Posted On:9/20/2005 1:46am
Boxing gaining popularity among women
By Wes Cedar
TRIBUNE-REVIEW NEWS SERVICE
Monday, September 19, 2005
Over the past few years, women seem to be bucking the trend, showing that they can do what men can in sports.
A women's professional basketball league (WNBA) started play in 1997, and women's college hockey began playing for national championships in 2001 and has been on the rise since. Boxing is another sports that has emerged among the women's ranks.
In fact, USA Boxing held its first women's national championship in July 1997. And the sport continues to grow in popularity.
"Without a doubt," said Dan Shaw, owner of the James 5:16 Center in Tarentum. "The sport has attracted (women) the last five years in the amateur ranks. We have women that train and spar."
"I think boxing in itself is making a comeback," said Marty Kressler, of Kressler's Martial Arts Academy. "It is sort of a taboo. You can't do it or shouldn't do it. You are a woman. You can't box. They aren't expected to be boxers."
Kressler added prestige as another reason women pursue boxing.
Kressler's Martial Arts Academy outside Elderton and the James 5:16 Center don't have any women boxers at this time, but each has a few who do spar and work out.
Ford City native LaToya Cherry, who is in the military, chose the life of an amateur female boxer. She worked with Kressler. During her time in the ring, she lost only one bout -- in the state finals three years ago.
"She was good skill-wise," Kressler said.
Women's boxing is also gaining popularity worldwide, and according to Shaw, it may become an Olympic event in the next eight years.
Shaw was surprised the number of women who entered his facility wanting to box and learn the sport.
"When we first started getting females in, they questioned why don't you show me what you show him," Shaw said.
"At first, I wasn't with this female boxing thing. It is a tough sport. It took me a little bit of talking to females (to accept women boxers)."
Women also wanted the same rules as men. And they got their way.
Just last year, USA Boxing passed legislation allowing women to box four two minute rounds, the same as men.
"We get a lot of young females that train," Shaw said. "They aren't afraid to spar. I think the trend is if he can do it, so can we. Not everyone has that attitude."
Kressler and Shaw both said the number of fights on a given night have grown from maybe only one to having as many as three bouts.
"I've been to fight where there have been two or three bouts," Shaw said. "Everywhere you go there seems to be females on the card."
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Posted On:9/20/2005 1:51am
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I like boxing
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Posted On:9/20/2005 8:35pm
boxing is for girls.
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