So who WAS the FIRST Female boxer to apply for a boxing License in New York?
IF your answer to this question was Lady Tyger Trimiar, Cathy “Cat” Davis, and Jackie Tonawanda…..the answer is NO. They were NOT the first to APPLY for a boxing license in New York. They may be the first to get a license but NOT the first to apply. The FIRST female boxer to apply for a New York boxing license Jeanne La Mar in 1922!
On September 20, 1978, many of the major newspapers reported that Davis, Trimiar, and Tonawanda received the first New York boxing Licenses for the females—little did they know that in 1922, one of the pioneers also tried to get her New York Boxing License. We have not confirmed if La Mar succeeded in New York, but we found an archived news article showing La Mar receiving her boxing license from New Jersey in 1923!
When Trimiar and Davis received their license Trimiar made it clear that she was trying to get a New York License before Davis ever did. When they went to pick up their licenses, Trimiar said that she would fight Davis anytime. Davis came back with a remark, “you’ll have to learn how to box first!”
Trimiar said that the Cat “meow…meow” has been ducking her for a long time, and added, “I’m going to get her soon.”
Apparently according to these sources Cat was given the boxing license first in this meeting because she was the one that pursued getting her license through a court suit charging the state with discrimination against women boxers.
The state supreme court had ruled that women could not be denied access to the ring. Floyd Patterson, former heavyweight champion and a member of the New York Commission stayed in the background, and just shook his head in dismay saying that “I think this it’s terrible. I always respected women and have been a supporter of women’s lib. But the boxing ring, no. I can’t stand to see women cutting each other up and spilling blood in the ring.”
Boxing Illustrated Magazine 1978
The New York Supreme Court, Justice Nathaniel T. Helman rules that the New York State Athletic Commissions rule against women’s boxing is unconstitutional, violating equal protection clauses of Federal and State Constitutions. The ruling was in response to the lawsuit that Cathy “CAT” Davis had pursued against the Commission The Judge did rule that CAT had only applied to fight other women. He directed the commission to promulgate new rules for licensing women boxers, and that they were to do that in reasonable time frame. Reference to Historical data: Boxing Illustrated 78, and New York Times 1978.