Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees

By Ted Sares on July 9, 2015
Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees
The perceived “cutesy” had been replaced by no-nonsense, blood-spattering fury.

In a highly anticipated and nostalgic moment, Christy Martin may present Deirdre Gogarty to the Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame…

“It was very important [to make a name for myself]…I never worried about living up to my father’s name. I was too focused trying to live up to my own expectations of myself, which were much higher than anyone else’s.”—Laila Ali

The International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame has announced eight women who have been voted into the 2015 class (the second class of inductees). The group includes six boxers from the modern era of female boxing (1990-2010), one pioneer female fighter of the 1950s, and a ring official who trail-blazed past the gender barriers in the field of refereeing.

Like last year, the IWBHF induction will be held on July 11, 2015, 1:30-4:30 PM in the Panorama Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, FL., in conjunction with the 2015 National Women’s Golden Gloves Tournament, the finals of which will be held that same evening.

This year’ eight inductees are as follows:

Laila Ali (24-0, 21 KOs) — An undefeated super middleweight and light heavyweight world champion and holder of five world titles, she was nicknamed, “She Bee Stingin.”

Jeannine Garside (10-3-1, 4 KOs) — A world featherweight champion with four world titles to her credit.

Deirdre Gogarty (16-5-2, 14 KOs) — Also a champion in the featherweight class, her stopping power earned her the ring moniker “Dangerous.”

Phyllis Kugler (1-1-1) — Being honored posthumously, Kugler is a pioneer who fought in the late ‘50s. Though her “official” boxrec.com record shows only three bouts, it’s said that she won titles in three weight classes in over 50 bouts (1 loss) with most being labeled as exhibitions or unsanctioned.

Terry Moss (9-9, 3 KOs) — Terry was world minimum-weight champion who held the Guinness world record for being the oldest female boxer to win a world title at the time of her championship win. She’s one of the hardest working women in the sport on both the pro and amateur levels as a gym owner, trainer, and event organizer.

Laura Serrano (17-5-3, 6 KOs) — This world super featherweight and lightweight champion fought, and usually beat all of the top fighters in her division. Her losses didn’t come until the end of her career.

Ann Wolfe (24-1, 16 KOs) — The intense Wolfe was world champion at super welterweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight with a total of seven world titles. She was widely considered to have been Ali’s biggest threat, yet the two never engaged. Her brutal 2004 knockout of Vonda Ward still provides unparalleled chills. She is now a notable trainer.

Sparkle Lee — The first referee to be inducted into the IWBHF, Lee is a former NYC police officer who worked long and hard to obtain her referee credentials. After nearly 20 years refereeing amateur fights in New York, she became the first female licensed to referee professional fights in New York State, and later in New Jersey.

Also taking place at the ceremony will be the first IWBHF Lifetime Achievement Award—aka “Trajectory Award.” This will be an annual award given to a distinguished and outstanding member of the boxing community who has shown support of women’s boxing. The initial recipient will be former WBC President Jose Sulaiman (posthumous) who passed away in 2014.

Two more special awards will also be presented. The “Excellency Award” will be awarded to Dr. Martha A. Dodson, who has worked for 15 years with young athletes and trained the Paralympic USA team, as well as becoming the medic the US Olympic team.

The second special award will be to Alvin E. Simpson, Charlotte, NC. He retired from the military in 1999, having served 24 years. Al was head coach of the Ft. Bragg Boxing Team at the time of his retirement. He has had many coaching positions.

Guests and presenters include Christy Martin, Glen Johnson, Tyrone Booze, Jill Diamond, Barbara Buttrick, and many past and current female world champions.

Check out http://www.iwbhf.com/  for complete details of this event,

A word about Gogarty

The fan-friendly Gogarty is an Irish female boxer who was born in Drogheda, Ireland. Due to legal issues regarding Women’s Boxing in Ireland at the time, she could not engage in competition in her home country so she went to the U.S. and fought out of New Orleans. “It was here I found a wonderful coach (ex-fighter turned trainer Beau Williford) and I’ve been surrounded by Louisiana Cajuns instead of Boston Irish ever since. And I’ve been very happy with how things turned out.”

Gogarty vs. Martin: The other “Thrilla in Manila”

“Not only was the bout between…Martin and Gogarty…more competitive than the typical prelim, but it had more action and better boxing than the main event…and there was gore to boot, all of it Martin’s. After Gogarty rocked her in the second round Martin bled wildly from the nose; it was a harmless injury, but eye opening for the fans who were expecting Foxy Boxing.”—Richard Hoffer (Sports Illustrated)

On March 16, 1996, Gogarty was offered the chance to fight super talented Christy Martin (who was a member of the first induction class to the IWBHF) on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno in Las Vegas. The fight, which was televised on Showtime, was a gory and brutal one that would provide an indelible memory for the millions who watched it., not to mention the stunned fans in the arena who were on their feet from the first round to the last totally astonished at what they were witnessing. 

By the second round, blood gushed from Martin’s nose onto her pink trunks and by the mid-rounds, both fighters were going after each other like carpenters pounding on nails. While the lass from Ireland had problems with Martin’s fierce and punishing body attack and incoming bobbing and weaving pressure ala Mike Tyson, she responded brilliantly and was still on her feet at the end of a rousing and fierce war that supercharged female boxing more than any other single event.

