Women’s boxing, women’s sports.
I know it was a Sunday evening in mid-summer, but something interesting happened last night: both ABC and CBS led their evening news reports with women’s soccer. Japan had just won as exciting a World Cup final as can be remembered against the US team — only it wasn’t the men’s soccer final, it was the women’s. Eschewing the normal jingoist flag waving, credit was given where it was due to the tremendous, tenacious play of both teams and to Japan for having edged out the US team 3-1 in penalty kicks after having been tied at 2-2 in regulation play.
As a strong supporter of the sport of women’s boxing, so often marginalized, side-swiped and forgotten, cheering from the side-lines for the extraordinary athletes plying their considerable skills for 90 plus minutes of non-stop play on the soccer pitch was inspirational. After all, these young women came to play. Much as women who glove up for battle in the ring whether it’s in small club amateur fights, National championships or professional bouts in local venues or in places as storied as Madison Square Garden.
My hope is that women’s sports do indeed have a place that can translate into support and appreciation for the women in boxing who work and train against all odds to ply their passion. And perhaps one day, a year or so from now, when the first female boxer ascends the Olympic podium to collect her well-earned gold medal, television stations around the world will lead with her victory!
Would … that it will be true.
For some further inspiration, here’s Katie Taylor’s 2010 World Championship win. (Action starts about 2:00 in.)