Gotta love the opening sentence :roll: http://msn.foxsports.com/boxing/story/4813600
Man vs. woman in the ring?
Tim Dahlberg / Associated Press
Ann Wolfe wants to do what a lot of women just dream about - beat up a man.
She'll try to do it in a fair fight, with gloves on and, hopefully, a referee to keep order. The guy she plans to beat up on says he's just a poor country boy, but knows a little something about the fairer gender.
"I love kissing a woman and hugging on them, that's what they're made for," Bo Skipper says. "But if she wants to beat on me, I'm gonna hit her back."
Those aren't exactly fighting words, unless you shout them out at a National Organization for Women convention. Around Laurel, Miss., where Skipper lives, that's just kind of the way most guys look at things.
Wolfe, though, isn't exactly the cuddly sort.
"Boxing saved me," Ann Wolfe said. "It gave me the chance to be as gentle and kindhearted as I am." (Courtesy ANN WOLFE BOXING GYM)
She is a 34-year-old fighting machine who channels into her sport the anger she was filled with while homeless and on the streets. It usually doesn't pay to get in this woman's way.
"If I stop fighting there's no telling what's going to happen to me. It's in me to fight. If I didn't box I'm the kind of person who would kill 50 people," Wolfe said. "Boxing saved me. It gave me the chance to be as gentle and kindhearted as I am."
Great. This isn't just woman versus man. This is hayseed against potential serial killer.
Indeed, this freak show is too freaky even for Las Vegas, which is why they're holding it in Mississippi. Mark your calendar for Oct. 15 if for some reason you feel compelled to buy the pay-per-view.
Get about 20 of your buddies, load up on the beer and have a good ol' time.
Just make sure the women are in the other room.
"You know how women are, they're going to try and take it further and further," Skipper said on the phone the other day during his lunch break from his job at a machine shop in Laurel. "I got to stop it in its tracks."
It's hard to give boxing a black eye, because the sport keeps hitting itself below the belt. Boxing has survived scandal, tragedy, Mike Tyson and ear biting, but matching a man against a woman takes it to another level, one just below pro wrestling.
At least with Hulk Hogan and The Rock you get some comedy relief.
This charade is just sad - and dangerous, too.
"I can't even fathom anyone letting it happen," said Marc Ratner, who regulates boxing in Nevada. "People get injured anyway in this sport without this. It just frightens me."
Sadly enough, fighters do get injured. Last month one of them died in Las Vegas after a fight.
So why increase the risks by having a man fight a woman, even a woman who seems to be far more talented than Skipper, who has been knocked out in his last two fights and has never beaten a fighter with a winning record.
If it wasn't for finishing third in a tough man competition at the bar at a local Ramada Inn a few years back, Skipper never would have become a fighter. As it is, he's never made more than $1,200 for a fight. So he leaped at the chance to make some money by being the foil for Wolfe.
"At first I said, 'Man, I ain't fighting no woman,"' Skipper said. "But she challenged me and I can't see a woman beating me. I'm going to train like I never did before."
Wolfe, who is 21-1 with 15 knockouts, says the fight wasn't exactly her idea either. She wants desperately to make some big money by fighting Laila Ali, who is perhaps the only woman boxer who can sell tickets. But she claims Ali has been running from her, so she's taking the money where she can get it.
And money means a lot to a fighter who says she sometimes got only one dollar for her bouts.
"I didn't really want to fight boys; I didn't want to fight a man," Wolfe said. "But what else am I supposed to do?"
OK, here's where Skipper is supposed to insert the line about women belonging in the kitchen. But that would make this too funny, and there's nothing funny about either this fight or the way Wolfe approaches boxing.
The sport saved her from a life that was going nowhere, helped her channel her aggression and, she says, made her a better person. Her family was so poor as a child they had no running water or indoor toilet, and she's proud she has made something of herself with only a sixth-grade education.
"Now people want to put me under the microscope, but I had to fight to eat, to sleep, to live, and nobody said nothing," Wolfe said. "In the streets they'd say, 'Ann is tough as hell, one tough son of a gun.' I've been fighting all my life."
Fighting is one thing. Being part of a circus act is another.
The fight at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum is billed as "Ann versus Man," and will take place at 165 pounds. The purists may hate it, but it will likely sell to two kinds of people - those who want to see a woman put in her place and those who want to laugh at a man who can't do it.
"This ain't about fighting, it's about living," Wolfe said. "Some people don't agree with it. But, after they speak to me they still may not agree, but they understand what is going on."
They should, because it's really not that hard to understand.
It's just tough to stomach.