By Rosie Foley
The Women’s Boxing Winter Box Cup will take place in Manchester on December 8 and December 9, becoming the first ever all-female boxing competition.
With the announcement falling into place on International Women’s Day, England’s Boxing Chief Executive Gethin Jenkins stated that the timing could not be better.
“What a better day to announce our new competition than on International Women’s Day; a day designed to celebrate the achievements of women and we know that our boxers will showcase their sporting talent on that weekend in December,” said Jenkins on Boxing England’s website.
Athletes from across the world are welcomed to compete at the event. GB international Shona Whitwell, who will be competing in the elite 60kg category, said that the plethora of ability is a good way to educate and give women’s boxing the stage it needs.
“It is great for some of the novice women boxers coming through to see how it all works at a competition, and it is definitely going to push women’s boxing into the limelight, which is what is needed.”
The event allows the athletes to compete at a level that parallels an international competition. Jenkins made it clear that one of the aims for introducing competitions like this will hopefully encourage more women to take up the sport.
“Creating more opportunities for women boxers to compete is vital to encouraging more females to take part from entry level through to international level and hopefully the Olympic podium.”
Since the introduction to the Olympics in 2012, women’s boxing has been growing in all aspects of the sport.
“Women’s Boxing has been successful at Olympic level, and our participation numbers continue to grow, and we hope this event will not only offer more competition but also create greater awareness of the opportunity for girls and women to participate in amateur boxing, whether it be in the ring or as a volunteer officiating, coaching and administrating,” said Jenkins.
With this being the first all-female boxing competition, European Youth Champion Caroline Dubois (17) is happy that female boxers are being supported like this and she is eager to get back in the ring.
“I think that it is great that female boxers are getting the support they need, and time is being spent on them.”
“I am really excited and cannot wait to fight again and step in the ring and show what I can do.”
We spoke to Cardiff University Amateur Boxing club and got their thoughts on this new competition and what it will do for the sport. Club Secretary Jodie Horton told us she is “thrilled” about this announcement and hopes that it will bring more women to want to fight rather than use it for fitness.
“I believe the box cup will help to increase the levels of competition in female boxing. In that, there will be more females wanting to get into the ring for a bout rather than boxing solely to keep fit,” said Wharton.
Previously, the club has found it difficult to find competitions for female boxers to fight in, but the Winter Box Cup shows that there are events out there.
“Matching female boxers for bouts can be difficult, but the box cup shows that there is opportunity for them to compete.”
Most importantly, Jodie said that it shows that the “governing bodies are investing in them.”
The sport has the backing and support to grow, which is show by the way the Cardiff club has seen an increase in female sign ups. Jodie comments on how inclusive the club is for females.
“As a club we have seen an increased female sign up this academic year, with over a third or our sign ups being from women. The club is brilliant at encouraging females to join and training them to become successful amateur boxers, we offer female only sessions to help encourage attendance.”
With the cup coming up just before the university breaks up for Christmas, Jodie hopes that not only will the club go and watch it, but also hopes that herself and others may even enter it.
“I would definitely like to attend the female winter box cup. I believe others would also like to go and watch and I’m sure there will be discussions around our boxers entering, personally I would love to enter this box cup,” Jodie told Gair Rhydd.
It seems that the Winter Box Cup can only do great things for the sport, and for the Cardiff University Amateur Boxing Club, they will definitely be a beneficiary. Keep an eye on CUABC social media to find out if they do enter or go down to watch the cup.