The era of the undisputed female champions

by
The era of the undisputed female champions
The era of the undisputed female champions. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

The era of the undisputed female champions

by
The era of the undisputed female champions
The era of the undisputed female champions. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

From the few historical records that are available, we can imagine in black and white those women of little prejudice, guided by their natural instincts, with their knee-length petticoats, long underpants, high heels and white blouses with cloth vests. That gray London of the 18th century was the nest of a female boxing genesis that continues flourishing around the world today. Perhaps, we can close our eyes, pointing to the sky, to receive a smiling tear from that Elizabeth Wilkinson who by 1722 was considered the first champion, who today enjoys from a cloud of seven undisputed queens of the noble art of boxing.

They ceased to be that theatrical attraction mounted in a ring for the training of a few. Wilkinson fought Hanna Hyfield bare-knuckle when the rules of boxing were not yet established. It took 154 years after that transcendental event for the first women fight to take place in the United States in a ring, with gloves and clothing similar to what we know today. In England, censorship was still in force: women were no longer allowed to “play boxer”.  232 years went by and the emblematic Barbara Butrick was the protagonist of the first fight broadcast on the small screen that some homes were beginning to have…

By 1989, while legal fights continued in different states of North America, Christy Martin made her debut as a professional fighter and made her consecrating fight, which marked the beginning of modern women’s boxing, on March 15, 1996 against Deidre Gogarty. However, it would not be until August 23, 2003, when she faced Laila Ali, that she would have the opportunity to fight for a “world” title, since they were not yet recognized by any championship regulatory body. The first belts for them began to appear more formally in the 2000s.

After analysis, already with AIBA incorporating them in 1997 in world tournaments and the successive presentations that demonstrated the capacity and performance, the pioneer organization, the WBA sanctioned its first female black and gold belt in 2004 crowning the French Myriam Lamare.

The year 2007 arrived with jubilation and outstanding female boxers touring the ring and impressing new audiences. That year, a Norwegian of Colombian roots,  made her professional debut in Sweden because even that adopted country was still closed to boxing for them. She is Cecilia Braekhus, who almost exactly 10 years after Bernard Hopkins was the first to achieve it, she became the first woman world champion by the 4 governing bodies (Hopkins did it on September 18, 2004 while Braekhus equaled it on September 13, 2014); THE FIRST LADY, THE FIRST UNDISPUTED. Braekhus made 10 consecutive defenses of all her crowns and 36 fights unblemished before losing to Jessica McCaskill in August 2020, who has since owned 147 lbs.

McCaskill has been joined by: Katie Taylor IN 135 lbs, who will be looking to reign in May of this year to reign in a higher weight division, 140 lbs, when she faces another undisputed; Chantelle Cameron. To them we add: Amanda Serrano, in featherweight category as the first to accomplish such a feat for Puerto Rico in boxing, Alycia Baumgardner in super featherweight, Claressa Shields at 160 lbs. and Franchon Crews at 168 lbs. and all of them have faced among the best in their categories. None of them have dodged challenges to keep their reigns or to take care of their promoters… They all have been cheered by the fans of the world of gloved fists.

This 2023 shows us a color film with new cuts that will make the great film that posterity will show with the pride of how these women athletes raised the competition so that more and more women take their passions to a higher level.


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