BARBARA Napier has to be the busiest
amateur girl boxer in the middle west -- perhaps anywhere in North America.
20-year-old native of Lima, Ohio, fighting out of Dayton, was on a vacation in 1974
with a girl friend when she spotted an unusual ad in a Tyler, Texas newspaper.
"We saw this ad for girl boxers, so I
figured I would give it a try. I went down to the gym and talked to them,"
Barbara recalls. The promoters turned her loose in the gym with a minimum
instruction, jumping rope, hitting a punching bag, calisthenics and a variety of other
techniques employed by boxers to build up their stamina. From the first time she put
on a pair of boxing gloves, Barbara was hooked. "They felt really good....like
I'd always wore them." The bouts were four one-minute rounds and the only
serious advice the Texas ringman gave her was to "get in there and do the best you
can." Ms. Napier doesn't remember being scared. "No, I wasn't, not
really. I just knew I had to protect myself and stay away."
Barbara had a
perfect debut. She not only won the decision but was awarded a special trophy for
her performance. The angular young woman (she stands five-foot, six inches and
weighs 112 pounds) won two more bouts in Tyler and then invaded Dallas where
boxers were reportedly more plentiful. Before returning to Dayton, Napier compiled
an undefeated string of five wins and one draw.
MISSY JUNIOR GLOVES TOURNEY
Doyle Weaver started the "Missy Junior
Gloves" club, in Duncanville, (Southwest corner of Dallas), in 1973, and it
went until 1981, when that City decided they needed the old Military Barracks for their
Car Maintenance. He & I talked of re-starting the program in 1985, and he had a
reunion of old members, some of them mothers by then, and some even sparred in an old
ring, but not much more came of it. He also was teaching music, and nursing an
invalid mother, so time was a gold commodity. He had a large group, and the guest book
person who guessed 300, was almost right. Doyle ran anywhere from 100 to 300 at any one
time, and most of them had to fight boys from other gyms for the experience.
of male pride went on the canvas. Though Parents of the girls were receptive, it was
hard to convince area people that this was a viable teaching tool for