At the beginning of September, we discovered from a
Bremerton Newspaper in the State of Washington, that there was going to be
a "History's First" with the first sanctioned bout between a man
and a woman.
The woman, 36-year old, Margaret "Tiger"
McGregor of Bremerton, Washington was due to fight Hector Morales, a
fighter from Vancouver, Canada. The news spread quickly, about this mixed
match that was scheduled to occur on October 9th, at the Mercer Arena in
I decided to contact the promoters and people
involved in making this "First" happen.
I spoke to Bob Jarvis, a trainer for Martin
O'Malley,and is the main event on this upcoming card. Jarvis said that it
was actually "Margaret" who got the ball rolling on this mixed
Apparently Margaret was getting frustrated about the
lack of opponents and suggested to Jarvis that he get her a fight with a
male fighter by the name of Lloyd Chow, a fighter from Vancouver, Canada.
He said that in a conversation that took place three weeks ago, Margaret
said to him, "I can't get any fights!"
Jarvis said that he contacted Chow, but Chow did not
want to do it. Jarvis said that Chow said that he may be able to find a
male opponent for Margaret, which is how Hector Morales was given the
Jarvis said that last Thursday, September 2, he
drove up to Vancouver, Canada, to check out Morales, and make sure the
fighter really "existed."
Apparently Morales, who is from Mexico, and is a
security guard in Canada, told Jarvis in regards to fighting Margaret,
"Hey, why, not Im going to knock her out".. Jarvis, said that
Morales went on to say that Morales, predicted that he would knock her out
in the third round.I asked Jarvis what he thought about Morales boxing
skills, as he watched him in the gym train. Jarvis said, "hes
okay, but no killer." I asked when they would find out from the
Boxing Commission if the fight would be sanctioned. Jarvis said that he
should know by next Tuesday.
Jarvis said that he could not believe the reaction
that they have received from this event, and that they have been receiving
Jarvis said that if the commission does not approve
the mixed match bout, McGregor will still be fighting, but it will be with
a female opponent.
According to McGregor's team, Margaret fought Kim
Messer, in 1992, first defeating Messer, and then having a controversial
draw with her in kickboxing.
McGregor has had three professional bouts. Two with
Layla McCarter and her last fight was against Shelley Lay. She won all
three matches and is undefeated with 3-0.
Also on the undercard will be a U.S. National
Amateur Champion Dakota Stone, a 29-year old, 156 lb. fighter. Stone will
be making her pro debut
An Associated Press article after the
fight - October 12, 1999
IT WAS a lightweight fight which
carried disturbing heavyweight undertones. Margaret MacGregor, a
36-year-old professional boxer and landscaper, made history in the early
hours of yesterday when she beat Loi Chow, a man, over four rounds at the
Mercer Arena in Seattle. This was the first sanctioned mixed-gender
contest. It should also be the last.
The eight minutes of boxing - four two-minute rounds
- should now be consigned to the dustbin, with governments, sanctioning
bodies and boxing commissions insisting that such contests be outlawed.
The Washington State Licensing Department had sanctioned the fight, citing
state law which did not consider gender difference as an issue.
Nor did McGregor, who received $1,500 (£940) for
her night's work against an opponent who was intent on defending himself
for four rounds. "I'll fight anyone who my promoter puts in front of
me," McGregor said after the contest.
Only in America, you might say. However, time was
when the same was said of the Jerry Springer Show, which has been
successfully exported to Britain, and where self-humiliation aired in
front of a national audience is seen as mainstream entertainment.
On Saturday night, in front of a capacity audience
of 3,000 - around a third of them women - McGregor, who has overcome
personal battles such as a 51-month jail sentence for drug-dealing, drug
addiction and brawling on the streets and in bars, fought like a raging
bull. Her opponent, a part-time jockey, could not bring himself to jump
his biggest hurdle yet: hitting a woman in a legitimised environment in
front of a worldwide audience including television cameras and journalists
from around 15 countries.
For the record, McGregor won all four rounds. But it
was a bizarre, almost surreal spectacle, and made a mockery of a sport
which hardly needs such sideshows to promote its naturally primeval
qualities. This was just revealing life's darkest underbelly.
