Are we looking at the end of ring girls in boxing
As formula 1 announce they will no longer be using grid/promo girls at there events and darts have now stopped using promo girls to walk the players in the Birmingham Boxing Column asked the question, will ring girls in boxing be next?
The Column have set up a poll on social media asking this question, the majority of people were very strongly in favour of the ring girls staying with 90 percent voting no they should stay and 10 percent saying yes they should go. When F1's decision was announced on the news they asked boxing promoter Frank Warren weather his company would be following suit. He said “"I am not about to change anything to go along with the latest whim and, if girls holding up a round card really does offend anyone, then just don’t watch it”.
I then went and asked some of the local boxing promoters there views on the matter. Tommy Owens who runs TOPromotions and sponsors the column was the first to get back to me. He informed me “Yes I will continue to use them, Ring girls and boxing go hand in hand their have always been ring girls in professional boxing and for me a show isn’t complete without them. Plus how we going to know what round we are on if we stop using them”.
Dan Mole from Black Country Boxing replied to our question with this, he told the column “We plan to continue as the F1 and Darts are broadcast decision rather than the promoters”.
MTK Birmingham Promotor Will Stokes told the column this “We see men and women as totally equal in sport and the workplace. As we are concerned the ring girls apply for the jobs and enjoy their work so we would never take this away from them. They are always treated with respect as is everybody else working with our promotions, no matter the gender and job role everyone is equal. We will continue to use ring girls”.
I also contacted a few ring girls to get there point of view, Hay Whittaker who has worked on TOP, BcB and MTK shows to name a few had this to say. This stunning young lady said “I have been doing the ring cards for over 5 years, I have never once felt sexualised I wear what I feel comfortable and confident in. I am treated with the upmost respect by all”.
Another ring girl Rachel Payne wrote “it's not boxing without ring girls”.
Cat Orourke the company director of Sophisti'cats glitz & glam promotions had this to say, Cat informed the column “Ring girls have been a tradition in the boxing ring for years, they brings a little bit of glamour to a predominately mans world.
This gives employment to the girls and also confidence, it’s amazing the confidence a young lady can get from walking in that ring knowing all eyes are on her.
My ring girls are dressed very classy they are all different sizes and shapes so it’s not all about the industry of skinny beauty’s I have brought girls into this job role who have no confidence in themselves and they have just blossomed each round they walk. I feel that it’s a crying shame to stop this within the boxing ring... it’s the world gone mad again it angers me”.
Ring Girl and director of JP Entertainments Jade Graham had this to say, she told the column “The tradition of ring girls at boxing matches has always been an integral part of the event. Not only do the girls add a feminine touch to an otherwise extremely male dominated sport, but they do a vital job of ensuring spectators are kept up to date with the rounds and can easily follow each fight. As long as the girls working the events are happy to do so, paid appropriately for there time and shown respect throughout, I don't see any reason why they should be removed”.
We also had comments on social media about this issue, Richard Young wrote ”Well I say no because it gives the people entertainment for the minute us boxers have to rest in between the rounds and the people love them”.
Yvonne Gavllet had this to say, she wrote “Its lovely to see beautiful girls, I don’t think it should be stopped, women like me stand up to do as we want. Women say they want to be treated the same as men, so let the women do as they chose to be. If you want to be seen be seen, its there own chose”.
I also had feedback off people who think ring girls should be a thing of the passed. Someone who wanted to remain anomalous got in contact with the column and said this. “I think that ring girls are outdated and they are derogatory to women in general as it is all about looks and sexuality. Boxing should follow F1 and darts and stop using them”.
Conor McLaughlin clicked yes on the poll, so I contacted him to see why he informed me “I meant to click no for them to stay sorry, there's no need for all this political correct nonsense. If girls want to do it they should be allowed, it’s a choice they make and they get paid for it”.
There has also been a protest organized by Grid, Promo and Ring Girls to march through the Bullring Shopping centre Birmingham to raise awareness and show the public that these females choose to work in this industry and enjoy their work. The protest is set to take place on Saturday 10th February starting at 13.00 and will be a quite march through the Bull Ring. The Birmingham Boxing Column will be there to report on how the protest goes
This is a debate I never thought I would be having, Ring Girls are a big part of the boxing experience and it would be a crime to not have them at the shows. A good ring girl is worth their weight in gold for an event, they can greet the boxing fans on their way in, entertain the crowd in-between rounds and like Mr Owens said they let you know what round it is. I have met and talked to loads of ring girls in my time as a boxer, ref and reporter, I can honestly say everyone of them have been pleasant and approachable with great personality as well as looks. I think confidence and a great personality are a big part of being a ring girl, yes looks and a smoking body are all well and good but being able to converse with people and make them feel welcome is a big part of a ring/promo girls job. I am all for ring girls being part of boxing and hope they are around for a very long time.