Jane Couch

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Jane Couch
Couch in 1998
Nickname(s)The Fleetwood Assassin[1]
Height5 ft 7 12 in (171 cm)
Born (1968-08-14) 14 August 1968 (age 50)
Fleetwood, Lancashire, England
Boxing record
Total fights39
Wins by KO9

Jane Couch, MBE (born 14 August 1968) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1994 to 2007. She became the first officially licensed British female boxer in 1998, and won numerous world titles. Couch has since become a boxing promoter.


Born in Fleetwood, Lancashire, Couch was expelled from her school in Blackpool and thereafter lived "a life of booze, drugs and street fighting".[1] At the age of 26 she saw a television documentary about women's boxing and decided to try it. In her first official fight, a Muay Thai match, she defeated a policewoman, about which she said "it was brilliant to flatten one [a police officer] and get paid for it".[1] She currently resides in Bristol.

Professional boxing career[edit]

The British Boxing Board of Control initially refused to grant Couch a professional licence on the sole ground that she was a woman, and argued that PMS made women too unstable to box.[2][3] Claiming sexual discrimination and supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission, Couch managed to have this decision overturned by a tribunal in March 1998.[4][5] However, some criticism followed as the British Medical Association called this result "a demented extension of equal opportunities".[6]

Couch would later seek the right to fight a male opponent, but was unsuccessful. Of this, she said

Going into the ring against a man wouldn't bother me. I spar with blokes seven days a week so it's not as if it would be a new experience. It would mean an awful lot to me to appear at Wembley.[7]

Couch's first major success occurred in only her fifth pro fight in 1996 when she won the WIBF light welterweight title by outpointing France's Sandra Geiger over ten rounds in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Couch's first defence of her title was against noted female boxer Andrea DeShong, who was stopped in seven rounds in New Orleans, Louisiana in March 1997.

In September 2003 Staples Center, Los Angeles, Couch lost on points over eight rounds to the highly regarded Lucia Rijker of Holland.

Her last fight, against Anne Sophie Mathis on 8 December 2007, resulted in a loss by technical knockout.

She announced her retirement on 1 December 2008 and said she intended to continue as a boxing promoter.[8] At the time, she said

"Boxing has been my life for a long time and it will always will be, but I'm not going to miss getting my head smashed in."[9]

Couch's overall professional record was 28 wins (9 KOs), 11 defeats.

Other achievements[edit]

In 2001, she published an autobiography, "Jane Couch – Fleetwood Assassin".[10]

Couch was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours.[11]

In 2012, Couch was awarded the AOCA / Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award for her part played in raising public awareness and acceptance of female fighters.[12]

In 2016, Couch was inducted into the Women's International Boxing Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The IWBHF was created and founded in 2014 by Sue TL Fox.[13]

Post-boxing career[edit]

In 2008 Couch competed in the reincarnation of Superstars.[14]

On 20 December 2008 Couch co-promoted a promotion with Ricky Hatton in Bristol and then in February 2009 announced a more formal partnership with Hatton Promotions when she signed as boxing co-ordinator.[15]

Couch long supported the inclusion of women's boxing in the Olympic Games, saying

"It's no more dangerous for a woman to box than for a man ... The Olympics would encourage more girls into gyms where hopefully they would be welcomed."[16]

On 12 August 2009 it was reported that the International Olympic Committee appeared set to include the sport in the 2012 Summer Olympics.[17]

In December 2009, Couch promoted a competition at the Marriott Hotel, Bristol.[18]

Couch also has her own YouTube channel which features regular interviews with people involved in boxing.[19]

Professional boxing record[edit]

28 Wins (9 KOs), 11 Losses[20]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 28–11 France Anne Sophie Mathis TKO 2 (6) 2007-12-08 FranceLa Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes, France.
Loss 28–10 Canada Jaime Clampitt UD 10 2007-06-20 United StatesFoxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut. For vacant IWBF light welterweight title.
Loss 28–9 United States Holly Holm UD 10 2006-09-23 United StatesIsleta Casino & Resort, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Win 28–8 Ukraine Viktoria Oliynyk PTS 6 2006-05-06 EnglandInternational Convention Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands.
Win 27–8 Bulgaria Galina Gumliiska TKO 3 (4) 2006-02-25 EnglandWhitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, Avon.
Loss 26–8 France Myriam Lamare TKO 3 (10) 2005-12-05 FrancePalais Omnisports, Bercy, France. For vacant WIBF light welterweight title.

For Women's WBA light welterweight title.

