The big news from the International Olympic Committee on Thursday was that golf, and more importantly Tiger Woods, may feature in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Golf, along with 7-on-7 rugby, were chosen as proposed inclusions into the Olympic program, and will be voted on by the 106-member IOC assembly in October.
(Baseball and softball, which were removed from the Olympics a few years ago, didn’t regain their place for 2016.)
While golf and rugby wait to hear their fate, another sport was given the green light for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London – women’s boxing.
Yup, chicks beating up chicks isn’t just a Hollywood “Million Dollar Baby” fantasy anymore. Apparently, the U.S. has held a women’s championship since 1997 and the World Championships have been going on since 2001. Who knew?
I mean I knew Muhammad Ali’s daughter was boxing, but I kind of forgot. I thought it was a novelty. It never helps when “My Name Is Earl” extra Tonya Harding claims to be a ring professional. Seriously, that woman would do anything for food at this point.
But no joke. Women beating women is actually a sanctioned event. As Kramer so eloquently decreed, “C-C-C-Catfight.” And now, in the 2012 London Games, we’ll watch chicks have an actual noble cause to duke it out for gold, though watching young socialites smash each other for a chance at Stavros Niarchos’ family’s fortune would be entertaining.
Women will fight in three weight classes: flyweight (105-112 lbs.), lightweight (123-132 lbs.) and middleweight (152-165 lbs.). Hmm, besides “Dance Your Ass Off” competitors when has 165 lbs., been considered middleweight for women?
Boxing was the lone Olympic sport in which women didn’t compete. Hmm, let me ponder why… I was surprised to hear they have women’s wrestling already, and it’s been around since the 2004 Athens Games. Again, who knew?
Women’s boxing came close to being included at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but the IOC said it didn’t offer added value to the Olympic program. The IOC claimed because the sport wasn’t competitive in enough countries it could lead to injury-risking mismatches. But the sport has grown exponentially in recent years. There are 120 international federations with female boxers and, in the 2012 Olympics’ host site (England) there are 642 registered female boxers (up from 50 in 2005). Thirty-nine countries were represented at the 2008 World Championships.
“Women’s boxing has come on a tremendous amount in the last five years and it was time to include them,” said International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.
British male boxer Amir Khan, who won a silver medal in 2004, isn’t sold on the idea of letting women fight period, nonetheless in the Olympics.
“Deep down I think women shouldn’t fight. That’s my opinion,” Khan told the BBC. “When you get hit, it’s very painful. Women can get knocked out.”
Britain’s Hannah Behanny, who won two bonze medals at the European Championships, obviously disagrees.
“The guys in my gym treat me as an equal but there are still some people stuck in the old school who think it shouldn’t happen. It’s ignorance. Men get bashed up and bloodied. Women’s boxing is more strategic. I’ve never seen a girl get knocked out.”
Ms. Behanny must not be that good then.
The top current flyweight is Armenian Susianna Kentikian (25-0-0, 16 KOs). Finally, Armenia can win something besides weightlifting and eyebrow growing.
“I want a jab, right in the tits, until they turn blue and fall off.”
Unfortunately, not all female boxers look like moderately attractive actresses Hilary Swank (“Million Dollar Baby”) and Michelle Rodriguez (“Girlfight”). That’s not to say there aren’t some decent looking fighters. Though no Mia St. Johns in the bunch.
Duda Yankovich has some potential, though most of these ladies prefer their suitors to be, well, ladies. Holly Holm, pictured right with Yankovich, is also cute, in a scary kind of way. This Canadian chick is kind of hot. But for every one of these girls there’s one like American No. 1 lightweight Ann Marie Saccurato.
I’m kind of on the fence about this whole female boxing thing. But I propose a few ideas to keep us interested.
– We get to choose via online poll who gets to wear the beach volleyball outfit and who gets to dress like the man they yearn to be.
– Over tanned and oiled beefcakes prancing around in nothing but a bow-tie and Speedo in between rounds holding round placards will be outlawed. Sounds ridiculously crude, doesn’t it? It’s amazing what we as males can get away with.
– Low blows are encouraged.
– The gloves come off after the second round.