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Monroe native Alex Love may have to wear a skirt in the ring. (97.3 KIRO FM/Bill Swartz)
listen Listen: Will female boxers have to wear skirts in the Olympics?
Monroe native Alex Love may have to wear a skirt in the ring if she makes it to the London Olympics to compete in boxing.

Women's boxing makes its debut as an Olympic sport at the 2012 London Games. Alex Love hopes to represent the United States, and hopes she's not wearing a red, white, and blue skirt in the ring.

Love is a 22-year-old Monroe native who played basketball at Interlake High School in Bellevue, then Skagit Community College. Just 5 feet tall and 109 pounds, Love took up boxing to get stronger, so opponents wouldn't muscle her around the basketball floor.

In just two short years, Love has become one of the best American female boxers in the 112 pound weight class. Her dream is to win a gold medal in London next summer.

I watched Love work out on the heavy and speed bags at Ring Sports United in Bellevue. She and Seattle's Queen Underwood are preparing for the U.S. boxing trials sometime in February.

"There are eight of us girls left in three weights. We've all worked really hard to get there, and are good in our own way," Love said. "I think styles make fights, and on that day, I'm going to be ready to go."

Love's coach Deonne Hansen has not worked with a more determined and dedicated person. There are days Hansen has to force Love to stop training to give her body a rest.

My wife Connie doesn't like the idea of women punching women. She doesn't like watching guys socking guys either.

Love said, "It's not that we're trying to beat the men in anything. We just want an opportunity to box because women can fight. I used to hear guys yelling during my bouts, 'she belongs at home.' Women just want to be athletes."

Right now the male dominated Amateur International Box Association is debating a hot-button issue. Should women be required to wear skirts when they box in the Olympics? One AIBA official says they want to differentiate the men and women's competitors.

"I'm short, so a skirt might make me seem a little taller," Love quipped. "I think it's kind of a joke. They want to see the female contour because you can't already see it yet. Honestly, I don't know what they're thinking. It's ridiculous. We don't know when the Olympic trials are, but yet they're talking about skirts."

Whether she's wearing a skirt, trunks, or sweats, Love is a young woman on a mission.

"I think my will is strong. Put that together with a little confidence in the ring. I think that's a combination for winning."

Follow Bill Swartz, 710 ESPN Seattle

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Will female boxers have to wear skirts in the Olympics?

Thursday, Nov 17, 2011

Monroe native Alex Love may have to wear a skirt in the ring if she makes it to the London Olympics to compete in boxing.
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