Win 26–7 Latvia Oksana Cernikova PTS 6 2005-11-12 EnglandThistle Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Loss 25–7 Canada Jessica Rakoczy TKO 6 (10) 2005-07-21 United StatesPalace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California. For vacant Women's WBC lightweight title.
Win 25–6 Ukraine Larysa Berezenko PTS 6 2004-12-02 EnglandThistle Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win 24–6 Canada Jaime Clampitt UD 10 2004-06-12 United StatesFoxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut. Won IWBF light welterweight title.
Loss 23–6 Belgium Nathalie Toro UD 10 2004-04-03 BelgiumVise, Liege, Belgium For vacant Women's European light welterweight title
Win 23–5 Bulgaria Borislava Goranova PTS 6 2004-02-29 EnglandMarriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon
Win 22–5 United States Brenda Drexel PTS 8 2003-12-21 EnglandMarriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win 21–5 United States Brenda Drexel PTS 10 2003-09-21 EnglandMarriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Loss 20–5 Netherlands Lucia Rijker UD 8 2003-09-21 United StatesStaples Center, Los Angeles.
Win 20–4 Ukraine Larysa Berezenko PTS 8 2003-05-15 EnglandHand Stadium, Bristol, Avon.
Win 19–4 Bulgaria Borislava Goranova TKO 7 2003-02-26 EnglandMarriott Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win 18–4 Bulgaria Borislava Goranova UD 10 2002-12-08 EnglandThistle Hotel, Bristol, Avon.
Win 17–4 Bulgaria Borislava Goranova UD 6 2002-08-03 EnglandNorbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool, Lancashire.
Loss 16–4 United States Sumya Anani TKO 4 (10) 2002-06-21 United StatesConvention Center, Waco, Texas.
Win 16–3 Bulgaria Tzanka Karova TKO 3 2001-12-16 EnglandWhitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, Avon.
Win 15–3 United States Carla Witherspoon UD 4 2001-07-28 JamaicaMontego Bay, Jamaica.
Win 14–3 Ukraine Viktoria Oliynyk UD 4 2001-06-16 EnglandConference Centre, Wembley, London.
Loss 13–3 United States Elizabeth Mueller UD 6 2000-08-19 United StatesFoxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Win 13–2 Bulgaria Galina Gumliiska TKO 6 (10) 2000-07-01 EnglandElephant & Castle Centre, Southwark, London. Retained WIBF light welterweight title.
Win 12–2 South Africa Michelle Strauss TKO 3 (6) 2000-03-09 EnglandYork Hall, Bethnal Green, London.
Win 11–2 Australia Sharon Anyos UD 10 1999-10-31 EnglandDavid Lloyd Tennis Centre, Raynes Park, London. Won vacant WIBF light welterweight title.
Win 10–2 Germany Heike Noller UD 8 1999-04-01 EnglandBirmingham, West Midlands
Win 9–2 Netherlands Marischa Sjauw UD 10 1999-02-20 EnglandStockton on Tees, County Durham Won WIBF light welterweight title.
Win 8–2 Germany Simona Lukic TKO 2 (6) 1998-11-25 EnglandCaesars Nightclub, Streatham, London
Loss 7–2 United StatesDora Webber PTS 10 2001-06-20 United StatesTropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey For vacant IWBF light welterweight title.
Loss 7–1 United StatesDora Webber SD 6 1997-10-24 United StatesLula, Mississippi
Win 7–0 United States Leah Mellinger UD 10 1997-08-07 United StatesFoxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Retained WIBF light welterweight title.
Win 6–0 United States Andrea DeShong TKO 7 (10) 1997-03-02 United StatesNew Orleans, Louisiana. Retained WIBF light welterweight title.
Win 5–0 France Sandra Geiger PTS 10 1996-05-31 DenmarkK.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Won WIBF light welterweight title.
Win 4–0 Julia Shirley PTS 6 1995-07-01 EnglandFleetwood, Lancashire
Win 3–0 Jane Johnson TKO 4 (6) 1995-04-01 EnglandSpeedway Stadium, Fleetwood, Lancashire
Win 2–0 Fosteres Joseph PTS 6 1995-01-01 EnglandFleetwood, Lancashire
Win 1–0 Kalpna Shah TKO 2 (6) 1994-10-30 EnglandWigan, Greater Manchester Professional debut.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Jane Couch biography". Wban.org. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Round one for women's boxing". BBC News. 24 November 1998. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  3. ^ Bentham, John (February 1998). "12 and 13 February 1998 – Tribunal 1, 100 London Road, Croydon, UK". #4. Punkcast. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  4. ^ "March: Jane Couch". BBC News. 22 December 1998. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  5. ^ "Couch Interview". 19 September 1999. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Just give her a ring". The Guardian. London. 7 January 2001. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  7. ^ "Jane Couch in legal battle for right to fight a man". The Daily Telegraph. London. 9 June 2001. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Couch calls time on boxing career". BBC News. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Video: Jane Couch retires from boxing". 2 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  10. ^ Couch, Jane (February 2001). Jane Couch – Fleetwood Assassin. Blake. ISBN 978-1-85782-435-3.
  11. ^ "No. 58358". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2007. p. 15.
  12. ^ "AOCA / Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award". Awakeningfighters.com. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  13. ^ "About the IWBHF". Wban.net. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Couch takes on Superstar status for TV – Fleetwood Today". www.fleetwoodtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  15. ^ "Boxing | Jane Couch links up with Ricky Hatton | This Is Bristol | Bristol Post". This Is Bristol. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  16. ^ "No more excuses, women's boxing should be at Olympics, says Jane Couch – Times Online". London: The Times. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  17. ^ Chennaoui, Orla. "Women's Boxing To Be Made An Olympic Sport in Landkmark Ruling By International Olympic Committee – UK News – Sky News". Sky News. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  18. ^ "Bristol City star Brad gloves up for Christmas show". Thisisbristol.co.uk. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  19. ^ "JaneCouchBoxing". YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Jane Couch". BoxRec.com. Retrieved 3 October 2016.

External links[edit]