A History of Women's Boxing

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1876: New York Hills Theater holds a boxing match between Nell Saunders and Rose Harland. This is considered the first female boxing match in the United States. The top prize? A silver butter dish.

1904: Men and women’s boxing is introduced at the modern Olympic games in St. Louis as display events. Men’s boxing was accepted into the Olympics, women’s was not.

1954: Barbara Buttrick is the first female boxer to have a fight broadcast on national television. Buttrick fought as a 98-pound flyweight and was only four feet and eleven inches tall.

1975: Eva Shain becomes the first female judge in professional boxing. She went on to judge many professional bouts, including a world heavyweight title bout and 50 other title bouts.
Quote from her obitiuary:
''It wasn't the idea of being a trailblazer,'' Mrs. Shain said of her pioneering role. ''It was something I wanted to do. It was a challenge.''

1975: Nevada issues the first female boxing license to Caroline Svendsen. In the following three years California and New York follow suit.

1979: A successful lawsuit brought by Shirley Tucker and the ACLU forces California to change their regulations that had limited women boxers to no more than four rounds.

April 1987: Marian Trimiar stages a month long hunger strike advocating for better conditions, pay and recognition for women boxers.
Quote:" It's my heart, it's my love," "Unless women get more recognition, we will be fighting just as a novelty for the rest of our lives. There will be no future." (source: Houston Chronicle News Services 04/27/1987)

1988: Sweden becomes the first country to lift a ban on women’s amateur boxing.

April 16, 1992:  Gail Grandchamp wins an eight-year legal battle for the right to fight. The judge rules that it is illegal to deny someone the right to fight based on their gender.

March 1993: Dallas Malloy and the ACLU files a lawsuit against USA boxing. USA boxing settles and lifts the ban prohibiting women from boxing.

October of 1993: Dallas Malloy defeats Heather Poyner by decision in the first sanctioned women’s amateur match in the United States.

1994: AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association) lifts the ban on women’s boxing.

1995: New York Golden Gloves include women for the first time.

1996: Christy Martin fights Deirdre Gogarty. This fight is considered the birth of modern professional women's boxing in the US.

1996: England lifts the ban on women’s amateur boxing.

1997: USA boxing holds it’s first national championship for women.

1999: AIBA approves the first European Cup for women.

2001: The first women’s World Amateur Boxing Championship takes place in Scranton, PA

2009:  The International Olympic Committee votes to lift the ban on women’s boxing.

2011: Women’s boxing is included in the Pan American Games for the first time.

2012: Women’s boxing will debut as an Olympic event for the first time since the games began.