A History Of Women's Boxing

I am the author of A History of Women’s Boxing, the first comprehensive history of the sport published by Rowman & Littlefield in June 2014. The Girlboxing blog has been a labor of love since I first started it back in October 2010.

I have the honor of being a board member of the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame and make appearances on boxing radio shows to talk about the sport.

Order your Girlboxing Gear here!  

My friend Niamh Griffin over at Inspiring Sports Women was kind enough to do a two-part piece about me.

Part I:  Age no limit for Girl Boxing

Part II:  Why should you box?  

Feel free to comment, pontificate and send in ideas!

My email is girlboxing.wordpress (at) gmail.com

© 2010-2014 Malissa Smith All rights reserved.

40 Responses to “About”

  1. February 5, 2011 at 12:54 am


    Just wanted to let you know that I named you to receive the highly prestigious Stylish Blogger Award.

    Here’s the link:


  2. 3 knock out digest
    February 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    ive been looking for your address here but I cant find. i love your articles and hopefully we post it at the site also.


  3. April 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I can’t say I’ve ever met a girl boxer before. Thanks for subscribing to my blog.

  4. May 18, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Hi Melissa!
    I have been meaning to write, but the show had me so busy. Thank you for all of your GREAT coverage and the stories on Lisa and Mischa! Its a pleasure to have a fellow female pugilist working for the good of the sport! I hope to meet you one day, and I want to import your blog into mine. 🙂 You don’t mind do you? I’ve been neglecting my blog, but its about to get going again.

    -Terri Moss

  5. June 25, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I just started boxing. Age 45.
    I feel wiser already!

  6. July 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I met you at Margaret’s site. You left a comment about “There were no mirrors in My Nana’s House.” This is my all-time favorite Sweet Honey in the Rock song.

    I know next to nothing about boxing, but I’m here, reading your site expanding my brain and my world. Thank you for your writing and for letting me see women and boxing from a whole new light. I had never thought about these things in this way. This is why I adore the exchange of ideas blogging brings. I am enlightened by your words and my world expands.

    Thank you.

    • July 30, 2011 at 11:55 am


      Thank you for your very kind words. “There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house” is my favorite song from Sweet Honey in the Rock too. More than uplifting it seems to paint an entire world that encompasses passion and imagination.

      Boxing holds out similar possibilities to me. For women in particular, the parameters of the sport seem to take on additional meanings, wherein each woman who approaches it has to do so consciously, much as women who embrace other martial arts and even athleticism that falls outside of the boundaries of what is viewed as normative. I came to this late in my life having eschewed all sports, running, aerobics and so on with a Manhattanite’s effete dismissal, but did I ever miss out! Having come to it now, I love sharing the complexities of the personal saga, as well as putting out small brush strokes that like quick sketches give the sense of what women’s boxing is all about as a global experience.

      I really appreciate what you’ve written and love forward to exploring your blog — http://www.alterspaces.com.

      All the Best!!!

  7. January 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I enjoyed your blog that I just stumbled across. I enjoyed boxing in my late twenties into thirties but just for fun and exercise. That’s how I came up with my email address years ago and more recently my blog. My blog is about my experience in college as an alternative student and my unfortunate experience as a fighter in the divorce ring.

    Keep blogging when your gloves are off!

    Pattie girlboxer1970

  8. February 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Hey Malissa, I’m a young female boxer, and i absolutely LOVE it! I’m glad you started this blog to show that girls can box and can be great at it. It is a VERY hard working sport, but no matter how hard it gets…I just think to myself all this hard work and pain is going to get me somewhere far in life. I will be a champion. Your an inspiration to girl boxers. I’m open to any advice or tips you may have for me. 🙂

    • February 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Ashley! Thank you so much for your note!! I looked at your blog and you are off to a terrific start!!! As for training, a lot of professional and amateurs boxers gripe about it … but it is precisely the work that lets you dance in the ring. I was at Gleason’s this morning at about 8. My trainer wasn’t around so it was just me, but it didn’t mean that I slacked on the work, if anything, I pushed harder on things I knew I needed to work on, and even managed the 100 sit-ups.

      If I can offer anything, Ashley, it is to say that whatever you choose to do with you life over the long run, your passion for the sport and your willingness to do the work necessary to get yourself where you want to go will be something you will carry with you for the rest of your life. PLUS … four years from now … it could be you carrying an Olympic dream in your heart. BTW, I’ll be adding a link to your blog under the Boxing Blogs links. BEST of the best!!!

