Dr. Katia Bissonnette and ‘Mya’ Walmsley
Dr. Katia Bissonnette’s male opponent criticized her for speaking to the press about why she didn’t want to fight him
A female boxer withdrew from a Quebec championship fight after learning that her competitor was a man claiming to be a woman.
On November 15, Dr. Katia Bissonnette revealed why she stepped down from the 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship in Victoriaville, Quebec upon discovering that her opponent, “Mya” Walmsley, is a biological male just hours before she was set to fight him. Bissonnette had been set to face him during the October 27 and 29 competitions.
“I came down from my hotel room to head towards the room where all the boxers were warming up,” Bissonnette told Reduxx. “My coach suddenly took me aside and told me he received information by text message, which he had then validated, that my opponent was not a woman by birth. We did not have any other additional information.”
It was safety concerns which caused her to withdraw from the match: Bissonnette cited a 2020 study by the University of Utah which revealed the differences between strength in men and women. The research showed that “a male blow has 163% more impact than a women’s, even adjusted for weight.”
“In the group studied, the weakest man remains physically superior to the strongest woman,” Bissonnette added.
She explained that if men are allowed to compete against women in combat sports, women will soon leave the sport rather than fight against men.
“Women shouldn’t have to bear the physical and psychological risks brought by a man’s decisions regarding his personal life and identity,” Bissonnette continued. “There should be two categories: biological male and female.”
According to Bissonnette, Boxing Canada rules forbade the Quebec Boxing Federation from informing competitors if they will face biological men who claim to be women to prevent the men from being “discriminated against.”
“However, after confirmation, this policy only applies when a sex change has taken place before puberty,” she explained.
Walmsley, an Australian, moved to Canada two years ago to attend Concordia University. His fight with Bissonnette would have been his first recorded fight in Canada against a woman. It is unclear if he fought in the women’s category in Australia.
“[Walmsley] would have boxed as a man in Australia,” Bissonnette said. “In Quebec, on his file, it is mentioned that he had 0 fights as a woman.”
The Quebec Boxing Federation justified their decision by saying that they had chosen an appropriate referee for the match. Following Bissonnette’s withdrawal from the competition, Walmsley won by default.
However, Walmsley did not seem content with his victory, instead condemning Bissonnette for speaking to the press about Walmsley being a male, and Bissonnette’s decision not to fight.
“Rather than turning to me, my coach or the Quebec Olympic Boxing Federation for more information, she decided to turn directly to the media to out me,” Walmsley whined.
“This kind of behavior puts athletes at risk of being excluded or receiving personal attacks based on hearsay … I am afraid that this type of accusation could eventually be used to delegitimize athletes in the women’s category and justify arbitrary and invasive regulations,” he continued, apparently choosing not to address Bissonnette’s safety concerns.
Indeed, Bissonnette’s concerns are well founded in both scientific research and incidents where women did face biological men claiming to be women in combat sports.
A notorious case is that of Fallon Fox, a male cage fighter who claims to be a woman, who openly posted about how he enjoys hurting women in his fights.
“For the record, I knocked [two] women out,” he bragged, in response to criticism for participating in the women’s division of the violent sport.
“One woman’s skull was fractured, the other not. And just so you know, I enjoyed it. See, I love smacking up TE[R]Fs in the cage who talk transphobic nonsense. It’s bliss. Don’t be mad,” he gloated.
TERF, which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” is an insult used by transgender activists to describe any woman who will not say that biological males are, or can become, women.
Many female athletes are standing up to the LGBT mob to reclaim women’s sports for biological women.
One champion is former University of Kentucky and All-American swimmer Riley Gaines. She has made dozens of media appearances in recent years, bringing attention to the NCAA’s decision to allow William “Lia” Thomas to swim against females. Predictably, Thomas went from being one of the lowest-ranked male swimmers in the country to an above-average female one, even winning the 500-yard freestyle national championship.
