On “Q” Sports had the pleasure of interviewing Sue “TL” Fox, who is a pioneer when it comes to women’s boxing in the U.S. A retired police officer, detective, and former ranked No.1 World Super Welterweight, Fox is always on the go, helping the sport of women’s boxing grow each and every day.
However, she was kind enough to share some free time and talk with On “Q” Sports” about her life in boxing and her contributions to the sport.
Rich: How long have you been involved in the fight game, and why or how did you get started in boxing?
Sue: “My first exposure to boxing, was in 1975 when I happen to see some news coverage on a female bout that took place near where I lived. The TV news revealed that the fight was the first-sanctioned female bout in the State of Oregon. When they reported that the women were paid to fight, I was instantly interested because at the time I was competing in karate tournaments, I was fighting for free, and paying to get into the tournaments.”
“I boxed professionally for about three years and did not think much about boxing until 1996. It was not until I wanted to get in shape to run in a 5K, that I got back into boxing. While in the gym I was told by other boxers that female boxing was making a comeback. This instigated me to research the net to see what had been documented, just to go away disappointed that there was hardly anything at the time.”
“Also what historical info I saw on the net, I knew from my own experiences that it was inaccurate in some cases. This is what motivated me to “Set the Record Straight” about the sport and go on the net with WBAN.”
Rich: When you started was it hard to break into women’s boxing?
Sue: “Being a past fighter I found it difficult to break into the sport. For one, the pool of female boxers was extremely thin, so getting boxing matches was not the easiest. In some of the states, they would either not allow female boxers to be licensed, and/or other states would not even allow women to fight on boxing cards.”
Rich: Were there any stereo types you had to overcome in the ring and outside the ring?
Sue: “The female boxers from the past were considered more on the line of a novelty act, and at the time that I fought it was not legal to fight over four rounds. I personally found it difficult to find a boxing trainer, so I felt a tad bit like the Million Dollar Baby in the gyms that I frequented. I am not recalling the feeling like I was being stereo-typed, but I do remember how difficult it was to be taken serious in the time frame that I boxed.”
Rich: “What was the idea behind the WBAN, and how has it grown since you started it?
Sue: “The idea behind WBAN [Women Boxing Archive Network] was originally going to be strictly a historical website to talk about the past female boxers. It was also developed to “Set the Record Straight” as I was seeing time and time again, very inaccurate information in news articles, the Internet, and more that was not the true history of the sport.”
“But a funny thing happened with this original idea. I was not on the net a month or two when I began getting contacted by the active professional female boxers. They told me that they were experiencing a lot of problems in the sport. Before I knew it, I was not only documenting the historical segment of WBAN, but also covering many issues facing the active boxers and bringing public attention to those issues.”
Rich: How has the WBAN grown over the years?
Sue: “As far as growth is concern, WBAN went from first being a historical site, to covering past and current pro boxers, to now including extensive coverage of our future stars in the sport —-the amateurs.”
Rich: Do you see more young girls become active in boxing over the years?
Sue: “Absolutely. I have definitely seen an increase with the young girls, and the good news is what I see now that I did not see in the late 1990’s is that many of the female boxers are paying their dues in the amateurs, before turning pro. Now that females have been included in the Olympics——it gives these young girls something to aspire to in the sport. ”
Rich: What gives you the most pleasure and joy, was it winning a fight or titles, or putting on a great show and broadcast?
Sue: “I would have to say that most of my pleasure and joy is derived from what WBAN has been able to accomplish for other female boxers. Being a boxer from the past—-it was enjoyable to win fights—-but it was also very frustrating at times at the lack of opportunity.”
Rich: Sue, thanks so much for the time, anything you would like to add or share with the viewing audience?
Sue: “One comment I would like to make. Although the female boxers have made major headway by finally being included in the Olympics, I would like to see the International Boxing Committee (I.O.C) reconsider their decision to keep the weight classes and the amount of female boxers in the next Olympics in 2016 the same. If the I.O.C. does not reconsider their decision, there will be only 36 female boxers (again) in three weight classes, vs. 250 male boxers in 10 weight classes.”