|What do professional boxers, World Wrestling Entertainment grapplers, kick-boxing warriors and foxy boxers have in common? All eventually wind up in the same "ring," so to speak, if they hope to do their thing in Calgary.
In order for their bouts, matches and performances to take place, all ring sports have to have a licence or permit from the Calgary Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Yes, that's right foxy boxing needs a licence just like the others and has to follow the same rules as cards featuring the likes of Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Chris Benoit or cruiserweight Dale Brown.
In case you havent already figured it out, foxy boxing features two women wearing boxing gloves and little else duking it out in a hastily assembled ring, much to the delight of the beer-drinking ring-side patrons.
Don Patrician, a City of Calgary representative on the commission, says the request to hold such an event ranks up near the strangest request the boxing and wrestling folks have had to tussle with.
"There seems to be a fine line between entertainment and sporting events," he says.
Don't see the connection between a "fight" featuring Platinum Paula and Stacked Sally and a match with a real boxer or martial arts fighter? As Patrician explains, "The commission currently defines a regulated sports event as any exhibition, sparring exhibition, card contest or promotion to which the public is invited, which involves the presentation of regulated sports."
That sounds like a lot of legalese, but its something that is crucial when dealing with the 190 or so legitimate requests a year for licences and permits. Fighters, officials and matches must all be licensed and have the proper permit to be legal in Calgary. The overwhelming majority of licences granted here are for wrestlers.
Despite its recent forced move into the world of the ridiculous, the boxing and wrestling commission has long roots. It was initially set up by city council in the early 1920s to ensure dangerous athletic events were as safe as possible for participants, officials and spectators.
Foxy boxing aside, you can see where the rationale might come into place. For example, if the commission received a request to hold an event using World Kickboxing Association Rules and they were approved, "then absolutely no elbow strikes will be allowed to the spine and back of the neck," reports Patrician.
Ouch that hurts just thinking about it, and that's strictly from a spectator's point of view. The participants likely have similar thoughts.
While some of the antics and attitudes displayed during a WWE event don't stray far from what's represented by foxy boxing, perhaps the last word on this kind of fighting should be left to that well-known equal rights crusader, Homer Simpson, who gave the following advice to his daughter: "Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such."
FEMALE FOOTBALLERS GO PRO
Good thing Homer's not real and living in Calgary, or he might have to put up with the heat from some local women who play professional football.
Yes, it's true a professional women's football has been started in Calgary. Wearing full equipment and playing under National Football League rules, members of the Calgary Rockies hope to one day suit up against some of the pro women's teams south of the 49th.
Unlike other pro leagues, the women won't be playing for cash but for fun and the opportunity to participate in a game that has previously offered few options to women. Stay tuned for more.