Mixed Match in Seattle: McGregor vs. Chow – 1999
Story by Sue TL Fox – September 4, 1999. Copyrighted. All rights Reserved.
At the beginning of September of 1999, we discovered from a Bremerton Newspaper in the State of Washington, that there was going to be a “History’s First” with the first sanctioned bout between a man and a woman. The woman, 36-year old, Margaret “Tiger” McGregor of Bremerton, Washington was due to fight Hector Morales, a fighter from Vancouver, Canada. The news spread quickly, about this mixed match that was scheduled to occur on October 9th, at the Mercer Arena in Seattle.
I decided to contact the promoters and people involved in making this “First” happen.
I spoke to Bob Jarvis, a trainer for Martin O’Malley,and is the main event on this upcoming card. Jarvis said that it was actually “Margaret” who got the ball rolling on this mixed match.
Apparently Margaret was getting frustrated about the lack of opponents and suggested to Jarvis that he get her a fight with a male fighter by the name of Lloyd Chow, a fighter from Vancouver, Canada. He said that in a conversation that took place three weeks ago, Margaret said to him, “I can’t get any fights!”
Jarvis said that he contacted Chow, but Chow did not want to do it. Jarvis said that Chow said that he may be able to find a male opponent for Margaret, which is how Hector Morales was given the opportunity.
Jarvis said that last Thursday, September 2, he drove up to Vancouver, Canada, to check out Morales, and make sure the fighter really “existed.”
Apparently Morales, who is from Mexico, and is a security guard in Canada, told Jarvis in regards to fighting Margaret, “Hey, why, not I’m going to knock her out”.. Jarvis, said that Morales went on to say that Morales, predicted that he would knock her out in the third round.I asked Jarvis what he thought about Morales boxing skills, as he watched him in the gym train. Jarvis said, “he’s okay, but no killer.” I asked when they would find out from the Boxing Commission if the fight would be sanctioned. Jarvis said that he should know by next Tuesday.
Jarvis said that he could not believe the reaction that they have received from this event, and that they have been receiving several calls.
Jarvis said that if the commission does not approve the mixed match bout, McGregor will still be fighting, but it will be with a female opponent.
According to McGregor’s team, Margaret fought Kim Messer, in 1992, first defeating Messer, and then having a controversial draw with her in kickboxing.
McGregor has had three professional bouts. Two with Layla McCarter and her last fight was against Shelley Lay. She won all three matches and is undefeated with 3-0.
Also on the undercard will be a U.S. National Amateur Champion Dakota Stone, a 29-year old, 156 lb. fighter. Stone will be making her pro debut
An Associated Press article after the fight – October 12, 1999
IT WAS a lightweight fight which carried disturbing heavyweight undertones. Margaret MacGregor, a 36-year-old professional boxer and landscaper, made history in the early hours of yesterday when she beat Loi Chow, a man, over four rounds at the Mercer Arena in Seattle. This was the first sanctioned mixed-gender contest. It should also be the last.
The eight minutes of boxing – four two-minute rounds – should now be consigned to the dustbin, with governments, sanctioning bodies and boxing commissions insisting that such contests be outlawed. The Washington State Licensing Department had sanctioned the fight, citing state law which did not consider gender difference as an issue.
Nor did McGregor, who received $1,500 (£940) for her night’s work against an opponent who was intent on defending himself for four rounds. “I’ll fight anyone who my promoter puts in front of me,” McGregor said after the contest.
Only in America, you might say. However, time was when the same was said of the Jerry Springer Show, which has been successfully exported to Britain, and where self-humiliation aired in front of a national audience is seen as mainstream entertainment.
On Saturday night, in front of a capacity audience of 3,000 – around a third of them women – McGregor, who has overcome personal battles such as a 51-month jail sentence for drug-dealing, drug addiction and brawling on the streets and in bars, fought like a raging bull. Her opponent, a part-time jockey, could not bring himself to jump his biggest hurdle yet: hitting a woman in a legitimised environment in front of a worldwide audience including television cameras and journalists from around 15 countries.
For the record, McGregor won all four rounds. But it was a bizarre, almost surreal spectacle, and made a mockery of a sport which hardly needs such sideshows to promote its naturally primeval qualities. This was just revealing life’s darkest underbelly.
Such contests can be described only as freak shows, and should not be thrust upon us. Man beating woman, woman beating up man, both are distasteful.