Boxing: Gloves are on for first sanctioned female fight in Britain

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The Independent Online

Cathy "The Bitch" Brown and Juliette Winter will share a piece of history tomorrow in the first women's title fight to be sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control.

It is eight years since Jane Couch successfully won the right to fight professionally. Couch helped to send the ancient governing body into voluntary liquidation and the anticipated women's boxing revolution, seemingly at the root of the board's reluctance to let women fight, never happened.

Brown, 36, has been a professional since 1999 and has lost eight of 20 fights but she has been forced to travel overseas for higher pay and more meaningful fights. "There was a time I believed that women's boxing would continue to grow but it has been a long and frustrating career for me," said Brown, who was a forensic photographer with the Metropolitan Police before bixing full-time.

Tomorrow afternoon's fight will take place at York Hall, Bethnal Green and will be filmed for screening on Channel Five on Friday.

The pair met briefly before, when Brown underestimated Winter and lost a four-round decision. Brown has fought overseas five times since, losing on points after 10 rounds each time.

"If you fight the foreign champion in a foreign land you need a knockout to win but now I have this fight I know I will getthe decision if I deserve it,'' Brown added.

Meanwhile, in last night's vacant European light-welterweight fight Brixton's Ted Bami beat Italy's Giuseppe Lauri on points at York Hall, Bethnall Green. Bami accepted the fight at just two weeks' notice and was in control throughout.

Johnny Nelson, the WBO cruiserweight champion has confirmed his retirement after pulling out of his October defence against domestic rival Enzo Maccarinelli through injury.

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