DAWN QUINTON, from Camden, New Jersey boxed professionally in the late 1990s and has worked in law enforcement as a PATCO transit officer for many years.
Philadelphia Inquirer * November 7, 1997
Boxer Is Set To Fulfill A Dream
Dawn Quinton Of Haddonfield Is Following
A Family Tradition As She Makes Her Pro Debut.
At 9 p.m. on weekdays, Dawn Quinton of Haddonfield is usually reporting to her job as a PATCO transit officer for the Delaware Port Authority.
Tonight, Quinton is taking off.
That's because she'll make her professional boxing debut on the inaugural Philly Phight Night card at the CoreStates Center.
The event features nine fights, and will be headlined by a USBA light heavyweight title match between champion Will ``Stretch'' Taylor of Philadelphia and Ernest ``M-16'' Mateen of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Quinton, 28, a Camden native, will take on Francine Washington of Newark, N.J., in a four-round heavyweight bout.
Both Quinton and Washington are 5-foot-6, 175 pounds and southpaw.
``I'm sure I'll have some butterflies as I walk out to the ring, but when the bell sounds, it'll be time to take care of business,'' said Quinton, who's been a PATCO transit officer for the last 4 1/2 years. ``I'm too determined to lose. This is a dream come true.''
With a father and a grandfather who boxed in the amateur ranks, and an uncle who had a brief pro career, Quinton grew up around fighters and developed a love for the sport at a young age.
It wasn't until April 1996, however, that she was struck by the idea of turning pro. That's when she saw Christy Martin, the most publicized female boxer in the world, fight on television.
``I looked at her and thought she wasn't bad, but that she wasn't one of the greatest,'' said Quinton.
When she decided to take up the sport, Quinton weighed 235 pounds, but she slimmed down by working with legendary trainer Georgie Benton at Joe Hand's Gym near Girard and Front Streets.
She had to fit in the training around her full-time job, which involves patrolling the trains and parking lots on the high-speed line that runs between South Jersey and Philadelphia.
``When I first walked into the gym, I got a lot of stares,'' recalled Quinton, who is single. ``But I gained respect, and instead of being a female in the gym, I was a boxer. It was the same thing with being a police officer. I was a female officer, but once we got out there and they saw I could do the job equal to them, I was an officer and not just a female officer.''
Quinton said that there have been only a few occasions where she has had to prove her mettle on the streets.
``I was underestimated because I was a woman, but after I arrested them, they apologized,'' she said.
In recent days, Quinton has been receiving a different kind of notoriety.
One day this week, two television news crews interviewed her as she wrapped up her training for her pro debut. Her family will be on hand for the fight.
``All of this attention that has come has been a shock, but I'm enjoying it,'' she said. ``My father jokes about it. He said all of the men in the family fought, but the female in the family turns pro and gets all of this attention. It's kind of ironic.''
Dawn Quinton, 1-1-0, who currently is a police sergeant for the Delaware River Port Authority Police of NJ/PA. Dawn boxed in 1997-1998, and had two professional fights.
WBAN asked Dawn how she had gotten into the sport and she said, "My father and grandfather fought in the Golden Gloves. I lived in Camden, New Jersey, which is the poorest city in the state. My father started training me at the age of 12 for fun. I dabbled on and off in boxing until I was 23 and began studying the Japanese Art of Aikido. By the time I was 26 years old I weighed 235 lbs on a 5'7" solid frame so I got back into boxing to lose weight. I started training at a gym in Cherry Hill, NJ called, "Better Health thru Boxing." Six months later I met a gentleman who convinced me to train for professional boxing. Approximately one year after that on November 7, 1997 and at 170lbs I had my first fight at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA. against Francine Washington. I won that bout by a 3rd round TKO. After that fight I changed trainers and gyms. I trained at Joe Hand's Gym in Philadelphia by the legendary George Benton who was training heavyweight fighter, Kirk Johnson, at the time. I also trained at the legendary Champs Gym in Philadelphia. On August 28, 1998 I had my second fight against Kathy Rivers at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City NJ. I lost that fight by unanimous decision."
I asked Dawn why she stopped boxing after those two fights and she told WBAN, "I disappeared from the scene because I was disgusted. I woke up and saw the politics involved in boxing and felt I was being manipulated. I was told that Kathy Rivers was also fighting her second fight. I found out that it was her fourth fight the night before the fight. I was told nothing about my opponent not even her height. I know now that I was poorly managed and didn't train properly for someone of her height and reach. As you know these factors are important in preparing and training for a fight. I respect women's boxing too much to be used as a punching bag."
Dawn still trains off and on at Mascarenhas' Boxing and Tae Kwon Do Karate Gym in Berlin, New Jersey. Dawn said that she will occasionally make appearances at area gyms working with young female fighters in particular and pass on her knowledge and experiences in boxing.
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