It is easy to forget just how recently women’s boxing was not merely disparaged within the UK, but illegal.

Only 25 years ago, female boxers were not, legitimately anyway, permitted to step into a boxing ring in this country.

In 1996, a 116-year ban on women boxing in the amateurs had been lifted but when Jane Couch, Britain’s first female professional, wanted to fight in her home country, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) declined her licence request saying women were too “emotionally unstable”.

It is hard to comprehend that such anachronistic language and thinking were so commonplace within the sport less than three decades ago.

Couch, in 1998, eventually won her battle to fight in the UK – although only after the BBBoC’s lawyers argued women’s menstrual cycles made them too “unstable” and “vulnerable” to box – but opinions on women boxing, both within the sport and amongst the wider public, remained overwhelmingly negative.

Scotland has been even slower to catch up with the times than much of the rest of the UK with female boxers still almost unheard of for well over a decade following that decision.

This is why next weekend is so significant, not only for women’s boxing in this country, but for the sport as a whole. On Saturday, Boxing Scotland will host their first all-female event.

The history-making evening will see Scotland take on Canada at Bowhill Miners Boxing Club in Fife with 15 bouts on the card. That is 15 female international-standard Scottish fighters, a number which only a few years ago would have seemed fanciful.

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The headliner on the card will be Niamh Mitchell, the teenager who last year made her own piece of history by becoming Scotland’s first female European Junior champion.

Mitchell is far too young to remember when female boxing was illegal but she has seen a considerable shift of opinion even during her short career.

There remains much about women’s sport, and the inequality it still battles, that is dispiriting. In so many sports, women get paid less, receive less media coverage, enjoy fewer sponsorship deals and generally, are afforded less respect than their male counterparts.

There is much work still needed to see improvements.

But that only serves to highlight quite how remarkable the rise of women’s boxing both within Scotland and worldwide has been.

In this small country, the fact we have already had a female boxing champion has been the most useful catalyst for pushing the sport into the news.

That Hannah Rankin, who won her first world title in 2019 before regaining and adding another in 2021, has written herself into Scottish boxing’s history books by becoming this country’s first female world champion would be enough of an accolade.

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But that the 32-year-old works tirelessly to both encourage and inspire young Scottish girls into the sport that has given her so much is a bonus that should be fully appreciated.

Globally, too, women’s boxing is growing faster than almost any other sport. Last year, when Katie Taylor narrowly defeated Amanda Serrano in the headline fight at Madison Square Garden in New York in front of almost 20,000 fans, it was billed as the biggest female boxing match of all time.

The pair, along with the likes of Claressa Shields, have ensured there is now a level of respect for women’s boxing that was unimaginable when female fighters were being told their periods made them unfit to be in the ring.

And so to be headlining the biggest shows and selling out the biggest venues should never be taken for granted.

Every female fighter who has battled sexism or derision has played their part in this rise.

But the point boxing is at now is only because of the countless women who refused to be cowed by the antiquated views on them as athletes and their sport.

If Couch had not fought tooth and nail for her right to box in the UK, the sport would likely be well behind where it is in Britain today.

If Scotland didn’t have Rankin who, in headlining the Hydro in Glasgow last year proved there is the appetite for women’s boxing, we would not be where we are.

And if we didn’t have these hundreds of young girls in Scotland who have joined boxing clubs, despite the fact they are likely to be heavily outnumbered by boys in their gym, Boxing Scotland would not be anywhere near the point of hosting an all-female show.

We will, all going to plan, have significant boxing success in just two months when Josh Taylor, one of the world’s great boxers, aims to successfully defend his WBO light-welterweight title against Teofimo Lopez in New York.

The all-female card in Fife will be far lower profile and in a far less glamorous location but, in so many ways, it’s the most significant Scottish boxing event of the year.

Women’s boxing may still not be mainstream and universally accepted, but it is not far off.

Whether you love boxing or are merely a champion for women’s sport, next weekend is certainly worth taking note of.