Former trainers critical of female boxer
June 12, 2008 · Updated 9:52 AM
"The national attention surrounding tonights boxing match between 130-pounders Margaret MacGregor of Bremerton and Loi Chow of Vancouver, B.C., is hitting a sour note with fellow pugilists in Port Orchard. It was 1998 in Romos Port Orchard Gymnasium when MacGregor took up boxing under the tutelage of Jack Romo and his uncle, Lou Romo.After serving time in prison for drug trafficking, MacGregor spent much of her community service in the Romos gym, Jack said. All seemed fine and dandy until she took off without a goodbye or thank you.As soon as she finished her community time, she was gone, Lou said. Shes just a user, as far as Im concerned.Yeah, she used us for that, Jack interjected.When someone moves on to something, its usually a move in the right direction. But ask either Romo about her bout tonight at Mercer Arena in Seattle, and a look of disgust comes across their faces.Not because she left so rudely, but because of the tarnished image she will bring to the sport, they said.As far as Im concerned, she aint got no business fighting a man, Lou said. I think thats bad for boxing.Its a good way to get killed, Jack said. A man just got killed last month playing a mans sport. Id never put a woman in there like that.Jack and Lou think its wonderful having women in boxing and competing against each other. But they see no room for a battle of the sexes in boxing.At our association meeting for USA Boxing in the Pacific Northwest, we all agree that its a joke, Jack said. This guy shes going to fight sounds pathetic, so she may have a chance. But what it does for the sport is negative.Jack said Chows involvement is a joke and brings a bad reputation to the sport.Hes only in it for the fame and glory, and he should be ashamed of himself, Jack said.MacGregor has been receiving worldwide attention. Sports Illustrated reportedly will have her fight on the cover.Everyone talks about the battle between the man and a woman, but no one talks of MacGregors talent. Its a talent the Romos kind of laugh at.Although this will be her first amateur fight against a man, she sparred with many of Romos teenage pupils who were about the same size.Margaret never really did have a match up here, Jack said. We put her up with brand new kids that were younger than her but weighed about the same. We couldnt turn them loose on her. She was getting rocked.Eric Ramos, 16, was 15 when he stepped in the ring against MacGregor.I was a lot smaller than her and I still kept up with her, Ramos said. One of the most reputable women boxers in the country is world champion Christy Martin. Jack said Martin herself thinks it is wrong to have a woman step into the ring with a man.The Romos conceded that if any woman deserves to fight a man, it would be Martin, because at least she has credibility to her name.MacGregors fight record is 3-0, but Jack said she should have lost her first fight.They gave it to her, he said. Anybody you talk to that was at the fight in the Pavilion knows she lost that fight. The woman doesnt have a jab and doesnt have a body.Its not because shes a woman the Romos are up in arms with tonights fight. It boils down to safety.The only reason its happening in this state is because there is no law in the books, Jack said. You cant do it in Vegas, New York, New Jersey, Ohio or Pennsylvania. What they need to do in my opinion is get something on the books to protect peoples well-being.Safety is something the Romos pride themselves with their fighters.If she was fighting here, she wouldnt fight a man because we know what could happen and we care about our people, Jack said.The problem with the fight is that nothing positive will come out of this fight. If Chow wins--he is winless in two fights so far--he saves face. If he loses, what will keep other women from stepping into the ring and risk killing themselves?There is no refuting men have stronger upper bodies compared to women. Its a biological fact. The risk of injury is there every fight when a man fights a man and a woman fights a woman, but at least they are equally matched. Put a woman in a ring with a man and the strength usually will differ.Besides that, is there anybody out there who likes the image of a man and woman trading blows? When I see a woman fighting a woman, I see a fight. When I see a man fighting a man, I see a fight. But when I see a man fighting a woman, I see domestic violence.Whether its logical thinking or not, that is the first thing that comes to my mind.Jack said no matter the outcome of the fight, MacGregor wont be smart enough to take advantage of her publicity.If shes smart, which I dont think she is, she better have an agent so she can make some big money off the publicity, he said. But there is no redemption in something that is turning into a three-ring circus. Boxings image will be tarnished yet again.Either way, it scars boxing, Jack said."