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Maisey Rose Courtney calls for women’s boxing to embrace three-minute rounds

Is it time for women's boxing to introduce three-minute rounds?

As women's boxing continues to grow in popularity, one of the most prevalent questions around the sport concerns the length of rounds. 

While male boxers compete in three-minute rounds, female fighters currently contest their bouts over two-minute rounds.
Over the last few years, a number of elite women fighters - including Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields and Mikaela Mayer - have called for the introduction of three-minute rounds in female boxing.
Flyweight contender Maisey Rose Courtney has added her support for the change ahead of her third professional bout.
The 22-year-old takes on Kate Radomska on the undercard of Katie Taylor's homecoming bout with Chantelle Cameron in Dublin.

When asked whether she would like to see women compete under the same conditions as men, Courtney told Planet Sport: "Yeah, I think so. I think it's only fair.

"We're doing the same sport, we're training the same, we're doing the same weight cuts, we're doing the same sacrifices.
"There's this whole thing about how we get concussions easier and all of that, but it's not like I'm going in there with a geezer that's six foot something and 20 kilos heavier.
"I'm going in with someone the same weight, the same experience. Sometimes, or nine times out of ten, they're the same age. It should just be three minutes.
"I train three minutes. A lot of other girls train three minutes. When you do two's, you blink and it's gone."

Argument against the move

In 2020 - as reported by Sporting News - a study compiled by the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that female athletes are susceptible to 'more severe concussions than male athletes', partly due to their lower biomechanical threshold tolerance for head impacts.

On the contrary, a 2021 case study which examined 23 athletes failed to provide evidence for the above claim. Instead, the study showed no significant difference of impact magnitude.

While studies offer a scientific perspective to the discussion, there are real-life examples which underline the dangers of the sport.

Back in September 2021, Mexican professional boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata tragically passed away after suffering injuries in her bout against Marie Pier Houle.
The 18-year-old was taken to hospital after being unable to return to her corner. She was subsequently placed in a medically-induced coma and passed away five days later.
Just a few months after the tragedy, Melissa Esquivel suffered a minor stroke following her WBA featherweight championship bout with Erika Cruz.

Twelve months ago, Alejandra Ayala went through three operations on her brain and remained in a Glasgow hospital for two months following a TKO defeat to Hannah Rankin.

In a 2022 interview with Planet Sport, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman admitted he was against the three-minute proposals.

He said: "I would be hesitant but if the medical studies provide some information towards that then that can be one step. Three minutes, I see it very very far from being able to ever accept a WBC fight for three minutes."
Looking back at Katie Taylor's Madison Square Garden showdown with Amanda Serrano, Sulaiman added: "You don't need three-minute rounds, you don't need to see women taking the additional risk.
"If you look at the end of the fight, both were exhausted, cut and hurt and the fight was ecstatic, could not have been better."
While fans and certain boxers continue to push for the change, there remains a level of hesitancy from the decision makers.
Some may point to MMA - where women fight five-minute rounds just like the men - as evidence in favour of the potential change.
As we await further developments, the questions around the issues are likely to continue - especially during marquee matchups.

READ MORE: Katie Taylor vs Chantelle Cameron fight verdict and suggested bets

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