Quebec boxer Dr. Katia Bissonnette withdrew from the 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship after discovering, with little notice, that she would be facing a male-born transgender opponent, Mya Walmsley. The championship, held in Victoriaville, Quebec, was organized by the Quebec Boxing Federation and the KO-96 boxing club to provide novice fighters with a chance to qualify for the Canadian Championship in December.
Bissonnette claimed she was unaware of her opponent’s transgender status until an hour before the fight. Walmsley, who had moved to Canada from Australia two years ago, allegedly had no prior presence in the local boxing community. According to Bissonnette, Walmsley had boxing experience as a man in Australia, with no recorded fights as a woman in Quebec.
Expressing concerns about safety in the ring, Bissonnette decided to withdraw from the match. With no replacement opponent, Walmsley was declared the winner by default.
Following the incident, Walmsley, known for recent political activism, threatened to “out” Bissonnette and argued against regulations for transgender athletes, advocating for trust in trans athletes.
Bissonnette defended her decision, referencing a 2020 study from the University of Utah that indicated a male blow has 163% more impact than a woman’s, even when adjusted for weight. She highlighted potential physical and psychological risks posed by trans athletes in close-contact sports and called for separate categories for biological males and females.
The situation underscores the ongoing debate over the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports and the need for clear regulations to address concerns raised by participants.
Boxer Dr. Katia Bissonnette of Saguenay refused to step into the ring with transgender opponent Mya Walmsley during the 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship.
And this is how it’s one!! 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/chdvAiAht6
— I Meme Therefore I Am 🇺🇸 (@ImMeme0) November 16, 2023
Female boxer withdraws from Canadian 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship in Victoriaville, Quebec after learning she was due to compete against ‘TRANS’ cheat Mya Walmsley.
Dr. Katia Bissonnette cited ‘physical & psychological risks’ so the man won by default.😒🥊 pic.twitter.com/JG80lQVZnj
— Mr Pål Christiansen (@TheNorskaPaul) November 19, 2023