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Jane Couch calls for women to box three-minute rounds and reflects on being inducted into the Hall of Fame

Jane Couch explains how entering the Hall of Fame has vindicated the hard battles of her career: "I was right all along. They just wouldn't listen"; Couch believes now that women's boxing should move to three-minute rounds: "I've got it legal - so get pushing it forward and moving it on"

Jane Couch, the trailblazer who will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, believes that women’s boxing should adopt three-minute rounds.

Currently the standard for women's fights is two minutes with 10 rounds the championship distance, rather than 12 as it is for men.

That, Couch believes, should change.

"Even in my day, three-minute rounds was always around. Layla McCarter boxed 12 threes a few times in Vegas. So I think if you want equality then you should be doing the same really and if you want the same sort of money and the same status as the men," Couch, a five-time world champion, told Sky Sports.

"When Layla was boxing in America she would regularly box three-minute rounds and sanctioning bodies backed her. I just don't see why there can't be three-minute rounds when everyone's banging the drum for equality, well then do it."

Couch speaks with authority on the subject, having won her courtroom battle with the British Boxing Board of Control forced women's boxing to be legalised in the UK.

"I mean [now] it's not illegal to box three-minute rounds," Couch said. "If both opponents agree to three-minute rounds [do it].

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"I've got it here, now I've got it legal so get pushing it forward and moving it on."

Jane Couch (right) hits Lucia Rijker during their women's light welterweight bout at the Staples Center on June 21, 2003 in Los Angeles
Image: Couch hits Lucia Rijker during their clash at the Staples Center

The healthy state of women's boxing in the UK is part of Couch's legacy. For her, being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a final vindication for the battles she endured just to box, as she did for a 14-year career which ended in 2008.

"I still can't really believe it now. It's amazing," she said. "It made up for all the hard times really, I think.

"It was just thinking to yourself well you got the MBE for services to boxing and now you're in the Hall of Fame, even though they wouldn't let you box, it's sort of like a victory.

"I was trying to tell everybody all those years ago that women's boxing was big," she added. "They just wouldn't listen.

"I was right all along."

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