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Choosing Your Right Boxing Glove Size and Handwraps

When picking out a pair of boxing gloves, choosing one that best fits your hand is not exactly the right criteria you should follow. Try putting on handwraps underneath the gloves. 120" handwraps are right for small hands. For medium to large hands, you will want 170" or longer.

Why bother with handwraps?
When boxing, you will need to support your wrist and thum to protect your bones and tendons from injury. It is important that you always wrap your hands before working out or boxing.

BOXING FOR BETTER HEALTH: Do you want the strength of undefeated boxer Laila Ali or the body of heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis? [ More ]

A KNOCKOUT WORKOUT: Here's how you can do it at home. [ More ]
Women's Boxing News

Women's Boxing News

Is There Room For Black Female Boxers In Big-Time Boxing? - Should There Be
Ebony, March, 2000 by Kimberly Davis

The debate outside the ring is often as heated as the fights inside the ring.

LAILA Ali trains six clays a week. On those days, she runs about four miles and goes to the gym. There, she hits the speed bag, practices her footwork, and laces up her boxing gloves to pound the heavy bag and then do a few rounds of sparring.

The sweat is the same. And so is the blood. Professional boxing knows no gender and doesn't discriminate once you step through the ropes.

Showcasing supremely conditioned, trash-talking athletes with swift punches and fancy footwork, the sport is finding new warriors in African-American women. And some of these athletes--from the upstarts like Ali to the contenders and champions--are finding a measure of success in the ring.

But there's also controversy, sparked by boxing purists and spectators who believe that women should not participate in such a violent sport. And those feelings have prompted often heated debate about whether there is or whether there should be room for Black women in big-time boxing. The arguments against women's boxing range from safety issues to social issues. Some critics say that women's bodies aren't built for boxing while others just don't want to see women get hit. In some countries there are laws against women's boxing.

On the other side, there is strong support for women in boxing, with many fans believing that participants should have the opportunity to win the big purse, even if they carry a purse. "I wasn't too crazy about [women's boxing] myself," says New Jersey boxing promoter Diane Fischer, owner of Dee Lee Promotions. "But I went out and I watched the girls. They train just as hard as the men. Those girls were fighting. They were good."

In the midst of all the fuss, Ali, who trains at L.A. Boxing in Los Angeles, is learning the ropes. Since October, she has stepped into the ring with three opponents, all with a similar lack of experience, and she won each bout by knockout. She'd like to have the security and time anonymity would allow, but that's impossible. She's an Ali, and she's a boxer.

Although her name brought her instant recognition as the daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, the 21-year-old knows she's just getting started. The buzz about the 5-foot-10-inch, 168-pound fighter can be distracting. Some fans attend her fights to catch a glimpse of her famous father. And yes, some are waiting to see if she'll fall on her face. Still others are hoping to ignite old rivalries. Jacqui Frazier Lyde, the 38-year-old lawyer-daughter of famed boxer Joe Frazier, who was Muhammad Ali's fiercest rival, has even challenged the younger Ali to a fight. So far, Ali's camp has declined.

"If I could, I would have loved to not have been Laila Ali. I would have loved to have been a person who is not Muhammad Ali's daughter, and start boxing and get my experience. And then, once I feel comfortable and get experience, come out and have people watch me," says Ali, who's been training for about 17 months. "People started being in my face from the beginning of my career, when I didn't know anything yet, and they started trying to judge me. Really, it's just too soon."

When it comes to shunning the spotlight, Ali is in the minority. Other Black female boxers like (Downtown) Leona Brown and Tiffany (Lady Logan) would give anything for the opportunity to turn down a televised fight and bask in the unparalleled media attention. The best they can hope for at this point is local success and some acclaim in boxing's inner circle--where fans follow their favorite fighters on the Internet or in boxing magazines or on the occasional televised undercard of a major fight.

That's why these women have been training--and waiting--for their shot at the big time. But even if you do have the skills, with no name or gimmick to thrust you to the head of the class, boxing insiders say it's difficult to get the exposure needed for the big-money, multimillion-dollar purses prevalent in big-time men's boxing. Women's boxing is so young (recognized by USA Boxing in 1993), experts say that it's difficult to know who's going to break out of the pack and turn it into a mega-sport. The public interest is there, says Fischer, who's had a hard time breaking into what she calls the "old boys' club." The money, the endorsements, the credibility and fairness are not.