      • February 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

        Thank you SO much! Yeah, boxing is very hard work and to tell the truth, At first I did gripe about it because when I first started I was soo sore…but now it makes me feel like I have more energy. 🙂

  9. February 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Please check out my blogs when you get a chance. Thanks(:

  10. 20 Jordan
    April 11, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Hi! Thank you for your fantastic blog!!! I love it!!! I saw in your tweet you’ll be presenting a paper on women’s boxing and gender issues. Will you put this paper on your site?

    Thank you again!!!

  11. 22 Jordan
    April 13, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Thank you very much!! Have a great time at the conference, and congratulations on your paper!!

  12. May 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I’m glad to have found your blog. You’ve got a great writing style, and it’s nice to see a women’s perspective on the sport.

    I took up boxing many years ago when my kids were young and new to it. I recently started doing boxing workouts again after getting an injury that is keeping me from running. Your blog is a great motivator!

    • May 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm


      Welcome and thank you so much for your lovely comment! Good luck with the training! I hope your boxing doesn’t further aggravate your injury.

      All the best!

  13. August 14, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Thank you for sharing your articles! You have a lot to say. Drop on by sometimes to http://brendabell.org

  14. December 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

    We recently had Cathy Brown on the Podcast, London Real, talking about her career and female boxing more generally. Please take a listen and if you like it, please host it and let us know. Thank you


  15. January 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Just want to say thanks for following my blog. I do humor and stories and poetry. Who knows but maybe sometime in the future I might just post a boxing short story.

  16. January 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I am the coordinator of the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame in Belfast, NY. We are having a tribute to Women in Boxing July 12, 2014. Send me your email address and I’ll send you the press release. Our website is bareknuckleboxinghalloffame.com Christy Martin and other high profile women on hand that day too. Scott Burt (SRBURT@AOL.COM)

  17. February 11, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Hi ! I’ve been kind Of skimming through your blog, but what really drew me in was your post from a couple years ago about your SLAP tear and the fact that you box. I’m just curious if your range of motion ever got better and if You’ve had any issues since with re injury or other complications. I’m hypermobile and it was through hyperextension of my shoulder joint while extending my arm during a Kick that tore my labrum this past December. There was concern over my possibly tearing it again or doing more damage because of the hypermobility and how easily I tore it that we elected to go ahead and have it surgically repaired, but I’m having some issue of finding info on post op, especially relating to boxing. If you don’t mind letting me know How yours is doing and any resources you’d recommend I’d greatly appreciate it 🙂

    Thanks !

    • February 14, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Hi! I laid off of boxing for about 6 months. When I returned I started out very slowly (and gingerly) with a back to basics routine. I focused very hard on the mechanics of my boxing to get rid of any bad habits that may have had be draw back my right arm (surgery was on my right shoulder) beyond the mid-line, and also worked hard on the pivets and throwing with the hip turn rather than an “arm punch.” I worked with my trainer on pads, and on the double-ended bag a lot during that period.
      Two and a half years in, I have full range of motion to the point where I forget I ever had surgery! I also spar weekly, but do continue to be mindful that I can reinjure.
      I don’t have hypermobility issues so I can’t address it, but can say that going back to basics helped me a lot. I’ll add that I’m now 60 years old and it feels “brand new.”
      With respect to post-op issues, I also experienced a frozen shoulder. This set me back a few months. If I can offer advise, it is to start PT as soon as possible with a really good PT therapist whose will to work with you 3 days a week for a couple of hours each sessions. My first one was awful and contributed to the frozen shoulder, while the second one really, really helped me. He used massage and ultrasound to break up the stiffness, plus a lot of core on top of the specific shoulder therapy exercises. The other thing is REALLY do the work at home on your off days.
      I hope this helps. You can email me if you want: girlboxing.wordpress (at) wordpress.com.


  18. May 23, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Hey Melissa, Niall Doran from Boxing News and Views here. I love your blog, really awesome blog on female boxing! I might have something for you that may be of interest if you want to drop me a mail at info@boxingnewsandviews.com when you are free. Thanks! Niall.

  19. February 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I’m a WSJ sports writer and would love to talk with you for a story I’m researching.
    Thank you,
    Kevin Helliker

    Senior Writer

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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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