Mixed Matches from as early as 1916 to 2005


Early Reports on Mixed Boxing in 1916!

One of the earliest documented materials that WBAN found was dated February 29, 1916. The article stated, “Helen Hildreth, the Lady Pugilist, was having the best of it in a mixed fight with Johnny Atkinson when Police and Boxing Commissioner Fred Wenck jumped into the RING and ordered the fight stopped “Grupp’s Gym, N.Y.C.” This is not saying that this is when mixed matches all started, but at this time, it is the earliest documented incident of a mixed match.

Other mixed matches in the past in 1950’s

Joanna Haegen, a very famous female boxer from the 50’s  -Haegen had a mixed boxing match with Norm Jones and defeated him in a four-round decision in Michigan City in 1952.  If any boxing match should be declared the “first” the Haegen/Jones fight was the closest to equivalency of that honor…Haegen was also on the Steve Allan Show and had talked about her mixed matches, which WBAN was told she talked about four of them.   This information has not been confirmed.

Other mixed Matches in the 1970-s

Tonawanda TKO’s her male opponent in kickboxing vs. Boxing -1975 -In 1975, Jackie Tonawanda made her mark in history at the MadisonSquareGarden, in New York, when she took on a Kickboxer Larry Rodania. Tonawanda KO’d Rodania in the second round. Tonawanda believed that doing this exhibition, she would gain her much needed New York boxing license that was being denied, by the New York commission, but the matchup did not further her cause.  Along with two other women boxers, Lady Tyger Trimiar and Cathy “Cat” Davis who were also trying in vain to get the right to fight in New York.   WBAN has full articles and fight photos of this event archived.

Marion Bermudez, probably the most noted past fighter to mix it up with men in the ring-1975

One headliner said, “Woman Boxer BEATS MALE RIVAL In Golden Gloves, dated July 1975”. The article goes on to say, “Miss Marion Bermudez, 23, connects with a long right to the face of Edwardo Parras en route to scoring a first-round technical knockout victory in the Phoenix Golden Gloves tourney.  Fighting in the 125-pound novice class, the ArizonaStateUniversity engineering senior is the first female boxer to score a victory in a nationally sanctioned tournament in the United   States.”

Sue TL Fox fights Karate Instructor in exhibition for KOIN 6 a Portland, Oregon TV Station

There was one exhibition Sue TL Fox had wished had never took place when she did an exhibition match with her karate Instructor.   A local  (KOIN 6) TV crew was filming her for a feature story in 1976. Fox said, “I kicked him in the mouth, snapped both of his front teeth off the roots, cut his lip that needed stitches… and the TV Crew made it worst when they handed him a business card, asking him to call the station as soon as he found out how many stitches he would take on his mouth..!”  $3,000 later, Fox’s Instructor had his mouth fixed! Fox paid half of the damage ($1,500).

Sue TL Fox challenged by a male police officer to fight a full-contact Karate Match – scheduled for five rounds, Vancouver, Washington – June/July 1977
While Sue TL Fox was fighting as a pro boxer, and an undefeated full-contact Karate fighter, a male police officer from state of Washington who was about 180 lbs,  about 6’1″, challenged 5’5″ 143-lb Fox in an exhibition because he felt that his size would over-power the much smaller Fox, even though she was an experienced competitor, and he was a brown belt in karate who was not a competitor.  In the third round, the police officer, gave up in the third round due to being exhausted, and Fox won the exhibition by TKO.

Mixed Boxing Legality issues reported in 1982! 

In November of 1982, it was documented in the New York Times, that after the legality of boxing matches between women and men was argued by the American Civil Liberties Union, the five-member board of the California Athletic Commission voted to approve professional boxing matches between the sexes effective immediately. ”We had no recourse but to approve it,” said Don Fraser, the commission’s executive officer. ”To my knowledge there is only one woman interested in fighting men -and that’s Shirley Tucker  of Santa Rosa, who is in the 120-pound division.” Fraser added that he didn’t know of any men willing to fight women.   Shirley Tucker never did fight a male, after fighting for the right to do so in 1982…….

