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  WBAN goes One on One with Lady Tyger Trimiar-Interview conducted by Sue TL Fox

On May 15, 1998, WBAN got an opportunity to go one on one with Lady Tyger Trimiar, one of the most prominent female boxers from the 1970s to 1980's.  Trimiar talks about the Laila Ali-Jacqui Frazier bout... Christy Martin, and Jackie Tonawanda.

TL Fox: Did you see the Laila Ali vs. Jacqui Frazier fight?

Trimiar: Yes, I did. I thought the fight was extremely exciting. I enjoyed it very much. The skill level was not of what I would like out of seasoned fighters, but they were not seasoned, so for what they gave, it was worth it. The people were excited, they stood up and cheered, and boxing fans got their moneyís worth.

TL Fox: Do you think that this particular event helped womenís boxing?

Trimiar: Yes, absolutely---yes. Because a lot of people who were not interested in womenís boxing, that were interest in Ali/Joe Frazier, would be interested in the daughters. It just brought massive attention to womenís boxing.

TL Fox: What emotions or thoughts did you go through when you watched the Laila/Frazier fight, and seeing the success of this high-profile womanís bout? 

Trimiar: I had a lot of mixed emotions. It brought back very good memories and some not so good. I was very happy for them though.  I just remember when the media was very negative about women's boxing, or would not cover it at all.

TL Fox: Laila Ali said that she would like to help other women boxers, which is a sharp contrast to Christy Martinís remarks about how she is only in the sport for herself --- do you have any opinion on that?

Trimiar: Yes, I do. I have a very strong opinion. When I heard Martin for the first time say those things, I slumped down in my chair in sadness. Here I was willing to do anything to help the sport, including going on a hunger strike for something that I felt so strong about. I was passionate about it. I feel that when you promote yourself, you have to promote ALL women in itófor everyone.

TL Fox: Jackie Tonawanda was interviewed just prior to the Laila/Frazierís fight. The commentator began his interview by introducing Tonawanda as "THE" pioneer of womenís boxing, and she agreed with him without mentioning you or any other women boxers in her time.

 What was your feelings about that?

Trimiar: Well to be honest, I did not expect her to mention me, because that is how our relationship has been. When we tried to work together, we couldnít work together, because it was either her way or "no" way. I did try very hard with her. 

TL Fox: When the commentator on the Laila/Frazier fight said to Jackie Tonawanda that she had a 36-1 (36KO) record, what was your reaction?

Trimiar: When I heard it I just went "Wow". I wished that the commentator would have asked her who she had fought, and name some of her opponents. Then she needs to prove that. The only fight I knew of her being in was against Diane Clark, and she lost that fight. Then she did this exhibition thing at Madison Square Garden with the male kickboxer.

TL Fox: Did you see that exhibition fight with Tonawanda and the kickboxer?

Trimiar: Yes, with my mother and father.

TL Fox: Did it seem like a "ferocious" fight between Tonawanda and the male kickboxer?

Trimiar: No. It did not seem to be a very competitive match. He wasnít very aggressive.  Also, the fight was not a boxing match, so she canít count it as if it is boxing.  Just like I canít count the times that I went to Japan and boxed a wrestler.

TL Fox: When you did see Tonawanda in the gym, and work out with her, did she EVER ONCE talk about some of these opponents she had KOíd with this stellar record?

Trimiar: No, I donít recall her ever talking about who she had fought, and anytime you try to start probing about it, she would shut you down.

TL Fox: Some of the public felt it was unfair because Laila and Frazier got all of this "Hyped" attention, and that the cream of the crop of women boxers were not getting these opportunities, what is your opinion?

Trimiar: There are a lot of other women boxers that ARE struggling. I could imagine myself and being frustrated, but with them capitalizing on their fathersí name, I donít see anything wrong with that. I really donít. If you have a famous family member and they are a movie star and doors are opening for you---take advantage of it---Itís a short life.

A special thanks to Trimiar for taking the time to be interviewed.  

Sue TL Fox - June 15, 2001

BIOGRAPHY OF "LADY"

"Lady Tyger was the best of the best"
70's - 80's fighter - by Sue TL Fox

Lady Tyger—She had a dream. . .since the age of 10 years old, she visited the neighborhood gyms and watched fighters spar each other. She watched boxing on television. One day she told people at the gym that she wanted to be a boxer, and to have a trainer. Lady Tyger remembers that when she expressed that dream to others, they just laughed. 

When Lady Tyger first went to the gym to work out, she was matched with a guy that pounded on her in the ring. A not to not unfamiliar event that happened to females who wanted to start training in a boxing gym. When Lady Tyger returned the next day, she won their respect.

LADY TYGER  started seriously training at 18, after graduating from Julia Richman High School in Manhattan. She said she has fought a total of 25 official fights, winning all but four with an "off and on" career over the past 12 years. In 1979, she won the Women’s World lightweight championship from Sue "KO" Carlson in San Antonio, Texas.

LADY TYGER was sure that women’s boxing was going to be very big in a couple of years and she vocalized that belief to all that who would listen. Little did she know or could have predicted that she would go through years of turmoil and disappointment in the sport of boxing.   

A true pioneer of female boxing, in 1987, she carried on the cause to the extent of going on a well-publicized "hunger strike" for a month to advocate better money and conditions for professional female boxers, even though she was protesting for others and not herself.  All that Lady Tyger strived for was equality among how boxers were paid and treated, whether they were male or female.   She directed that hunger strike towards Don King, the current manager of Christy Martin and other female fighters.  In defense of Don King, even then, he openly vocalized that he was for female boxing. 

Lady Tyger Trimiar was the first woman to apply for a boxing license in New York State. After a long drawn out lawsuit, Lady Tyger, Jackie Tonawanda, and Cathy "Cat" Davis were the first women to be issued a boxing license. They were side-by-side together at the same time to receive that license, even though Cat Davis, was physically "handed" her license first, they were actually all THREE issued a license at the same time. Because Cat Davis was handed her license first, she was pegged as the "First woman" to get her New York license, but in reality, Lady Tyger applied for her boxing license first with New York State, and technically should have received it first on that day.  She even protested the fact that Cat Davis was handed her license first, and the whole ordeal had  suspicious political overtones to it.

Lady Tyger was truly one of the greatest female boxer in the 70’s and 80’s. She fought exhibitions fights before it was legal to box in   sanctioned bouts. She stayed in the fight game from 1973 until 1987, accumulating over 25 professional bouts. Her fame in the 70’s and 80’s even reached the Smithsonian Institute, when one day she received a letter from them, requesting remnants from her boxing days.    Copyrighted 5/15/98. All Rights Reserved.

 
     
     
     

 

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