About Me


malissasmith.ahistoryofwomensboxing-1My name is Malissa Smith.

I am an author and women’s boxing historian.

My love affair with boxing began as a young girl, but wasn’t realized fully until I walked myself into Gleason’s Gym in January of 1997 and began to train.

While I’ve never competed, per se, I have had to test myself beyond my limits to face the truths that come when one lives fully in the moment. And really, there is nothing like a punch in the mouth to understand what it means to be awake. 

Boxing not only awakened me, but truly uncaged my soul bringing me to the other passion in my life, writing. 

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.

It is also why I continue to write the Girlboxing blog which has been a labor of love since I first started it back in October 2010. 

My current boxing related activities include:

International Boxing Hall of Fame – Selection Committee Member and Voting Member for the Women’s Modern Boxers and Women’s Trailblazer Boxers induction categories.

International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame –  Board Member

Ring Magazine – Women’s Boxing Ratings Committee Member

I am a co-host for the WAAR Room a weekly conversation about topics in boxing and sports justice with Chris Baldwin and Eddie Goldman. The show is available on YouTube’s popular WAAR Sports Channel and be sure to hit the “Like” and “Subscribe” buttons!. 

I make regular appearances on boxing podcasts and related shows to talk about the sport. (See Media page for links to latest appearances.)

My public appearances also feature discussions of boxing, women’s empowerment, mentoring, and related topics. My most recent appearance was at the 8th Annual International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame induction event at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas on August 14, 2021. I had the honor of presenting the awards to the 2020 and 2021 Inductees and Special Awardees.

Feel free to comment, pontificate and send in ideas!

And if you want to get in touch, my email is:

Social Media Contacts below:

© 2010-2021 Malissa Smith All rights reserved.

40 thoughts on “About Me

  1. knock out digest

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


  2. Terri Moss

    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

      1. Emily Goes Boxing

        Thank you SO much for adding me to the link page!
        I will add you to mine when I figure out how to do such a thing.
        (I just bought my first cell phone-to give you an idea how behind I am)

  3. rebecca @ altared spaces

    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.

    1. Girlboxing Post author


      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!!!

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  6. Pattie Crider

    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

  7. ashleysbigblog

    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. 🙂

    1. Girlboxing Post author

      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!!!

      1. ashleysbigblog

        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. 🙂

  8. Jordan

    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!!!

  9. Abby

    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!

    1. Girlboxing Post author


      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!

  10. Scott Burt

    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)

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  12. crazyallyrose

    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 !

    1. Girlboxing Post author

      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.



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