Women's boxing on the ropes

16.09.17: THE LIMP BODY of boxer Joan Carson was carried from the ring by her weeping husband last night when her title fight ended in tragedy.

Carson was killed by a blow from Melissa 'Blondie' Curtis in the second round of their European Heavyweight Championship bout at the Nynex Arena in Manchester.

Carson's death stunned the partisan audience into silence as her opponent was helped from the ring.

Born in Bolton, 'Kitty' Carson is the first woman to be killed in the ring, resulting in inevitable calls to ban women's boxing.

Tex Carson, her American husband and trainer, says a ban is not the answer. 'Joanie believed it was her right to fight and she would not want this right taken from others. Women's boxing has come too far for it to turn back.'

Women's boxing has certainly come far in terms of global viewing figures. The promoter Donna Wise boasted earlier this year that as many people were tuning into the women's divisions as to the men's. This has added to the pressure from male boxers ­ many of whom have always thought that fighting was best left to men ­ to have women excluded from the ring.

'We have already had two unborn babies damaged because their mothers fought without knowing they were pregnant,' said Gay Howard, the head of boxing at International Cable Television.

'Nothing was surer than that a woman fighter would eventually be killed and that the public revulsion would be 10 times greater than if it had been a man,' Howard said.

'Our sport can't afford this tr