Womens boxing has long been caught in what seemed a never ending vicious cycle. A cycle that stems from television networks and the promotors within it. Of course, not forgetting, our own perceptions and prejudices towards it aswell. Which then, until recently, has made it virtually impossible for women to make a living from the sport.... and the cycle continues.
Then along came the game changers to catapult womens boxing to heights, quite simply, no one thought possible.
Jane Couch, the first professional female boxer, who won her appeal against the British Boxing Board of Control in 1998 paved the way for the acceptance of womens boxing at the Olympic Games in London 2012 some 14 years later.
The likes of now established household names, Nicola Adams, Katie Taylor, Natasha Jonas, Savannah Marshall are starting to build some serious momentum for young girls across the globe.
Women’s boxing is also not falling into the same traps as we are continuously seeing in the men’s side of the sport. Fans have long been left frustrated by the lack of ‘big’ fights that have not materialized, with failed negotiations between rival promoters an all too regular feature of the sport. Unfulfilled hope for an all-British dust-up between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua was another recent prime example of how fans are being deprived of the most sought-after fights. These barriers seem barely to exist in women’s boxing, however, as the best pound-for-pound fighters seek to unify weight divisions and fight against the best level of opponent available to them.
Working closely with Savannah Marshall for her undisputed battle with Claressa Sheilds at the O2 arena for their sell out, all womens card, has been one of our greatest honours. It was viewed by more than 2 million people on skysports around the world. A display of boxing skill across all weights never before seen by so many people. Including the amazing and controversial fight between Alycia Baumgardner and Mikaeler Mayer. If people weren’t convinced of womens boxing as a marketable product and as a potential profession for young women then that night proved everybody wrong.
The last element for womens boxing is their ability to see themselves as a product, and starting to use their platform across social media and beyond to really create constant engaging content whilst allowing fans to see what goes on behind the scenes. This is when the brands and the sponsorship will gain new heights.
The problem still remains, as it does with mens boxing, is that it is all geared towards the few elite athletes at the top. Grass roots boxing is still very much under valued and represented and supported by the sport and the big brands.
However, womens boxing is gathering momentum like never before. It is the second fastest growing sport behind womens football. Participation, both in boxing gyms and boxing themed exercise classes are increasing rapidly. We, at GymPro will be doing our best to showcase these amazing female athletes and the stories behind them. To continue to inspire those around us and to inspire ourselves aswell.