World champion Amanda Serrano and former unified super-featherweight world champion Mikaela Mayer are among prominent voices in the boxing community criticizing USA Boxing’s newly introduced ‘Transgender Policy.’ The policy allows male boxers transitioning to females to compete in the female category, provided they meet specific criteria.
USA Boxing, the governing body for amateur and Olympic-style boxing in the United States, has outlined stringent requirements for transgender athletes. Both male and female transgender competitors must undergo quarterly hormone testing and provide documentation of hormone levels for a minimum of four years post-surgery. This policy is applicable to amateur and Olympic-style boxing and does not extend to professional boxing.
Amanda Serrano, who recently faced controversy with the WBC’s refusal to sanction female boxing matches over her desired 12 x three-minute rounds, took to Twitter to express her dissatisfaction. Serrano questioned the logic behind allowing male-born athletes to compete against females, emphasizing the need for equal opportunities. Mikaela Mayer echoed similar sentiments, citing the illegality of hormone therapy and its potential to disrupt the level playing field that sports strive to create.
The debate on transgender athletes in combat sports is not new, with recent instances involving swimmers Lia Thomas and weightlifter Lia Hubbard sparking discussions about fair competition. Former bantamweight world titleholder Ebanie Bridges joined the criticism, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the integrity of women’s sports.
The specific criteria for transgender boxers include demonstrating testosterone levels below 5 nmol/L for at least 48 months for those transitioning from male to female, and above 10 nmol/L for at least 48 months for those transitioning from female to male.
While this policy represents an effort by USA Boxing to address inclusivity, it has ignited a passionate response from prominent figures in the sport. The controversy surrounding transgender athletes competing in combat sports continues to be a complex and evolving discussion, touching on issues of equality, safety, and the essence of competitive fairness in sports.
As the transgender policy unfolds, the responses from athletes like Amanda Serrano and Mikaela Mayer underscore the importance of ongoing dialogue and careful consideration of the implications for the future of amateur and Olympic-style boxing in the United States.