The fight made the cover of many magazines including Sports Illustrated and fans of Women’s Boxing called it the female version of the “Thrilla in Manila.” Women’s Sports and Fitness magazine said the fight “ripped down the cutesy veil that had relegated women to the foxy-boxing fringes of the sport.” The perceived “cutesy” had been replaced by no-nonsense, blood-spattering fury. Oh yes, the rugged Martin won by a six-round decision moving her record to 29-1-2. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFrd2oIZcjE

After that landmark light, Deirdre lived up to her nickname of “Dangerous” by winning her next six by first round KO. She then challenged tough Bonnie Canino for the Women’s IBF featherweight championship and became a world champion after winning the fight on a 10-round decision. She defended her title twice before losing it to Beverly Szymanski in a 1998 10-round decision. A shoulder injury contributed to this loss and to the end of her short but brilliant career, an excellent summary of which is found in the IWBHF website: http://www.wbanmedia.com/iwbhf/news020315-gogarty.htm

In a highly anticipated and nostalgic moment, Christy Martin may present Deirdre Gogarty to the Hall.

The Future

“I hate the term ‘Women’s Boxing.’ This isn’t a team sport. It’s not Basketball. It’s not Baseball. It’s not a Book Club. It’s comprised of freelancers—athletes, coaches, managers, cut men, officials—and gender should have nothing to do with it. So, as far as I’m concerned, there’s only good boxing and bad boxing. Personally, I like good boxing.”— Jill Diamond (NABFnews.com)

As women’s boxing evolves, more participants will be inducted into more Halls of Fame including the Amateur Athletic World Hall of Fame Museum, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, various state boxing Halls of Fame, and Halls of Fame in other countries. Maybe even the International Boxing Hall of Fame will induct a female down the line.  At any rate, the notion that women’s boxing is more spectacle than sport has been eradicated.  The days of two fighters flailing away at each other in an amateurish manner have long since been replaced by technical stylists who have a firm grasp of the fundamentals and who know precisely what they are doing at all times while in the ring.

Now it’s up to the promoters to restore this solid dimension of boxing to its rightful place and include female bouts on prime venues as was once the case. There are signs that this is already beginning to happen. The women deserve it and so do the fans.

Ted Sares is a member of the Ring 4 Boxing Hall of Fame (New England) and a member of Ring 10 (New York). He is one of the oldest active powerlifters in the world and was the 2014 EPF Nationals Champion in the Grand Masters Class. He also is the 2015 EPF Grand Master Northeast Champion and the 2015 EPF Tri-State Champion, and holds several records in his age class.

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Deirdre Gogarty v Christy Martin highlights .mov

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  1. Ken Hissner 07:46pm, 08/17/2015

    I am shocked that Sparkle Lee has been a referee for 20 years. I watched her Friday up in Newark, NJ, and she allows one fighter to get over on another with fouls. I once saw her allow a boxer come from behind his opponent and deliver a punch without warning. Ann Wolfe I can see for Ali never wanted to meet up with her.

  2. Jack 06:26pm, 07/14/2015

    When I said this HOF was a ‘joke’ don’t take that as a slight on the inducted members. To the 15, I salute them… I don’t have issue with them… I’m just disgusted that Sumya has been overlooked for THIS after what she went through during her professional career…

  3. KB 06:22pm, 07/14/2015

    Jack, I could name names and point fingers but I’m just too tired of ferreting out these roaches and rats, and nothing good would come from that. They act like drama queens and make me ill in plain slight.  Some, like Kevin Iole, are truly decent people who add value.

  4. Jack 06:09pm, 07/14/2015

    KB… RE writers, journalists and historians etc… There are a percentage whom are solid quality (I’d say about <10%) ... Of the ones who are on the outside,  Some are evil, some scumbags but most of the unqualified whom act like that (believing that they actually matter or factor in the sport is an alarm bell)... I wouldn’t call it an evil thing so much as I would call it a TOOL or DORK thing.

  5. KB 11:46am, 07/14/2015

    This year’s inductees brings the total number of inductees to fifteen in the IWBHF’s second year. More information about the IWBHF is available at http://www.iwbhf.com/.

  6. KB 06:32pm, 07/12/2015

    “A lower form of human being you shalll never find.” Jack, that has been my experience with the same types. Many writers, “historians,” “journalists,” etc. Many are pure scum.

  7. Jack 05:02pm, 07/12/2015

    KB… Turn your eye all you want… It is worth the turn… ;) ... At the time, it was my job…

    I’ve known many in this business. It is a sport that that treats it’s best like shit. Fighters, trainers, etc. are The BEST people you will ever meet… But once you get into the structure.. A lower form of human being you shalll never find.

    I am sure that they exist out there somewhere but based upon my short time in the business and those whom I knew during that period. I cannot name a single person whom was treated more poorly by this sport than Sumya Anani was… It lingers to this day…

  8. KB 10:42am, 07/12/2015

    Holy moly Jack. I will turn my research beacon on this lady and learn all about her. She sure as hell could fight. I could see that from the video.


