French Woman Boxer

World light welterweight champion Myriam Lamare is passionate that women have a place in boxing and has several championship belts to prove it. As a professional boxer, she has overcome the gender barriers and earned the titles, but in a profession still dominated by men, she is far from a million-dollar baby. ILO TV explains.

Date issued: 05 March 2006 | Size/duration: 00:02:17 (3.7MB)
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Boxing is considered one of the last male bastions of sport, but not for long. This is Myriam Lamare, two-time world light welterweight champion.

Myriam Lamare, light welterweight world boxing champion

It’s true that I want to box. Some women may want to be astronauts, others are attracted to deep-sea diving, or want to practice pistol shooting, and why not? Why can’t a woman express herself on the boxing ring?

Back in her home town of Marseilles in France, Lamare trains every day. She started boxing at 18 after an American boxing trainer suggested she try out at his club. After two weeks she was hooked. An amateur world champion in boxing and savate, she went pro in 2000. Lamare already has two world championship belts and aims to get all four.

Louis Lavaly, Myriam Lamare’s trainer

At first we looked at her and wondered what in the world is she trying to do trying to be a boxer. But bit by bit she gained everyone’s respect and now she’s got huge respect – she’s the boss of this place.

Nicolas Ribet, amateur boxer

For me Myriam Lamare is a great emblem to our sport. She has revolutionized the world of boxing and has succeeded in showing women they can do it.

Lamare may have won over the male boxers at her club, but the rest of the world still needs convincing. Professional female boxing took on momentum in the 1970s. Today there are over 700 women boxing worldwide but they earn five to seven times less than their male counterparts.

Lamare supplements her boxing income by working for Marseille town hall, organizing sporting events and promoting sport to young people.

Myriam Lamare

It gives girls confidence, because they see me and say to themselves now women can take up boxing as much as a man can. And it’s true that it’s making the sport more democratic in the eyes of the public.

A boxing career may not be for everyone, but the glove fits for Myriam Lamare and she’s aiming high.