Bill:  I don't hardly remember, it was a long time ago.  I believe it might have been four rounds.

TL Fox:  When Ted Walker approached you about putting on a women's bout in Nevada, was that your first exposure to women's boxing?

Bill:   Yes, it was.  After Walker approached me about it, I decided to try it as an experiment.  It sort of caught on, and then the next girl that Walker produced was Julie Mullen.

TL Fox:  How often did you use Mullen on your cards?

We used Julie Mullen on many of the Hyatt cards.  She had a good following, and fought as a welterweight.  She was a good solid fighter. She did have a fighter from Los Angeles that stopped her in one fight, could have been Kim Maybee.

TL Fox:  Did the local newspapers cover the women's fights at the Hyatt, and if so, which paper would have done so?

Bill:  The local paper that covered the women's boxing was the Reno Gazette Journal. Steve Sneedon, who wrote for that paper, wrote more about boxing than most people. 

TL Fox:   Were there any other places, other than Reno and Vegas that featured women's boxing?

Bill:  We started a card at the "Gardenerville" in Nevada - the Cow pasture festival in about 1975-1976.  We put on the show every July 4 . The turnout would be anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 people.  ABC even picked it up.   We ran female boxing on the card for about 3-4 years.  The paper that covered that event was the Record Courier newspaper.

TL Fox:   What else was happening with women's boxing that you can remember?

Bill:  I decided to experiment with an ALL-GIRL show.  We had Karen Bennett, Squeaky Bayardo, and others. (November 1978, substantiated in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Friday, November 24, 1978, page 1A, Sports section).

TL Fox:  What was the reception for the All-Girl Show, you do realize that I I was offered a spot on that card through Dee Knuckles, do you remember that?

Bill:  The All-girl show went very well.   We got a good response.  There was a lot of interest from the public and there were a lot of photos taken. Yes, The place was filled up.  We had a lot of publicity.   I noticed that some of the spectators came from other areas, to  see the show. They thought it was some kind of circus stunt but we proved it wrong. Dee Knuckles was helping book some of the fighters so that does not surprise me that you were offered a spot on the card.

TL Fox:  Bill, since I had some  of my fights at the Silver Slipper in Vegas, can you tell how women's boxing got started in that club, and when?

Bill:  I was the matchmaker of the Silver Slipper for one year, in 1977.  I don't remember who the first women were to fight in the Slipper. I do recall that in 1977, I had a match up of Lavonne Ludian and Theresa Kibby.     Bom Arum and his ex-partner, Teddy B (can't remember his last name) came into the Slipper to see the women's bout.   They were having a televised boxing show on CBS Spectacular and I believe that Norton, I can't remember, was fighting on that card.   The club was packed, and Ludian was a real draw  night. 

TL Fox:  What was the reaction of Bob Arum after he saw the fight with Ludian and Kibby?

Bill:  Arum was very impressed.  He loved it.   He told me that he wanted Ludian and Kibby on his fight card that was gong to be at the Aladdin.  I helped set up that fight for Arum and the girls got about $2,500. (four 2-minute rounds).

TL Fox:  Did you know that I was also on that card?   I was suppose to be an alternate fighter, in case Ludian or Kibby got ill.   Two days before the fight, Dee Knuckles called me and told me that they wanted me to fight someone.

Bill: No I didn't, in fact, I never went to the fight.  I hate to say this but sometimes I could be ringside at a fight and almost fall asleep at times. Also, I believe that I was working at the time.

TL Fox:  When did women boxing start losing some of it's pizazz in Vegas, and why do you think it was losing it's appeal?

Bill: It seems to me that it was around in 1978 that it started losing it.  Some of the problems was the difficulty in getting fighters. Other underlying causes could have been due to mismatches.   

TL Fox:  Was money ever the issue as to why you had difficulty in booking matches?

Bill:  No, money was not the issue.    Just suddenly we just didn't have women's boxing on an ongoing basis, but I just can't remember the reasons why.

TL Fox:  Did you think that women's boxing was going to make it in the 70's and 80's?

Bill:  No, I did not.  Again, I can't tell you exactly why I thought that, but it was just what I felt at the time.

TL Fox:  Do you keep trace of boxing now, or keep up with women's boxing currently?

Bill:  Frankly, I don't watch boxing anymore.

TL Fox:  What was your read on Dee Knuckles, the female manager for many of the women's boxers in the 70's and 80's?

Bill: She was a straight-shooter.  She had a very limited knowledge but worked hard for the girls.

TL Fox:  Bill, this is a tough question for you now, and I want you to be totally up front and honest about what I am about to ask you. Do you remember me as a fighter? And, if you did, can you remember what you thought of my abilities as a fighter?

Bill:  Just vaguely, one or two of your matches.  I can't remember who you fought or how you fought, because I booked so many fights that they all kind of blended together.  (Whew.... I didn't know how he was going to answer this one. lol   TL Fox)

TL Fox: Who were your favorite women boxers in the 70's and 80's?

Karen Bennett and Squeaky Bayardo.  I knew Karen for several years.  She trained with "Baby Mo" who was an excellent boxer at one time.   She destroyed that gal from Indiana, Bonnie Prestwood, it was a bloody fight.    Squeaky was a very colorful fighter. She had a very feminine body, and she could punch.  Hard puncher, fast, and very strong.   Squeaky also had a good personality, and a very interesting history. If she had not gotten into boxing, she probably would have been on the street. Boxing saved her.  She had a very good Spanish man that managed her.  Her family was always with her at the fights.

TL Fox: When did you stop being involved in booking women's bouts?

Bill:  In about 1982.  In Nevada, it started to die out.  

TL Fox: So what is going on in your life now?

Bill:  I worked at the Hyatt Regency from 1975-1995, retiring in 95'.  I am now in the Penn Valley, California area.  The last few years before my retirement, my wife was very ill, and in 1994 passed away.

I just recently remarried in 1998, and my wife is a local business woman where we are now residing.


After my interview with Bill Dickson, he went searching for documents about the women's boxing in the 70's and 80's.  He found some original notes of a meeting that was discussing the beginning of the WBB Federation, six photos of myself fighting Tony Lear at the Hyatt, an original contract showing that I got $300 for fighting Lear and my expense sheet at the hotel, and two envelopes of contracts, etc of women who fought at that hotel.  Needless to say, I was thrilled! T.L.Fox



Dated March 8, 1977
Subtantiating the Ludian/Kibby fight that
Bill Dickson spoke about in his interview

Las Vegas' Ludian Goes For Women's Fight "Title"

  LaVonne Ludian, popular woman boxer and 21-dealer, fights Theresa "Princes Red Star" Kibby for the mythical world women's welterweight championship Wednesday night at the Silver Slipper.

Ludian, who only took up the sport last June, taken an 8-1-1 record into her rematch against the Indian from Smith River, Calif.  Kibby defeated Ludian in the Nevadan's pro debut.

So far, women have only been allowed to box four rounds but "Strip Fight of the Week" promoter Tim Miller is asking permission from the state athletic commission to make the fight a five or six round affair.

Ludian, coming off a controversial draw at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe with lefthanded Sue Fox, is sparring with veteran middleweight Jimmy Sweet Sugar Demon" Owens to get ready for Kibby.

The Slipper card begins at 8:30 p.m. in the upstairs ballroom.READ MORE ON THE FATHER OF WOMEN'S BOXING



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