c. 1959: Battling Barbara Buttrick

Feb 1949 - "Protests against the plan to star Barbara Buttrick , the 18-year-old boxer from Cottingham , Yorkshire, with a male sparring partner at a London music Hall witll be considered by the Variety Artists' Federation at a meeting next Wednesday.  Barbara, 7 stone,  a shorthand typist in a West End London office is booked to box in her first public show at the Kilburn Empire ( London ) on 7 March.  Her act will include shadow boxing, ball punching and two two-minute rounds with a male boxer. The picture shows Barbara sparring at the gymnasium where she trains"

(c) TopFoto


Born in 1930, Yorkshire-born Barbara Buttrick aka ‘The Mighty Atom of the Ring’ knew from an early age she wanted to box.  Aged 18, she started touring with carnival boxing booths in the USA. 4ft 11ins tall,  she boxed as a bantam weight and from 1950 to 1960 was the World’s unbeaten flyweight and bantamweight champion. 

Fighting exhibition matches against male opponents, she retired at the age of 30, having fought 32 professional matches with only one loss and one draw. In 1989, Barbara helped found the Women's International Boxing Federation (WIBF), and is currently its president. 


 March 1949:  18-year-old boxer Barbara during a punch-ball practise   (c)  TopFoto

March 1949: 18-year-old boxer Barbara during a punch-ball practise

(c) TopFoto


 October 1959 -  "Miami , Florida:  The weaker sex show what they can do in a mansized sport .  Battling bruisers are Barbara Buttrick left , of Yorkshire , England and Gloria Adams of Miami.  Barbara outboxed Gloria to win the four-round event"   (c)  TopFoto

October 1959 - "Miami , Florida:  The weaker sex show what they can do in a mansized sport .  Battling bruisers are Barbara Buttrick left , of Yorkshire , England and Gloria Adams of Miami.  Barbara outboxed Gloria to win the four-round event"

(c) TopFoto


 October 1959 -  "Miami , Florida:  It's the first bout in a women's boxing competition and Barbara Buttrick, from Yorkshire, England is shook by a jolting left to the jaw in the second round of her contest with Gloria Adams of Miami.  Nevertheless Barbara was the winner of the four round contest."   (c)  TopFoto

October 1959 - "Miami , Florida:  It's the first bout in a women's boxing competition and Barbara Buttrick, from Yorkshire, England is shook by a jolting left to the jaw in the second round of her contest with Gloria Adams of Miami.  Nevertheless Barbara was the winner of the four round contest."

(c) TopFoto


 February 1949 -  "Barbara Buttrick connects with a left hook to the chin of ex-Commando Mickey Wood who is coaching her at a Mayfair"   (c)  TopFoto

February 1949 - "Barbara Buttrick connects with a left hook to the chin of ex-Commando Mickey Wood who is coaching her at a Mayfair"

(c) TopFoto



Curation: Amanda Uren



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