Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ladies, shake hands and come out fighting!

Yes, women's boxing is to make its debut at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

More from IPS News:
Thanks to Clint Eastwood's blockbuster film 'Million Dollar Baby', his heroine Hilary Swank helped raise significantly the profile of women who climb into the boxing ring.

And, when Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila took up her father's cloak, she lit up a whole new generation of boxing fans around the world, especially when she battled the daughter of her father's great adversary, Joe Frazier.

But the sport has grown worldwide following a concerted drive by the International Boxing Association. Fans of women entering the ring note that there are now more than 500,000 licensed women boxers in 120 countries.

Campaigners for women's sport and fitness celebrated the welcome into the Olympic fold as acknowledgment of the justice of their long hard fight for equality, while boxing authorities hailed the decision as "proving" that concerns about competitiveness and health issues have been once and for all discounted.

But, as there is with men's boxing, the medical profession and those against boxing, in general have come out in uproar over the decision by the IOC.

The Olympics are going to be a fantastic occasion for London and the UK, a celebration of competition and friendship for both the athletes and the public.

Women's boxing will be part of it. I appreciate their efforts and good luck to them - but I won't be watching.

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