By  on February 2, 1994

NEW YORK -- Those who doubt women are really taking to boxing should have witnessed the donnybrook at the opening of a new fitness club here Monday night.

The opening night party for the Broadcast Boxing Club, a co-ed facility at 41 West 57th St. that offers boxing as the workout of choice, was sponsored by Everlast for Women, and it was mainly women who took to the ring.

"Boxing for women is not about being rough or tough. It's a sense of empowerment," said Rita Cinque, vice president of Everlast for Women. "Your dad never taught you how to fight. Now you don't have to punch like a girl. It's good to know you can look out for yourself."

The event drew about 150 people, about half of them female, Fight great Sugar Ray Leonard, women's boxing champion Chris Kreuz Christopher and some lesser-known boxing enthusiasts -- most of them women -- got a chance to spar with tabloid TV king and club owner Geraldo Rivera. There were no knockdowns.

Everlast for Women also provided 25 amateur women boxers who demonstrated ring techniques. All of them, of course, wore Everlast's women's activewear. The cotton-based collection consists of sweats, crop tops, bike shorts, boxers, unitards, classic boxers and other durable separates.

The firm began shipping a new streetwear line in December.

George Horowitz, president and chief executive officer of Everlast for Women, said his 18-month-old company finished its first year of business with sales of $15 million. Volume for 1994 is expected to hit $20 million, according to Cinque. She said the line is being sold in 18,000 gyms, health clubs and stores in the U.S. and 2,500 in Canada.

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