Savoy Howe founded the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club in 1996.
Savoy started boxing at the Toronto Newsboys Boxing Club at Broadview and Eastern in 1992. At that time there were few females in the boxing gym. After training for a year Savoy participated in the first sanctioned bout for women organized by Toronto in 1993. Wearing the Toronto Newsboys t-shirt in competition, Savoy decided that one day she would fight wearing a Toronto Newsgirls t-shirt.
In 1996 when the Toronto Newsboys moved to the corner of Queen and Greenwood and became the Unitas Boxing Club, named after the Newsboys founder, Tony Unitas, Savoy started teaching as a way of supplementing income so she could keep training. She put up posters weekly to advertise the women’s boxing program and within a short time 40 women signed up. Thus began the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club.
Sharing the club with the boys was an important part of the herstory, however, at some point, it became apparent that for women to truly feel comfortable and to be able to focus on themselves, a women-only space was required.
In 1998, Savoy approached Sully’s Boxing Gym in hopes of renting space and time for a women-only class. Sully’s happened to be closed on the weekends and the owner agreed to rent the gym to the women’s boxing program. The Newsgirls operated out of Sully’s for 8 years until Sully’s closed this location in July 2006. While searching out a new home, the Newsgirls trained in Toronto parks for three months before opening their new and permanent home in the east end on November 1, 2006. Their new gym is located at 388 Carlaw, Unit #108.