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Support women’s Bouts

Teresa Fralish | Friday, November 21, 2003

For over 70 years, Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts have represented one of the most unique and admirable charity events in the country and one of the most popular exhibitions at the University. Bengal Bouts started in 1931 and raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh. Amateur student boxers compete against each other in different weight classes for a chance to win a boxing title. But not until 1997 were women allowed to train with the men. Last year, the women were able to host exhibition matches for the first time, although the matches were not scored. This year, women’s boxing separated completely from men’s and Thursday, the club culminated eight weeks of training when 38 women boxed in 19 scored exhibition matches that raised money for a new charity.Officials of Bengals Bouts, RecSports and the members of the men’s women’s boxing club should be commended for making the women’s part of Bengal Bouts a separate function this year. Not only does it give more exposure to the women boxers, it also continues a great tradition of charity work for Notre Dame students as the women will be boxing for a girls sports club in Honduras.Women have been working in the Bengal Bouts training for nearly a decade and it is only appropriate that they finally have their own charity match. In past years the male competitors have overshadowed the women, but, because of the hard work of the presidents of the club, the women finally received the publicity they deserve as over 400 people watched last night’s fights Those involved with the event this year should help the women’s club continue the development of their own Bengal Bouts in the future. Next year, women should be allowed to contend in matches similar to the men’s competition- with weight classes, scored rounds and a tournament-style format, including a winner for each class. That is the natural next step and Bengal Bouts officials, RecSports and presidents of the men’s and women’s club should make that a reality next year. Notre Dame has a strong tradition of hosting unique events on its campus – including interhall football, Bookstore Basketball and Bengal Bouts. By having the women’s club become separate from the men’s, the University is helping make a great tradition that much better.