Not the Average Joe: “Women should box 12 three-minute rounds”

With women’s boxing taking centre stage again in Dublin tonight (November 25), Boxing News columnist Joe Hughes has his say on whether women should be fighting over 12×3 minute rounds in championship fights.

IT will be a cracking fight between Chantelle Cameron and Katie Taylor, and I think Cameron will win again.

In my opinion, Taylor is a bit over the hill ever so slightly. She’s had so many wars in her career and that takes a toll. I think Cameron will be the fresher of the two, like she was the last time, and it’ll be a similar fight – if not a bit more in Cameron’s favour.

With the extra time that’s passed since winning the first fight, Cameron will have grown in confidence and she’s at that age where she could still be improving and getting better. I think she’ll win again and on points again but even more decisive than last time. If that is the case, Katie Taylor ought to call it a day really. She’s got nothing left to prove.

For everything Claressa Shields bangs on about, Katie, in my opinion, is the greatest female boxer of all time. She is the greatest in terms of what she has done in moving women’s boxing forward; she’s a real inspirational person and she deserves to ride off into the sunset and not have to worry about getting punched in the head anymore. That’s what I’d like to see.

I believe women should box 12 three-minute rounds and I think most of them want to do it. I understand people’s argument that 10-twos are faster paced and more exciting, but then why not have men’s fights at the same distance? There would be uproar if that happened. All things being equal, and given the world we live in today, I think men and women should box to the same distance. I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Boxing has been a man’s world for years but women have become a big part of it in the ring.

The women’s marathon isn’t 20 miles, it’s 26, like the male equivalent. In UFC the women fight five-minute rounds in title fights and men also fight five-minute rounds.

A lot of people on social media say they want to keep it the same because the higher pace is interesting to watch. That’s a different sport, though. Professional boxing has guidelines, rules, rounds and times set out that the men have followed since they cut it down from 15 rounds to 12. If you cut it down to 10x2s for women, you should also do it for men, in my opinion.

It’s not even close to the same amount of time in a ring when you compare 12-threes and 10-twos. Twenty minutes compared to 36 minutes is a big, big difference. It’s something I’ve thought about since the first time I watched a women’s world title fight. It didn’t make sense to me having it as 10-twos. I think women would rather do 12-threes and, if they did, it would be another step towards equality in the sport.

I was impressed by Adam Azim last Saturday but a bit disappointed with [Franck] Petitjean. He didn’t perform at all. It looked like he didn’t want to be there from the beginning. I don’t know if there was something wrong or if he was so outclassed that perhaps he didn’t have an answer for anything.

It looked like he went into survival mode quiet early. Maybe he was taking a look and trying to get through some of the earlier rounds and bring it on later, but he never really changed. Maybe he had something wrong with him, or maybe Azim was just too good for him, because he did look very good. I was impressed with him. That definitely puts him up there.

Like I said last week, I don’t think he is what they’re making him out to be, in terms of this global superstar status they’re trying to put on him. But that was a really good stepping stone at his age. It was a good a performance and it’s a big title to win. To do it in the composed manner he did was impressive; I thought he boxed very well. I think he’s boxing [Enock] Poulsen next and that will be an interesting fight. I would like to see him and Dalton Smith. That’s a cracking fight.

There are some interesting fights out there in the division. I’m just disappointed that my name’s not in the mix anymore. Watching those fights I think, God I’d love to fight him. I know it’s probably not going to happen. I was impressed with him, though, and it must have been a lot of pressure for someone his age to perform; to have the expectations his promoter and fanbase are putting on him. But you can’t fault him. All the best to him.

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