The 2024 Olympics has introduced controversial rule changes in boxing, and Coach Cary Williams isn’t applauding the alterations.
The landscape of combat sports is evolving, with an increasing number of transgender women entering the arena. This paradigm shift necessitates adjustments not only in the rules but also in the way the world perceives and accommodates these athletes.
While the transition of high-profile combat sports athletes garners significant media attention, organizations like the UFC and PFL in MMA have been reluctant to embrace this change. In the boxing arena, instances of transgender athletes participating are scarce.
USA Boxing set to require genital surgery and regular testosterone testing from trans competitors after backlash
As the Olympic Games draw closer, the spotlight is on transgender athletes. A recent announcement outlined new rules allowing transgender women to compete in the event, provided they meet specific requirements. These criteria include undergoing hormonal and testosterone testing for 48 months, allowing them to face non-transitioned women in the ring.
However, not everyone welcomes these changes. In an interview with The Daily Signal, USA Boxing coach Cary Williams expressed deep concerns about the potential consequences of the new policy. Williams fears that the altered regulations could lead to fatalities in the ring.
She emphasizes the importance of safety for female boxers, stating: “Some people say, ‘Oh, there’s not that many trans, you know. What are you worried about?’ There could be one, that’s all it takes to do damage, that’s all it takes to kill a woman, and that’s all it takes for it to grow steadily. And then there are more, and there are more, and there are more… I’m extremely scared for the safety of our girls and our women in boxing.”
Even if the Olympics modified the regulations, there are still not many transgender athletes participating in combat sports. There are very few instances, in the ring as well as in mixed martial arts.
In 2021, Alana McLaughlin won via submission in the cage at Combate Global.
There are also just two notable instances in the ring. Patricio Manuel changed his gender to male and now has a 3-0 record. At the age of 18, former Thai boxing champion Parinya Charoenphol had a gender transformation.
While some applaud the Olympics’ decision to be inclusive, the debate surrounding transgender athletes in combat sports is just beginning.