WBAN has on file photos of Jackie Tonawanda, Joann Haegen, Marion Bermudez, and Shirley Tucker

Media Frenzy in Washington when MacGregor takes on Chow!
By Sue TL Fox, Ringside- October 9, 1999

On October 9, 1999, the news media around the world went into a frenzy when all reported that the mixed match scheduled to take place in Seattle, Washington, between Margaret McGregor and Loi Chow was a “History First”!  TL Fox covered that supposed “History First”, and it could have technically been so IF the fight would have been classified as “sanctioned” as all previous mixed matches from the past were “exhibitions.”  Regardless of those above mentioned facts, the news media completely ignored documented history of mixed matches to feed the story lines to the public and misled and documented inaccurate historical events to make the most of this Oct. 9, 1999 event……The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) stated the following in a press release when it determined that they would allow this match to take place:  “The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) has determined that planning may continue for the first professional female vs. male boxing match in Washington State, scheduled to take place on the evening of October 9, at the Seattle Mercer Arena.  To this point, DOL has reviewed the fight records and license applications received, followed the law and has determined that planning may continue with the Margaret McGregor vs. Hector Morales fight. Upon review, DOL notified the promoter, O’Malley Productions, to continue planning for the fight (subject to change if any of the remaining application components do not meet licensing requirements.) The remaining requirements will continue to be submitted to DOL up to 24 hours prior to the fight, and any information received may alter this decision. The fight contract matches Margaret McGregor, Bremerton, Pro Boxing fighter, 3-0, 130 lbs., vs. Hector Morales, Vancouver, B.C., Pro Boxing debut, 130 lbs.  DOL is charged with the responsibility of reviewing bout applications to ensure the health and safety of the fighters. The application was reviewed according to the state Professional Athletics Act, which does not include gender as a fight-matching factor. Applications are reviewed by DOL for the five determining factors mandated by law: weight, skill level, physical health test, vision exam, communicable disease blood test, and controlled substances urinary test (WAC 36.12.240).   Promoter and fighters are required to submit all necessary application components no later than 72 hours before the fight. Final approval is dependent on all parties complying with application and safety requirements contained in statute or rule.”

The match did occur, but within a few days, this mixed sanctioned boxing match was declared an “Exhibition”.

So much for being a “History First”, and did the news media ever straighten the history of mixed matches after it was no more than a four-rounder mixed exhibition?  Uunfortunately they didn’t, and left the history hanging “inaccurately” like they have managed to do with so many other historical events in women’s boxing history.

Germany’s Boxing Star – Regina Halmich:  A Little bit of Respect from Stefan Raab

(March 28, 2001) She broke the nose of Stefan Raab and says: “I think, he needs that” World Champion Regina Halmich said about “The fight of the Year.”   She is a petite person. Almost 5’3″ and 112 lbs.    However, Regina Halmich has taught TV presenter Stefan Raab a lesson last Thursday. The pro boxer gave the TV big mouth a beating for five rounds. At the end, Raab hung on to the ropes, sweating, exhausted and with a broken nose. It could have been worse, says the 24 year old in an interview with the magazine “Bunte.” “It was serious business for me” says the multiple World Champ. “I took the biggest risk. “I couldn’t just K.O. him straight away” Halmich continues,  “and just playing around with him wouldn’t be fair to the fans either. I had to find a sensible “middle ground” and that looked like this.  In the first round I only taught him to get a little respect, I wanted him to see which way the wind was blowing”  “To him it is not fun”   I suppose a lot would want to do this: To show the outspoken big mouth Raab, who is calling the shots” 7.5 Million viewers tuned in on the fight, and quite a few wanted to see Raab get beaten. They  were surprised to see how serious the fight started.  Halmich said: ” I was going to take it easy, but then I looked him in the eyes and saw how tense Raab was, how high his adrenalin mirror was.  He stood in the middle of the ring, and I knew that it wasn’t a joke to him.”  “He can’t hurt me”  “The punches were not pulled”, said Halmich who kept her guard up.  “However,  I was never in any real danger”, Halmich continues, “The punches did no damage, he is not able to do that.” “There were no need for special preparation for the pro fighter.  Raab was like an additional round of training” she says. And normally her schedule looks like this: Get up in the morning, then 8 rounds of sparring, and this time just a little extra with Stefab Raab. Why did the “TV-Total” presenter let him self in for this fight? She has her own theory: Not only to boost the ratings, but only the adrenalin rush had driven the media personality into the ring” Regina Halmich: “I think he needs that. This kick, from hitting his limits.”

Yet ANOTHER Mixed Match turned sour!
(October 2, 2003) This last week in Curacao, Ana “Dinamita” Pascal, Panama, and a top-ranked women’s boxer fought a male boxer.  Pascal, according to news sources took quite a  beating, when the fight was stopped by the ref in the fourth round.

Harding Joins the ranks of fighting mixed exhibitions
January 19, 2005 –  Source: delawareonline.com

On January 15, 2005, in front of a few hundred people, at the New Castle bar in Newark, Tonya “America’s Bad Girl” Harding fought a non-boxer male, Mark Mason, a 5’2”, 125-pounder, that is also a former ice  skater. Mason who had never donned a pair of gloves, was quickly dispatched by TKO  in the second round of a scheduled three round bout. In news sources, they  reported that Spectators shouted derogatory comments toward Harding for most  of the match. AND that Mason was picked out of a pool of 100 people, and  that in the fight Mason basically flailed haymarkers at Harding.


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