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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Women's 'white collar' boxing bout
Estelle Ford said she has no safety fears
Two women will defy boxing authorities and step into the ring on Thursday night for an unlicensed fight.

The bout between TV documentary maker Ann Parisio, 41, and City worker Estelle "Model T" Ford, 25, will take place at the Grange City Hotel in Tower Hill, central London.

Dubbed "white collar" boxing, fights involving lawyers, stockbrokers and bankers have already taken place - but until now it has only involved men.

The women, who are trained by professional and amateur boxers, will battle for three, two-minute rounds.

Both Anne and Estelle are exceptionally fit, motivated and talented natural athletes
Real Fight Club founder Alan Lacey
Ms Ford told BBC London she has no fears for her safety.

"All the fighters follow a fitness regime, had thorough training, medical checks before the fight, head gear, gloves, so it's all pretty safe," she said.

Ms Parisio added: "We are professional people who just want to have a go, we are not doing it for money or for glory, we are doing it to test ourselves."

Alan Lacey, who founded the sport's governing body The Real Fight Club, said the organisation has more than 1,000 members.

He said: "This is not a gimmick. Both Anne and Estelle are exceptionally fit, motivated and talented natural athletes, and I can tell you they'll be putting the men on the undercard to shame."

Celebrity fights

The Real Fight Club events are opposed by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Assistant General Secretary Robert Smith said: "We are opposed to all forms of unlicensed boxing - male or female."

The board has also criticised televised celebrity fights and it recently forced the BBC to abandon its celebrity boxing series after threatening to revoke the licences of any trainers or managers who got involved.

Thursday's bout will raise money for the Daisy Fund, which aims to pay for the hospital treatment for four year-old Daisy Lloyd, who was born with a rare form of eye cancer.

BBC London's Paul Curran
"Until now white collar boxing has been a man-only affair."

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