Rival promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren have spoken out against those opposed to seeing ring card girls grace boxing shows up and down the United Kingdom.
A long-standing tradition, the models involved have recently feared for their jobs as pressure mounted on boxing to go down a similar path to the Professional Darts Corporation.
The PDC, run by Hearn’s father Barry, scrapped the girls for all televised darts shows, whilst Formula 1 motor racing had considered following the same lines before arranging a review of their involvement.
Sara Beverley Jones, who works for both Matchroom and the World Boxing Super Series, stressed to WBN that feminist views should not stop models doing a job they love in a sport they are passionate about.
Jones had said on Thursday: “I’ve had a lot of tweets online from feminists who have been very derogatory towards me and many other promotional models, it’s very patronising. I have experienced the worst comments from them more than anyone else.
“To me, it’s a little bit crazy, obviously there’s a minority out there that are putting in their complaints and that what led to the PDC axing the walk-on-girls. It’s from a majority of women who call themselves ‘feminists’. I don’t like using that word because they’re not speaking for the majority, they’re a minority. They think it’s like a dictatorship, they have their own agenda and as much as they think they’re doing it for the better of everyone I don’t think they are.
“They’re being very narrow-minded. They talk about equality for women in sports but there are more issues within women sport rather than promotional models, we’re not hindering anyone’s career in any sense, shape or forms.”
Hearn and Warren have both now spoken out in favour of keeping the girls as a firm fixture in boxing until told otherwise by the authorities.
“That (removing walk-on girls from the PDC) was a broadcast decision, it is not a PDC decision. Ring card girls are very different,” Hearn told The Daily Star.
“The ring card girls are actually doing a job which they’ve done for many, many years which is letting people know what round is coming up. Obviously that is in a glamorous way.
“The darts walk-on girls are essentially escorting the players to the stage and then getting off.
“They don’t really need to be there. That decision has been made in a changing world and by our broadcasters.
“Are we going to abolish ring card girls in boxing? No. They’re not seen on TV and they are doing a job.
“Unless we get told otherwise by a broadcaster or by the British Boxing Board of Control then they will remain.”
Warred added in his weekly column: “Despite the fact that darts and Formula One have elected to play to the politically correct gallery, I, for one, certainly have no intention of handing the ring girls their cards.
“We introduced a bit of glamour to proceedings, but the girls also have a clearly defined function and a reason for being there, while they are obviously rewarded for their work.
“There is certainly no shortage of young ladies eager to carry the cards. And talking to some of those we employ at my shows they certainly do not consider themselves as sex objects.
“They are simply there to do a job – and it is one they obviously enjoy.
“Look at how many presenters on Sky Sports News, for instance, are particularly attractive women? Does anyone complain about that?
“The bottom line is, it is ridiculous to try and take away a person’s living and I am not going to tell someone to give their job up for as long as they want to do it.
“I am not about to change anything to go along with the latest whim and, if girls holding up a round card really does offend anyone, then just don’t watch it.
“That is what the on-off button is for, after all,” he concluded.