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Bendigo Mayor says ‘careful consideration’ needed after ring girls scrapped from Jeff Horn fight

EXCLUSIVE: The Mayor of Bendigo Council has called for “careful consideration” over the use of ring girls, following criticism from other councillors which saw women temporarily sidelined at last night’s Battle of Bendigo.

Objections from local Councillors saw ring girls at the Jeff Horn v Michael Zerafa fight dumped and replaced with men for several bouts.

At least two members of the City of Bendigo Council spoke out against the use of ring girls, who hold up the round cards during the event and take part in other promotional events.

As a result, the three women were replaced with ‘ring boys’, including the brother of a woman who was supposed to take part.

Councillor Jennifer Alden told the Bendigo Advertiser newspaper “stereotypes such as these are not respectful of women, and being respectful of women is key to eliminating other forms of violence, especially violence towards women and children”.

Another Councillor Yvonne Wrigglesworth told the Advertiser ring girls fueled “an outdated and misogynistic concept” that females were prizes for men who beat each other senseless.

The ring boys were met with boos from the sell-out crowd, prompting organisers to send out the ring girls for later bouts.

Following the event, Bendigo Mayor Margaret O’Rourke praised the promoters for incorporating men and women into proceedings.

“Overall, the promoters staged a very well-run event, featuring both male and female boxers on the card, and it was a great economic success for our city,” Cr O’Rourke told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“Although the ring girls were ultimately reinstated, the City acknowledges the promoter’s efforts to try and manage differing community views in response to concerns about the use of ring girls,” she said.

“For any events we attract in the future, the City will seek to have more detailed discussions with event promoters to ensure careful consideration is given to how events will be staged”, she said.

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