‘I was told this was impossible’: the long fight to get women’s boxing on TV

A lack of broadcast coverage has left female fighters underexposed and underpaid. But the Olympics and talented athletes have changed the status quo

When Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent met in the ring in New York City’s Madison Square Garden last month for the WBO featherweight title, there weren’t any measured jabs to start off the fight. They came out swinging. After all, they had no time to lose. Hardy and Vincent had 10 two-minute rounds to prove that women’s boxing deserved to be on center stage, that it deserved to be televised.

The rematch between the featherweights was the first fight of a prime-time triple-header on HBO, kicking off the night before the main event between Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Hardy-Vincent was the second women’s fight the network had aired in its 45 years of covering the sport. It is also more than likely the final one. In 2019, HBO will stop covering live boxing altogether.

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