Fighting for Their Rights

And Their Lefts. Women Foment a Boxer Rebellion

The reason for this mismatch is that Chelsey is nine years old, and her partner is her father, Tracy Ramos.

"All of my friends are used to it because they've seen videotapes of her fighting in martial arts tournaments since she was four," says Ramos, a 35-year-old single father. "The attitudes are a lot different than when I was a kid—you hardly saw girls in sports, and everyone looked at the ones who did play like they were weirdos."

Harry Keitt, a trainer of several champions, including those featured in On the Ropes, epitomizes some of the changing attitudes in women's boxing. "I'm kind of against women boxing," says Keitt earnestly. "Women should be cuddled, not punched." So why does he continue to teach women to throw bone-crunching uppercuts? "Well, when I see that they are serious and they want to fight, I figure they need to have the same tools as the men fighting."

A minor hit: Chelsey Ramos working out at Gleason’s
photo: Sylvia Plachy
A minor hit: Chelsey Ramos working out at Gleason’s

Now if only promoters would start prizing skills over sex appeal, girls like Chelsey Ramos would have a shot at a new version of girl power.

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