"It's the same thing I've been getting as a promoter," says Fischer. "And I've been fighting it for three years."

Undoubtedly, women's boxing has grown, says Rick Kulis, a boxing promoter and co-founder of the Torrance, Calif.-based International Female Boxers Association (IFBA). And much of that growth has taken place over the past two years. In 1996, about 130 women were registered as amateur boxers. Today, Kulis says, there are more than 1,200 women who are boxing for USA Boxing and Golden Gloves, the amateur proving grounds. Frank Globuschultz, president and CEO of the International Women's Boxing Federation, based in Huntington, N.Y., estimates that about 30 percent of the women boxers coming up today are African-American.

With such explosive growth in the sport, boxing experts can only guess why sponsors and endorsers are so reluctant to embrace women boxers the way they have embraced women's basketball and soccer players.

It may be the reluctance to agree that there's a place for women in the ring, period. Boxing is a sport long held to be traditionally male and the specific medical risks to female boxers aren't yet known. Then there are those who believe that if women are going to get into the ring, the same rules and regulations that apply to men should apply to women. But there are some concessions to women in the sport: Female boxers fight two-minute rounds instead of the customary three-minute rounds; women fighters wear a chest protector and must have mandatory pregnancy tests before each fight.

Meanwhile, boxing purists don't want to see the intensity of the sport diluted by sanctioned "catfights" and brawls that involve less-than-skillful fighters. Regardless of the naysayers, female boxers today are breaking the stereotypes by engaging in much more than "cat fights" and training just as hard as the men. They want to be taken seriously.

At age 39, Downtown Brown, who lives in Pawling, N.Y., and trains at the Hat City Boxing Club in Danbury, Conn., is the two-time IFBA junior featherweight champion. The nearly 5-foot, 118-pound fighter is one of the few women who box full time. She is also supremely confident and can talk trash with the best of them.

Like many African-Americans in women's boxing, Brown is struggling for recognition in a sport where, she says, other, less-qualified women dominate media coverage, not necessarily because of their skills, but because they fight a man or pose nude in a men's magazine. There's no doubt in Brown's mind that she can make it to the big-time; she just has to get the right opportunity, she says, and the right money. "There's a lot of politics in this game," says Brown, who began boxing at age 36. "I'm the two-time champion. I've got to start getting paid like the two-time champion."

Lady Logan's story is similar. At 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 183 pounds, she is ranked first in the light heavyweight division by the IWBF. The 31-year-old mother of two has been boxing for about three holds an amateur belt and is the IFBA World Tough Woman champion Her goal, aside from finishing her bachelor's degree, is to become the light heavyweight champion of the world. She hopes the sport will continue to grow, with more skillful fighters lending more credibility to the sport. "If the bouts are skillful and worthy: of being put on, then yes, there's going to be a big boom," Logan says from her home in Columbus, Ohio. "There are thousands of women getting into this every year, now. It's not dying out at all."

Kulis, who's also president of Event Entertainment, says television will play a key role in giving women's boxing the exposure that growth demands. On pay-per-view and on cable, some women's bouts are being televised, but not enough for the boxers to really develop a following. "What women's boxing needs is consistent presentation to the public on television, so fighters can develop a following and loyalty," says Kulis, who founded the IFBA in 1997. And those fans are "not seeing ill-equipped women in the ring. They're seeing highly trained, non-stop action that's every bit on the level of men's boxing."

Globuschultz, whom everyone calls "Frankie G.," agrees, saying there's a lot of room at the top for women's boxing. "Years ago, people would say `Why do you want to box? There's no future,'" says Globuschultz, owner of New York City's Academy of Boxing for Women. "There is a future, now, in women's boxing, and it will be there."
Ali believes that, ultimately, her contribution to boxing will be positive. She knows she will be a good fighter and hopes her time in the ring will aid the sport.
"Women's boxing has a long way to go before we [female boxers] really get the credibility that we deserve," says the former fingernail technician. "The fact that we have people who really don't focus on boxing skills and just get into the ring and brawl doesn't really help. But there are people out there who work hard, are good fighters and really know how to box. They are going to help the sport, but it's going to take time."

COPYRIGHT 2000 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group