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.
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
Boxing: The gentle touch? Not
likely from Amanda
Independent on Sunday, The, May 8, 2005 by Alan
The blockbuster movie Million Dollar Baby has done
the rounds and raised the profile of women's boxing,
but with it come a few questions about whether it
really is the sort of thing you would want your
daughter or girlfriend to get up to. Amanda Coulson's
mum and boyfriend have no such qualms, and today
they will be cheering her on as she sets out on
her quest to become the first Briton to win a title
in the European Female Amateur Championships.
Tonsberg in Norway is a long way from Las Vegas,
which hosted its first big fight exactly 50 years
ago last week and was the setting for the fistic
climax of the Oscar-winning performance by Hilary
Swank as the ill-fated wannabe Maggie Fitzgerald.
Did Coulson see the film? 'Of course, and I enjoyed
it even though the boxing scenes were a bit unreal,'
she says. 'You never see punches thrown like that,
but then it was a film. Yes, the ending was sad
[Fitzgerald dies when her life-support machine is
switched off by her manager, played by Clint Eastwood]
but even so I think it gave the sport some much-needed
Coulson, a 22-year-old from Hartlepool, is equally
unfazed by the reality which tragically coincided
with the release of the film here, the first death
of a female boxer, Becky Zerlentes, 34, who never
regained consciousness after a blow to the head
in Denver. 'Obviously injuries and sometimes deaths
happen in the sport, but hopefully this was just
a one-off for women's boxing. But because it is
the sport I am in and a female was involved, people
are asking questions. It certainly has not put me
off. I doubt if there is a sport played today where
there isn't a risk, and ours is rigidly controlled,
both from the medical and safety aspects.'
Coulson is rated Britain's best female amateur boxer,
having won 16 of her 19 bouts. She would not pretend
to be another Laila Ali, who has inherited her old
man's looks and a semblance of his skill but, like
Laila, she has the mien more of a model than a mauler.
She admits: 'Yes, I am nervous every time I get
in the ring, right up until the bell goes. I think
to myself, 'What the hell am I doing here?' But
then it's just you and your opponent and you don't
worry about anything else.'
Coulson, a light-welterweight who boxes for the
Hartlepool Catholic Police Community Club, travels
to Norway with three other Britons: Tina O'Dell
from Birmingham, Derby's Zoe Rafferty and fellow-international
Nicola Adams, a perky 22-year-old Leeds dispatch
clerk who says that in 15 bouts she has not even
had a busted lip.
But it is on the stylish Coulson that Euro hopes
are pinned. She says she first got the gumshield
between her teeth as a 13-year- old. 'I've always
been a bit of a tomboy and liked competing in male-
dominated sports, but what attracted me to boxing
was when I read a report in a local newspaper about
two other 13-year-olds who were to be the first
females to take part in a bout in England. I thought,
'I wouldn't mind a crack at that', but I didn't
really know where to start, so I thumbed through
the Yellow Pages looking for a club that would take
women. Finally I found one, a local boys' club that
was run by the police. They welcomed me and that
was it. I was hooked.'
She now works for the police as a communications
officer, answering 999 calls, and fits her roadwork
and gym training between her shifts.
At college she studied sports science and intended
going to university, but this plan was abandoned
when her father died of a brain tumour four years
ago. Now her mother and her boyfriend Ross, a former
bodybuilder, are her biggest fans.
Fisticuffs and the fair sex have been going hand
in glove for a decade or more now, but it is only
recently that Britain has discovered a few hits
among the Ms's. There are around 200 ladies who
punch, though most are novices like Laura Saperstein,
an Australian who sparred with Coulson at Crystal
Palace recently. An ex-surfer and TV news reporter,
Saperstein admits to a latent fascination with the
fight game and argues: 'The will to fight is ingrained
in all of us, man or woman.' She won her first novice
tournament in Sweden last month and recalls: 'My
opening bout lasted one minute. The other girl got
a standing count from a body shot, started crying
and refused to come back out.'
A crying game or a crying shame? Neither, says the
Amateur Boxing Association's performance director,
Terry Edwards: 'My attitude has certainly changed.
I saw my first female competition about 10 years
ago, and it was a bit like 'handbags at 10 paces',
but not any more. It has come on tremendously, but
in this country we have been a bit behind in the
'Now we are trying to get them some funding, and
we will certainly incorporate women far more into
our regular training camps at national level. One
of the things we need to eliminate is the male chauvinistic
attitude " you know, we like our women to be
feminine. But there is no reason why they can't
be and still box. Amanda proves that.'
Coulson says she has no intention of becoming the
next Jane Couch, Britain's leading professional,
aka the Fleetwood Assassin, who once flattened a
bloke in a Blackpool bar when he patted her bottom.
Much as she admires Couch, she would much rather
be a female Amir Khan, and win an Olympic medal.
After the Europeans she will box in the ABA Female
Championships at Aldershot on 20 May, and later
hopes to be in Beijing in 2008, when women's boxing
will be an exhibition sport. 'In 2012 it could be
the real McCoy and, fingers crossed, I would love
to box in those Games, especially if they are in
London.' It wasn't so long ago that a woman's place
in the boxing ring was pouting, not clouting, parading
with the round cards. You've come a long way, Million
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