Starting in the new year, USA Boxing will allow male-born fighters to validate their “gender identities” and compete against women. The move has generated significant backlash, with a number of women’s boxing stars slamming the decision.
USA Boxing — the national governing body for the sport and the Olympics — added a transgender policy to its rulebook that will allow biological males to compete against women.
Fighters will need to satisfy a number of requirements in order to compete. First, they must declare that their gender identity is female and be over the age of 18. They must also keep their testosterone below a certain level and must have completed “gender reassignment surgery” in order to qualify.
It is unclear how “gender reassignment surgery” is defined, though a significant percentage of transgender individuals do not end up going through with surgery.
“The purpose of this policy is to provide fairness and safety for all boxers,” USA Boxing explained in a statement.
The move has been met with significant backlash from a number of fighters and boxing commentators, including U.K.-based analyst True Geordie, who pointed out the inherent unfairness to female fighters. After stating that he is personally fine with addressing transgender individuals with their “preferred pronouns,” Geordie added that “I’ve definitely got a problem with people potentially killing people by having a ridiculous unfair advantage on the opponent.”
“I don’t care what the scenario is. Whether you’re cheating through drugs going into a boxing fight, whether you know you have had 20 years of added testosterone, whether you’re using things in your gloves, I don’t care what it is. This is not fair, and that’s the point,” he continued, adding that it has “nothing to do with discrimination.”
Boxing star Ebanie Bridges has also condemned the move, calling it “wrong on so many levels.”
“I will never agree to this… it’s bad enough having trans women breaking records in other sports like track and field, swimming and power lifting but it’s a bit different to them breaking our skulls in combat sports where the aim is to HURT YOU not just break a record…however I think it’s wrong in ALL SPORT,” Bridges wrote in an X post.
This is wrong on so many levels. I will never agree to this… it's bad enough having trans women breaking records in other sports like track and field, swimming and power lifting but it's a bit different to them breaking our skulls in combat sports where the aim is to HURT YOU… https://t.co/a58ADwPvpC
— Blonde Bomber 🥊💁🏼♀️ (@EbanieBridges) December 30, 2023