NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Gail Grandchamp won a split decision over Linda Casey Friday night to fulfill her life-long dream of boxing professionally.
Grandchamp, 32, of North Adams, broke down and cried after taking the decision from Casey, 26, of Chicago, in the fight sanctioned by the Massachusetts Boxing Commission.
'I just couldn't believe this day was ever going to happen,' she said after the bout at the Mowhawk Performing Arts Center. 'I thought it over in my mind 100 times. I really don't believe I made it.'
Referee Matt Mullaney and judge Peter Mancuso both scored the fight 40-37 in favor of Grandchamp, and judge Dave Sammataro scored the bout even, 39-39.
The commission had previously withheld approval for Granchamp to fight, saying she had not submitted the proper paperwork on time. For about a year, Grandchamp had sought to fight her first pro bout.
'Gail has all her paperwork in and everything else seems to be a go,' state Boxing Commission spokesman Frank Lehan said before the fight.
The whole thing nearly fell through, however, due to a problem with the ring itself.
'The original ring was too big for the stage,' said fight spokesman Tom Marino. A new ring was completed only hours before the first of six scheduled evening bouts -- all the others involving male boxers.
'If the new ring didn't pass inspection, this would become one of the biggest fiascos ever,' Marino said.