“You need heroes growing up and she was definitely one of mine…It’s boxers like her that have paved the way for the likes of us. I don’t think women’s boxing would be where it is today without the likes of Deirdre Gogarty.”—Ireland’s Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor
“What I remember best is the featherweight title in Louisiana [over Bonnie Canino]. Of course, there was a lot of hoopla around the Martin bout and I get asked about it all the time. But, those ten rounds for the featherweight title at the Lakefront Arena will always be at the top of the list.” —Deirdre Gogarty
“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)
“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.”— (NABF news.com 2012)—Jill Diamond
The 2015 IWBHF induction will be held on July 11, 2015, Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Christy Martin, among many other greats, was inducted in 2014. Entering the Hall this July 11, along with Deirdre Gogarty, are former “modern era” boxers, Laila Ali, Laura Serrano, Jeannine Garside, Ann Wolfe and Terri Moss. Also in the 2015 class are Sparkle Lee, the first female referee appointed to the NY State Athletic Commission and Phyliss Kugler (posthumous) a pioneer female boxer in the 1950s.
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 there so she went to the U.S. and fought out of New Orleans, Louisiana..Said Gogarty, 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 it turned out.”
The Other “Thrilla in Manila.”
On 16 March, 1996, she was offered the chance to fight on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno in Las Vegas. The fight, which was televised by Showtime, was a gory and brutal one that would provide an indelible memory for the millions who watched it. By the second round, blood gushed from Martin’s nose onto her pink trunks and by the fourth, both fighters were going after each other like carpenters pounding on nails. While Deirdre had problems with Christy‘s fierce 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, Martin won by a six-round decision moving her record to 29-1-2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFrd2oIZcjE
After that landmark light, Deirdre lived up to her nickname by winning her next six 5 by first round KO. She then challenged tough Bonnie Canino for the Women’s International Boxing federation Featherweight championship and became a World Champion after winning the fight on a ten round decision. She defended her title twice before losing it to Beverly Szymanski in a 1998 ten 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 Web site as follows: http://www.wbanmedia.com/iwbhf/news020315-gogarty.htm
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. Hopefully, this will eradicate once and for all any notion that women’s boxing is more spectacle than sport. 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. The women deserve it and so do the fans.