Lafayette

Jun 6, 2013 2:33 PM by Steven Albritton

A World Champion's Rise To The Top

Deirdre Gogarty is a world champion boxer, but her story goes way back to her home country of Ireland. At the time, it was illegal for women to step in the ring.

Her journey to the ring started underground. She was forced to fight in the basement of pubs to pursue her passion. It's a passion she kept from her parents for fear of their disapproval.

"They knew I was going to the gym but they thought I had a boyfriend there. I just left it at that. I didn't want them to know I was boxing," Gogarty said.

With both of her parents being Dentists, Gogarty didn't have a mouthpiece made so they wouldn't find out why she had one made.

Gogarty needed something bigger. She took the risk of her life and picked up everything and left her native Ireland for the United States.

"There were times I questioned my decision, but you make a commitment to something and you got to do whatever it takes to make it happen," she said.

Sticking with that commitment brought her the opportunity of a lifetime. She was put in TV bout against heavy favorite Christie Martin, who was represented by legendary boxing promoter Don King. That night, their fight was the undercard match to the main event featuring "Iron" Mike Tyson.

"It was a big risk but sometimes that's just what you have to do. I've never turned down a fight. I went ahead and did it and it turned out to be a great fight for women's boxing," she said, "it wasn't a very welcoming entrance to the ring. They'd seem some lackluster bouts. They didn't want to see women fight."

The fight lasted six rounds. Heavy, bruising punches thrown both ways. The crowd expecting to see men dominate the ring, went home instead amazed by what they saw. The fight of the night was between two women.

"They wanted to see Tyson and then it turned out to be a fight that had everybody on their feet

Although Gogarty lost the fight, the bout itself is considered "the" fight that brought the world to women's boxing.
"It kind of felt like all the hard work had been validated because now we got the recognition that it deserved." Gogarty said.

The story of her life and rise to the top of her sport was recently published in book entitled, "My Call To The Ring." Co-written by Deirdre Gogarty and Darrelyn Saloom.

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