Tiara Brown, at the finals of the U.S.A. Boxing National Tournament on June 25, 2011, where she placed second.
“More than a century after men first boxed in the modern Olympics, women will finally get a shot, when their sport makes its Olympic debut at the London Games this summer. For American hopefuls, the next step in the long gantlet of getting there takes place a couple of weeks from now outside Spokane, Wash., at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Twenty-four women will compete; three will survive. Those three — one boxer each from the flyweight (112 pounds), lightweight (132 pounds) and middleweight (165 pounds) divisions — will then advance to the Women’s World Championships in May in Qinhuangdao, China. The top eight in their weight classes there will take their fight to London. Olympic bouts will consist of four two-minute rounds, compared with three three-minute rounds for the men. Tiara Brown, one of the trialists featured below, probably speaks for her fellow contenders when she says: ‘I’m not a girl boxer. I’m just a boxer. I’m not doing this for women. I want to be treated the way the guys are treated. Not special because I’m a girl.’’
Check out The Boxer’s Heart by Kate Sekules (coming summer 2012), a new memoir on the “sweet science of bruising,” landing just in time for the summer games.