Answering the call

call coverIt seems only a moment ago that I was on the edge of my seat watching rare footage of women boxing.

As one of the early practitioners of the sport, I was always on the lookout for others; role models, examples, hints of how it was done. Anything at all.

I combed the slow internet, waiting for images to peel down my mono screen.

Sometimes there was a flash of someone somewhere on cable.

But it was, especially in Australia, virtually a hidden sport. Then some really extraordinary women started to break through into the light. We all know the most famous ones now, Lucia Rijker, Christy Martin, Laila Ali, Mia St John, many of them now still in the spotlight. And they have been joined by hundreds more, scores of champions and more future champions coming through.

It would be easy in that growing crowd to forget some of these early pioneers.

But we certainly shouldn’t forget Deidre Gogarty, the Irish woman boxer, former WIBF champion and now the author of My Call to the Ring.

Gogarty burst onto the scene fighting Martin on the Tyson vs Bruno Undercard and turned more than a few heads with her skills and toughness. Now she has returned a little to the limelight plugging her book.

It has been reviewed here by Cheekay Bradon at

It’s certainly a book I’d like to read.

I was struck most in this post by Gogarty’s quiet modest persona in the interview posted with I was so moved to hear her tell of Katie Taylor, the Irish Olympic gold medallist, writing to her at the age of 11. Look how far things have come even since then!

I couldn’t help but be struck by the calm quiet manner of both women. So inspirational in the sport yet with their feet firmly on the ground.

About mischamerz

Mischa Merz is an Australian journalist, author, amateur boxer and painter. She is the author of the memoir, The Sweetest Thing, published by Seven Stories Press as well as Bruising, published in Australia first by Picador then re-issued by Vulgar Press in 2008. She has written for a range of newspaper, magazines, specialist publications, literary journals and websites. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Peter.
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