Barbara Buttrick

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Barbara Buttrick
Real nameBarbara Buttrick
Height4 ft 11 in (150 cm)
Born (1929-12-03) 3 December 1929 (age 91)
Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Boxing record
Total fights32

Barbara Buttrick (born 3 December 1929[1]), nicknamed "Battling Barbara", was a world champion in women's boxing in the 1940s and 1950s.

Originally from England, Buttrick is considered a pioneer of women's professional boxing.

Professional career[edit]

Buttrick was born in Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1930.[2][3] She became a shorthand typist in an office in the West End of London.[4]

Known as "The Mighty Atom of the Ring", Buttrick, at 4′ 11″, fought from 98 lbs. to being the World’s unbeaten flyweight (112) and bantamweight (118) champion from 1950 to 1960.[5]

Buttrick started her boxing career in 1948, touring Europe with carnivals as a bantamweight in the boxing booth. She went to the United States in the mid-1950s, joined the carnival circuit, but left because the American carnivals were rougher than the European ones. She then fought professionally in Canada, Chicago, and southern Florida. One of the Canadian matches became the first women's bout to be broadcast on radio.

Buttrick allegedly fought many exhibition bouts against male opposition.[5]

Buttrick reportedly had one career loss, to Joann Hagen, in 31 pro bouts before retiring in 1960 at 30–1–1.

After an absence of 15 years, she briefly returned to the ring in 1977.

Career after boxing[edit]

In the mid-1990s, she founded and became the president of the Women's International Boxing Federation (WIBF) which is a major sanctioning body of women's boxing.

Buttrick's last known residence was Miami Beach, Florida, United States. In 2014, Buttrick was inducted into the International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[6]


In 2016, it was announced that a stage play based on Buttrick's life, Mighty Atoms by Amanda Whittington, would be premiered in Hull as part of the city's UK City of Culture celebrations in 2017.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Fairground to Hall of Fame for gran they tried to ban", The Times, 28 November 2011
  2. ^ Murphy, Victoria. "Barbara Buttrick: World pays tribute to Brit champ boxer". Retrieved 25 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Knass, Katie (7 October 2010). "It's a knockout! Boxing Barbara is first woman in hall of fame: E YORKS: One woman's journey from Hessle to place among fight game greats". Hull Daily Mail. ProQuest 756921794.
  4. ^ "'Ban this girl boxer'", Daily Mail, 4 February 1948
  5. ^ a b "Boxing And Mma'S Longest Running Radio Program". Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "2014 IWBHF Inductee: Barbara Buttrick". Retrieved 4 December 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Hull 2017: City of Culture unveils major art, theatre and music events". BBC News Online. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Hutchison, David (22 September 2016). "Richard Bean and Amanda Whittington feature in Hull City of Culture plans". The Stage. London. Retrieved 22 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]