Shining a spotlight on Alberta athletes, sport leaders
Alberta’s government is continuing to support the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, so it can showcase the province’s sport legacy for years to come.
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of more than 1,600 Albertans, from Olympic gold medallists to community sport leaders. To continue supporting this long-standing legacy, the government is providing $302,500 to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Museum. This funding will support the operations of the facility and the organization’s management and delivery of the annual Alberta Sport Recognition Awards.
“Alberta’s future is stronger when we understand and preserve our history and celebrate our successes. Places like the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame help us do just that. I’m proud our government is supporting it, as it spotlights Albertans with incredible athletic achievements and community contributions.”
“The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has long been a cherished attraction in our community, offering Albertans inspiration and a window into the remarkable legacy of our athletes and community sport leaders. With our government’s investment in this institution, Red Deer’s tourism will undoubtedly grow, bringing significant benefits to our community and surrounding areas.”
“I am pleased to see the government’s support for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame continue. This organization enriches the sport community in central Alberta, inspires the next generation of athletes and preserves our province’s history in sport excellence.”
The Hall of Fame provides a space where the accomplishments of the sport community in Alberta are preserved and inspires the province’s future athletes and community leaders. Albertans recognized in the Hall of Fame include Melody Davidson, who was inducted in 2008 for her excellence in hockey, serving as a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning head coach for Team Canada women’s hockey, and Lanny McDonald, who was inducted in 1993 following a long and successful career in professional hockey. Last year, 12 inductees were nominated, including Patrick Jarvis and Theresa Maxwell for their success in Paralympics and volleyball.
This funding will ensure that Albertans can continue to celebrate the province’s turning-point moments and growing legacy in sport.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from the Alberta government. Their funding has played a pivotal role in sustaining the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, allowing us to preserve and celebrate the rich sporting history of our province. This support not only enhances our ability to showcase the achievements of the athletes, teams and sport champions but also reinforces the significant role sport plays in our community.”
“Red Deer proudly stands as a hub for sports excellence, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame plays a pivotal role in preserving and promoting our province’s rich athletic legacy. The City of Red Deer is grateful for the Alberta government’s continued support, ensuring that this institution continues to inspire future generations by showcasing the remarkable achievements of our athletes and community leaders.”
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame helps grow tourism in Red Deer and the surrounding area by attracting visitors to the facility to enjoy interactive sport-oriented games and activities and sport memorabilia. In the past two years, an estimated 20,000 people have visited the Hall of Fame annually. Exhibits on different sports and sport organizations, including the Hall of Fame Gallery that showcases the athletes and sport builders who have been inducted annually since 1957, are also available to view.
Deal With It: When St. Patrick Talked His Way Out Of Montreal
Coming soon, our latest book “Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed Hockey”. With my son Evan, we look back to Espo to the Bruins (1967), Gretzky to the Kings (1988) , and St. Patrick to the Avalanche (1995), Deal With It tracks the back story behind the most impactful trades in modern NHL history. With detailed analysis and keen insight into these and five other monumental transactions, Deal With It recalls the moments when history was changed. Plus a ranking of the Top 25 Deals in NHL History.
One of the most memorable occurred 24 years ago, on December 6, 1995: Patrick Roy and Mike Keane from the Montreal Canadiens to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko. Trading, arguably, the greatest goalie the Canadiens history was the culmination of organizational dysfunction from which it has yet to recover. It begins with the hiring of former Habs Mario Tremblay and Rejean Houle when the Canadiens stumbled entering the 1994-1995 season. It started off well. Then on a November night in Montreal…
“With the team cooling off from their torrid start under (Mario) Tremblay, the Habs were at home for a Saturday night affair hosting a powerful Red Wings team on its way to breaking the NHL single-season wins record set by the 1976-77 Montreal team (62 to that club’s 60). With the closing of the Forum, the arena Roy had once dominated, Patrick’s dominance had become less-than-surefire. (He came in that night at 238-80-34 all-time at the Forum.) All that rich history didn’t help Roy that particular night and before a national TV audience the wheels came off for hundreds of thousands to witness.
