A few years ago it seemed like women’s boxing had exploded all over the country and was only bound to grow. Million Dollar Baby had just come out, and the desire for women to take part in a sport that was considered a “man’s sport” was on the rise. There was never a shortage of opponents in my more than common weight category of 57 kg, and it seemed like the women’s categories were always full at tournaments, provincials and nationals. In 2009 women’s boxing really got a shove forward when it was decided that it would be accepted in the 2012 Olympics. So where have all these women gone?
In the last year it is getting harder and harder to find fights. At first I allocated this to experience. Having over 30 fights now I find it difficult to find opponents with similar experience (in the West). Even in Washington and Alberta, everyone there is to fight I’ve already fought, or they’ve retired. However, you would assume that eventually the newer women to the sport would gain that experience and I would have a new opponent to fight, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The biggest shocker was at Nationals this year. I was astonished at how few women were actually there competing. Most weight categories had about 6 women, and mine only had 4!! This was a huge surprise as it’s a very common weight category, unlike say 48kg, which commonly has few athletes.
So what is happening here? Has boxing just come out of fashion? Do these old school coaches not know how to coach a women? Maybe, and I hate to say this, the average women can’t hang? Boxing is a difficult sport. It can be equally rewarding and punishing and to compete at an elite level requires a great amount of dedication and time. But what I can’t understand is why more men seem to have have this time and drive.
Last night a friend and fellow female boxer suggested to me that the few women who were involved in boxing have crossed over to MMA and kickboxing, which I can see. One of my main sparring partners is a kick-boxer. But the question still remains, why isn’t women’s boxing, now a Olympic sport, bringing in more women?