Such contests can be described only as freak shows,
and should not be thrust upon us. Man beating woman, woman beating up man,
both are distasteful.
The British Boxing Board of Control insist they
would not even consider sanctioning such a contest, with British
promoters, such as Frank Warren, labelling the event "a diabolical
Stateside, promoter Bob Jarvis, of O'Malley
Productions, the company who promoted the event, said yesterday they had
not expected such worldwide interest. McGregor's original opponent, Hector
Morales, pulled out after the pressure on him. Chow and McGregor had even
been offered large amounts of money by another promoter to withdraw from
The growth of women in boxing has had perhaps its
biggest month yet, in terms of publicity. Mia St John, a licensed fighter
and mother of two, is seen cupping her bare breast with a pair of gloves
on the cover of Playboy. Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, made her
ring debut in New York state on Friday and dispatched her opponent to the
canvas in 31 seconds, leaving her set for a lucrative career in the sport.
Her father turned up to see her, too, having long been a critic of women's
boxing. Finally, we
witnessed McGregor prepared to fight all-comers
after winning the first mixed-gender contest. Something has to give.
In the 1970s, pitching Billie Jean King against a
man, Bobby Riggs, was a novelty within tennis. But it did not involve
blows to the head or violent intent. However, the 'mixed singles' match
between McGregor and Chow was a farce, and set a dangerous precedent.
Fight fans at the venue admitted that more women than usual had attended
and, moreover, the consensus among the paying public was that they had
Thankfully, the sport's major power brokers, the
television companies, are against such contests. "This is a freak
show and there's no call for it. I would never set something like this
up," said Bruce Trampler, a matchmaker for Top Rank Inc, who promote
Mia St John and Oscar De La Hoya.
"It's pure exploitation, and we will never air
mixed-gender fighting," said Lou Di Bella, the senior vice-president
of Home Box Office's sports division. "That, however, may change with
the emergence of Laila Ali, who is clearly a box-office fighter.
But there remain good reasons to shun mixed
contests, and many women will have been sleepless in Seattle simply
contemplating the endorsing of a man hitting a woman. Statistics indicate
that every nine seconds, a woman is battered in America. In Seattle alone,
16,000 women seek help each year through emergency shelters.
McGregor knows this only too well. She was abused 10
years ago in her first marriage by her then-husband. After a heated
argument, her husband battered her face beyond recognition.
Women's boxing is a fledgling sport, and a minority
of women will always want to box. We now have the great Archie Moore's
daughter fighting, Ali's daughter beginning her career, and Joe Frazier's
niece, Diane Clark, is a licensed professional. Down the line, the
prospect of Ali's daughter fighting Frazier's niece - two legitimate
female pugilists - will clearly generate interest, but the world should
never have to witness a man and a woman fighting each other again.
Licensed or otherwise.
Press Release from the Washington
State Department of Licensing
OLYMPIA The Washington State
Department of Licensing (DOL) has determined that planning may continue
for the first professional female vs. male boxing match in Washington
State, scheduled to take place on the evening of October 9, at the Seattle
Mercer Arena. To this point, DOL has reviewed the fight records and
received, followed the law and has determined that planning may continue
with the Margaret McGregor vs. Hector Morales fight. Upon review, DOL
notified the promoter, O'Malley Productions, to continue planning for the
fight (subject to change if any of the remaining application components do
not meet licensing requirements.) The remaining requirements will continue
to be submitted to DOL up to 24 hours prior to the fight, and any
information received may alter this decision. The fight contract matches
Margaret McGregor, Bremerton, Pro Boxing fighter, 3-0, 130 lbs., vs.
Hector Morales, Vancouver, B.C., Pro Boxing debut, 130 lbs. DOL
is charged with the responsibility of reviewing bout applications to
ensure the health and safety of the fighters. The application was reviewed
according to the state Professional Athletics Act, which does not include
gender as a fight-matching factor. Applications are reviewed by DOL for
the five determining factors mandated by law: weight, skill level,
physical health test, vision exam, communicable disease blood test, and
controlled substances urinary test (WAC 36.12.240). Promoter
and fighters are required to submit all necessary application components
no later than 72 hours before the fight. Final approval is dependent on
all parties complying with application and safety requirements contained
in statute or rule.