  9. Jack 10:13am, 07/12/2015

    KB… I’m going to give you a bit of a history lesson here. I was there and I saw it. It is the reason I later reached out to Sumya and even after I did, Sumya herself didn’t know of the things I later brought up… I’m going to tell you about half of what I really know… in its disgusting form… But it will be enough… Mind you now, this is BOXING.

    When Sumya fought Christy Martin, there was a huge thing going on between Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker fighting each other. There was a 1.5 million on the line. Rijker wanted 50/50 and Christy was angling for 1.2… IMO they probably would have met at mil Christy, half a mil Lucia… But anyway, at the time, the fight was being set up… Enter Sumya Anani… Sumya beat Martin in what was supposed to be a tune up fight and the whole Martin - Rijker fight fell through the floor! The guy who was putting up the purse money pulled out… Starting that day, Sumya Anani became ‘persona non grata’ in the world of women’s boxing.

    That’s enough information and trust me when I tell you that it is HALF of what I know. One scumbag (whom is now in prison) gave me some shit because I reported something he was making opponents do (and trust me, it was SCUMBAG) They wouldn’t come public (I would have nailed them)... And it all goes back to that era.

    Sumya Anani is one of the best, nicest people I have ever met, with an incredibly compelling story. She would have been an INCREDIBLE AMBASSADOR for this sport… But knowing what I do means lots of things… Including what a terrible, dumpster fire the overlords of boxing chose to do with Woman’s Boxing.

    Lets just say, Dana White didn’t have Ronda Rousey fall into his lap and immediately decide to bury her… The overlords of boxing are why Dana White is so successful. And their ignorance is why Sumya was never exalted to the level of a Ronda Rousey .

  10. KB 02:12pm, 07/11/2015

    Amen Jack. She is a one of a kind.

  11. Jack 12:41pm, 07/11/2015

    RE Ann Wolfe as a trainer. ‘Iceman’ John Scully (whom has trained Chad Dawson on two occasions) was recently asked who he thought would be the best trainer for Chad Dawson… Scully named Ann Wolfe… And THAT is a serious compliment on his part… I honestly believe (if boxing survives) that Ann Wolfe will be the first ever top flight trainer of male fighters the sport has ever seen… Nothing but respect for ‘Brown Sugar’.

  12. KB 11:12am, 07/10/2015

    Oh heck yes. She is a very disciplined person. She has just lost a ton of weight and looks ready to rock and roll,

  13. Tex Hassler 11:11am, 07/10/2015

    Wolfe certainly appears to be a capable trainer.

  14. KB 06:24pm, 07/09/2015

    Bienvenue Irish

  15. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:14pm, 07/09/2015

    Ted Sares-Thanks for this article and the link to Sumya’s video on Youtube. Lotsa’ torque on that hook and a tremendous work rate.  I really appreciated the last “The End” frame where she’s looking over her shoulder….yes I did.

  16. KB 06:02pm, 07/09/2015

    Duly noted Jack.

  17. Jack 05:57pm, 07/09/2015

    Hey KB… How about 4X Champion in three divisions, Ring Magazine female fighter of the year, world champion of two divisions simultaneously #1 @BoxRec… 25-3-1 (10KO) against opposition that DWARFED all of her contemporaries! ... NOBODY with a money name would face this girl after what she did to Christy Martin in what was only her 12 boxing contest EVER (she had NO amateur fighting background of any kind) and I know for a FACT that Licia Rijker OPENLY ducked her… Because I had to pull strings to even get Sumya’s name brought up in front of Rijker by ESPN and Lucia came right out and said “I can’t get the money to fight Sumya” ... Martin and Rijker are in the HOF… Sumya ISN’T! ... Remember THIS when you see that collection of self righteous schmucks who are celebrating the fact that they found the wisdom to put in fighters with records of 9-9, 17-5-3, and 16-5-2 against MUCH LESSER opposition… This HOF is a JOKE!

  18. KB 04:45pm, 07/09/2015

    Jack, your point is a solid one. The “Island Girl” was a great fighter indeed. Here are the highlights to prove it.


  19. Jack 03:58pm, 07/09/2015

    Sumya Anani (the most accomplished female boxer of all time) is NOT in the Woman’s HOF… Therefore the HOF is a JOKE! ... And a continuation of how women’s boxing is run.

  20. KB 02:53pm, 07/09/2015

    My pleasure Jill and I am delighted to see that you will be one of the presenters.

  21. Jill Diamond 12:44pm, 07/09/2015

    Thanks for acknowledging the hard work and talent of many of the women athletes who would go unhearalded if not for people like you.

  22. KB 11:52am, 07/09/2015

    I think you are right. I think they are treated very well in Florida, however.

  23. Big Wally 11:38am, 07/09/2015

    I think they would be better served if they held this in Las Vegas. Just my opinion.

  24. KB 11:37am, 07/09/2015

    Thanks Bill. Took some time to do this. Fun job actually

  25. Dollarbond 11:29am, 07/09/2015

    Great job Ted.  Did not know about any of this.

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