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At 16 years old Ramona Stephenson had just two days to
prepare for the first legal NSW women's boxing bout in almost three decades on
Friday night at Hornsby RSL.
The teenager squared up to the much fitter, older and better supported Kaye Scott (25), who will compete at the NSW state titles next week.
The fight was the first for both girls who would have had to go interstate before Oct 1, 2009 when the NSW ban was officially lifted. The banning of women's boxing, believed to be a relic of past centuries, was actually introduced in 1986 by the Wran government.
Of the 11 amateur fights on Friday night it was only the girls that battled it out for four rounds of three minutes. The majority of the male bouts were three times two minutes with the main event at three, three minute rounds.
Kaye, a local girl and a personal trainer at the gym that was sponsoring the
event, had Stephenson on the ropes in the first round.
The younger girl appeared to have a game plan, probing with a high left jab, but unfortunately dropping her right at the same time – leaving it open for Kaye who came charging in.
At least one other women's fight had been scratched for the evening due to illness and Ramona was standing in for a more experienced fighter who had broken her nose earlier in the week.
With the first NSW State titles open to women just a week away many boxers were saving themselves and those that did fight treated it as a heavy sparring session.
Kaye's volume of punches was much higher but not all of them were well targeted and Ramona still managed to land some point scoring shots, including a nice left hook right on the bell at the end of the second round.
But by the third round the teenager was fatiguing and a combination of possibly nerves and pure physical exertion had her vomiting midway through the round.
At the referee's request the doctor was called in but declared Ramona fit to fight and she battled on for the remainder of the one and a half rounds courageously.
In a very controversial decision the fight was declared a draw and then a ‚semi exhibition‘ bout by the ref after some very noisy booing. The crowd, and Kaye, probably the better fighter on the night, were not happy but Ramona has to be commended for just getting in the ring at such short notice.
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