Earlier in the day, Roy had had an impromptu breakfast at Moe’s Diner in Montreal with Detroit goalie Mike Vernon, who’d himself been forced out of Calgary after winning a Cup. Roy described his predicament. “It might be time for you to ask for a trade,” Vernon suggested to him. Fast forward to the notorious game. Getting bludgeoned by the Wings attack, Roy had given up nine goals before the game hit its halfway mark. Getting mock cheers for one of his few saves on the night- prompted a seething Roy replied with mock acknowledgement to the crowd. Clearly overwhelmed, Roy was kept in the nets as Tremblay let his star goalie get roasted by Scotty Bowman, who enjoyed getting revenge on his former player Tremblay for some remarks he’d made about Bowman’s coaching style.
Finally hooked after the ninth marker, Roy glared menacingly at his coach as he walked by on the bench. Stopping to take care of more business, he walked back across and, face-to-face, told a distressed-looking Corey that he had just played his last game with the Canadiens. As Roy walked past Tremblay on his way to the end of the bench, Roy and Tremblay glared eye-to-eye. Roy told him in French, “You understand?” This very public moment overshadowed what remains the worst home loss in the club’s storied history, an 11-1 spanking from Detroit. TV highlights that night across North America showed the stare-down.“The whole city was talking about it,” recalled Montreal native Eric Engels. “The team had suspended Roy and said they were going to trade him, and I just remember saying to the bus driver that they didn’t have to go this way, that they could salvage the situation.”
The following days saw the controversy erupt even further. Just months after plucking Houle and Tremblay from outside the organization, Corey sided with his inexperienced newbies and told Roy he would be getting dealt even when Roy apologized for his spat and vowed to mend fences. Typical of the climate at the time for even superior players who “disrespected” the organization, Roy was persona non grata in a matter of days. In his book, Serge Savard: Forever Canadien”, Savard explained the inevitability of the deal: “Patrick had become too important in the club. He took up too much space in the dressing room, had too much influence on the coach. Over the previous years, I had to handle him with kid gloves. I still had the same admiration for him as I did when we won the Stanley Cup in 1986 and 1993, where he played a determining role. But a change had become necessary. The team revolved around him too much. For the good of everyone, he needed a change of scenery.”
Team captain Mike Keane didn’t help lower the temperature at the Forum by claiming the man who wore the “C” with the Canadiens didn’t necessarily need to speak French and that he wouldn’t be bothering to learn it because the dressing room mostly communicated in English (true even in the most predominately French-based Habs teams such as the 1993 Cup winner that boasted no less than dozen Quebecois). Both Keane and Roy would go on the trading block together, joining similarly exiled pieces like Chris Chelios and Guy Carbonneau (the captain of the ’93 Cup winner, dealt after 1993-94 to the Blues for Jim Montgomery, after flashing the middle finger to a photographer who had eavesdropped on him playing a round of golf). Carbonneau’s successor at captain, Kirk Muller— an Ontario boy through and through— expressed how honoured and proud he was to wear the fabled letter patch. But he, too, would find himself gone to the Islanders partway through 1994-95. In other words, almost no one was sacred in Ron Corey’s world. Only four days after his dressing-down of the team president and head coach, Roy was notified by Houle that he had been traded.
Just like that, Montreal had parted with its franchise goalie as if it were still the “Original Six” days and players that got in management’s crosshairs were expendable. How traumatic was the deal for the rookie GM Houle? He’ll never tell. “And that is what I intend to do forever so that I don’t have to look back at a time that was difficult for me.” As for Roy, his take was “It was clear from the organization that they had made their decision. I said, ‘Okay, I’ll accept my mistake.’ I agree I was the one who made that thing happen on that Saturday, and both parties agreed it was in the best interests of us that we go different directions. I understand that you can’t put ten years aside and give it a little tap and it’s all gone. I lived through lots of good things in Montreal, but, again, it’s a turn I accept.”
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.
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