Oxford University Amateur Boxing Club
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The Oxford University Amateur Boxing Club (OUABC) is the boxing club of the University of Oxford, England, located in Oxford. The club was founded in 1881. It is the second oldest active amateur boxing club in the UK. Several OUABC boxers were featured in a 2006 documentary titled Blue Blood.
The club competes against Cambridge University Amateur Boxing Club in The Varsity Match, also known as The True Love Bowl, each year. Typically, the match location switches between Oxford and Cambridge, though some matches have been held in London. In fact the first match held in London, was captained by D.M.L. Doran Pembroke College in 1937. It was in this year the boxing team was doubled in size by this captain. This was the last year only a Half Blue was awarded and why the team blazers were striped blue and white to signify this. Since this year male boxers who compete in the Varsity Match are traditionally awarded a Full Blue by the Oxford University Men's Blues Committee.
In 2003/2004, OUABC began including female boxers in training and matches. In the 2005 Varsity Match, Kaleen Love of Oxford defeated Catherine Tubb of Cambridge to become the first Oxford woman to compete in a varsity boxing match. Both were awarded Extraordinary Full Blues for their athletic accomplishments. More recently, Sarah Burden and Helena Matthews of CUABC were awarded the same honours for their achievements.
During the 1980s and 1990s, under the tutelage of head coach Henry Dean, OUABC won 17 Varsity Matches in a row, the longest single stretch of victories in the history of the tournament. However, since then the Match results have been more balanced - and in both the 2005 and 2009 Varsity Matches, OUABC registered defeats by the maximum 9-0 margin. Cambridge University Amateur Boxing Club (CUABC) remains the only side to have achieved this feat since the number of bouts was increased to 9 in the 1950s. Cambridge has now taken to hosting the Match every second year in London, due to seating limitations at Cambridge venues, with the 2009 Match recorded for a documentary aired on Channel 4. The 2010 Varsity Match was hosted by Oxford in the Oxford Town Hall, with Cambridge hosting the 2011 Varsity Match in The Troxy, London.
The running Varsity Match total, as of 2015, now stands at 52-all.
OUABC practices in the Iffley Road University Gym in Oxfordshire.
- Blue (university sport)
- Oxford University Boat Club
- Oxford University Cricket Club
- Oxford University RFC