Women Will Make Ring History Tonight Poyner, Malloy to Go 3 Rounds

Article excerpt

Dallas Malloy wanted to prove a point by being allowed inside a boxing ring. Heather Poyner applauded Malloy's battle for equality.

Tonight, Malloy, 16, and Poyner, 21, will meet in the ring at Edmonds Community College in a boxing first: They'll be the first women to compete in a sanctioned amateur boxing match in the United States.

Both combatants predict a lively fight. They will box three two-minute rounds.

"I love this sport," Malloy said Thursday. "I haven't gotten in the ring yet, but I know it's going to be exciting. I love to compete and I love to win."

"I've been nervous for the last month but I'm ready, very ready," Poyner said. "I'm not scared. I don't fear anything or anybody. I want to do so well. I have high expectations."

Malloy is a high school dropout from Bellingham and Poyner is a former high school cheerleader and volleyball player from Lynden.

It wasn't easy getting the fight approved.

Malloy had to enlist the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union to win her first fight, the biggest one, when the U.S. Amateur Boxing Association refused to send her an application for membership because she is female. As a non-member, Malloy could not compete in the Pacific Northwest Amateur Boxing Association.

The ACLU and Seattle lawyer Suzanne Thomas filed a suit on Malloy's behalf in March against the International Amateur Boxing Association, USA Boxing and the Northwest Association, asking them to change their rules and allow females to box.

In May, U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein granted a preliminary injunction allowing Malloy to box, saying it was likely she would win the case because barring females violates state laws against discrimination. …