Posts Tagged ‘Top Rank

15
Aug
12

Women’s boxing: past, present, future tense

Women’s boxing: past, present, future tense

Christy Martin & Mia St. John, WBC Title Fight, 8/13/12, Photo: Mary Ann Lurie Owen

Pictures always tell stories.  They speak of triumph, pain and the extraordinary toughness that is distilled down to a moment in time.

For Christy Martin (49-7-3, 31-KOs) and Mia St. John (46-11-2, 18-KOs) two legends in the field of women’s professional boxing those pictures, framed within the confines of a ten-round championship battle are indelible for what they tell us about tenacity, courage and love for the sport that both of these women has put so much heart into. Mia St. John won the fight by decision: 96-94, 96-94, 97-93. The decision was considered fair, and evened up their previous meeting on June 12, 2002 when Martin defeated St. John by decision.

Both women announced their retirement after the fight and given that they are 44 and 45 years old respectively, why not.  They’ve earned the right to hang up their gloves as much as any two champions who ever lived.

Christy Martin (r) & Deirdre Gogarty, March 16, 1996, Credit: fscclub.com

Christy Martin began her boxing career in the Toughwoman contests of the early 1990’s before finding her way to Don King and her most famous bout against Ireland’s great boxer Deirdre Gogarty on Showtime’s PPV in 1996.  That fight put women’s boxing on the map — and ready or not, into the primetime of promotional gambits that sought to capitalize on Martin’s success in the ring without regard for the women who actually fought these battles, or the consequences ten years later when the bottom seemed to fall out of professional women’s boxing in the United States.  Mia St. John was able to capitalize on that first wave herself, entering the ring in 1997 and signing first with Don King and then with Top Rank. She continued to box, just as Christy did through the good and lean times of the sport.

Women fight, win, lose, and tough out purses that barely cover expenses, never mind the cost of hitting the gym every day or going into camp for several weeks before a particularly tough bout, things that are taken for granted in the world of men’s boxing, but seem like flights of fancy for the female fighters. Martin and St. John and countless other women who fought alongside them, some highly renowned, others only in their respective cities or gyms, fight on even now if for nothing else than for love of the sport and the opportunity to fight through the things that bring them to the ring in the first place.

Martin and St. John’s bout was their last battle, but to borrow a term from track and field, they have passed on the baton and then some to countless women who have been inspired by their fortitude as they’ve braved the gauntlet to fight and fight hard in the ring. That it comes on the heels of the debut of women’s boxing in the 2012 Olympics is so much the sweeter.

Women’s boxing has Marlen Esparza (Bronze, flyweight medalist), Queen Underwood (lightweight Olympian) and Claressa Shields (Gold, middleweight medalist) to mark another milestone in the sport as great as the night of March 16, 1996 when Martin and Gogarty put the sport on the map. But they’ve also got sisters in gyms across the United States and the world working out two to three hours a day for the chance to climb through the velvet ropes to tell their own stories in minute frames of images.

What we owe to Christy Martin and Mia St. John is incalculable, suffice to say Girlboxing sends a salute to these two remarkable women who have literally pounded the flesh for glory.

 

 

21
Feb
11

Women in the ring and Week Six Golden Gloves Reminder

Women in the Ring

Christy Martin and Dakota Stone, September 3, 2009

Christy Martin:  Fighting back

Christy Martin, center, works out with assistant trainer Richie Sandoval, left, Miguel Diaz, trainer, right looks on. Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP Photo

AP’s Tim Dahlberg has a feature piece out about Christy Martin and her upcoming bout against Dakota Stone on the undercard of the March 12, 2011 Showtime PPV Cotto-Mayorga fight.

A money quote from Dahlberg’s piece with respect to women’s boxing is Bob Arum’s take on the sport:

“Ask promoter Bob Arum and he’ll tell you the biggest problem with women’s boxing is that men don’t particularly like to see women hitting each other, and women like it even less. Though the sport has a small dedicated fan base, women in the ring are generally treated as a side show by fans and boxing promoters.”  This article is really worth the read here.

Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis upcoming bout reminder!

As a reminder, the other great women’s bout on March 12, 2011 will pit WIBA #1 ranked U. S. Heavyweight, Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis (3-0, 1-KO) against Tanzee Daniels (4-0, 1-KO) on the undercard of HBO’s Martinez-Dzinziruk fight to be broadcast live from Foxwoods.

Tickets can be purchased online here or by calling the MGM Grand at Foxwoods at 1-866-646-0609, or in person at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office.

You can also contact Sonya Lamonakis for ticket information by calling Gleason’s Gym @ 718-797-2872.

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Week Six reminder:  Women’s bouts!

At the aptly named, Justice Sotomayer Center on Wednesday night, February 23rd, the first women’s preliminary boxing bouts of the year will be held across several weight classes.

The full week’s schedule is:

2/22/2011 – Bishop Ford High School, 500 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

2/23/2011 – Justice Sotomayor Center, 1000 Rosedale Avenue, Bronx, NY 10472

2/25/2011 – Holy Cross High School, 26-20 Francis Lewis Blvd., Flushing, NY 11358

For more information click here.


28
Jan
11

Remembering the Prize Fighter

Remembering the Prize Fighter.

The Sweet Science.com is carrying a story about the Bob Arum’s move from HBO to Showtime-CBS  — and the potential of putting “terrestrial television” aka plain-vanilla broadcast TV back into the mix.   The main thrust of Bob Arum and Top Rank’s deal is giving him “ad spots and live coverage during CBS programming [that] will run either the first or last episode of a four-part promotional countdown to the fight show on CBS in prime time (the others will run on SHOWTIME). In addition, Top Rank will be allowed to sell ad spots that help cover the production costs of that show.” [Link to the full article here.]

This is pretty heady stuff and puts in my such glory days of boxing as the kind of main event fights that played on broadcast television from the 1950’s on through the great warrior battles of Muhammad Ali well into the 1970’s.

Howard Cosell and Mohammed Ali

The net effect of Arum’s move to Showtime-CBS will certainly bring more viewers for his upcoming Cotto-Mayorga fight, but more importantly will give him time to promote Manny Pacquiao’s May 7th fight:  a cross back into the realm of broadcast television thereby burnishing the place of the prize fighter in American lore.

Imagine this — the deal includes live promotion on CBS Morning Show and will also feature Christy Martin on CBS Talk Shows.  As well, in the run up to the Pacquiao fight, a feature spot will run on 60 Minutes one week prior to the fight.

As I’ve stated in an earlier column on the popularity of The Fighter and the splash that the new series Lights On is having on FX, boxing has found new life as people begin to view boxing as a way of battling through their own issues large and small.  For the fighter, it may still be a way out of “Palookaville,” but for the rest of us it’s a way out of powerlessness in a world that is moving way to fast for its own good.  I don’t know enough about the promoting game to be a fan one way or another of Bob Arum, but what I can say, is that his move to the wider audience of broadcast television shows that he is in touch with the subtle changes in the place of boxing on the American consciousness.  From the perspective of boostering women’s boxing, Bob Arum is also placing his money on the future place of women’s boxing in the prize fighting game, and given where we are vis-a-vis the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, that is a great thing.

You might also like “Lights On”

11
Jan
11

The lady is a champ

The lady is a champ

Christy Martin, The Lady is a Champ, Sports Illustrated

This story has been out for a few days, but in case Girlboxing readers didn’t see it, women’s boxing pioneer Christy Martin, 42 has been tentatively set to box March 12th in Las Vegas on the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga undercard.

As quoted on Fanhouse.com, Christy said, “The deal is done.  I will finish my career being promoted by the best, Bob Arum, of Top Rank…”  Christy was pronounced, “healthy” and will train in Las Vegas with Miguel Diaz.  Given where she’s come from and where she is today, win, lose or draw Christy’s remarkable spirit is inspirational inside and outside the boxing world.

To read Lem Satterfield’s original article entitled “Christy Martin ‘Burning’ for Return to Ring,” on the Fanhouse.com website click here.

PS – Big fights coming up in NYC!  Alicia “Slick” Ashley on January 13th @ Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple. Keisher Mcleod-Wells at B.B. Kings on February 9th.  Tickets available at Gleason’s Gym — link for information here.




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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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