By Ken Hissner: Currently a Cape Coral, Florida resident Professional Boxing Judge, Carol B. Polis, is being inducted into two Halls of Fames in September and October of this year which had been postponed due to Pandemic.
Polis being the first woman professional boxing judge in the world is going to first be inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on September 29th. Next into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame on October 3rd. I’m proud to say I was a member of the PAB HOF committee voted for her. She already was inducted into the Abington Senior High School Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania.
Polis started judging back in 1973 until 2009. She was the first woman to be granted a judging license from the New York State Athletic Commission. It is believed she was the first woman to judge a professional fight on February 19, 1973, with Philly’s Jimmy Young against Earnie “The Acorn” Shavers at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA, per Ring Magazine: Holiday 1999.
Polis was appointed by then-governor of Pennsylvania Milton Shapp, on February 1, 1973. Since then, she went on to achieve numerous accomplishments. She worked 27 title fights throughout the world. In addition, two non-title fights, one with Mike Tyson and the other Larry Holmes. She also judged both Buster Mathis Sr. and Jr., who, by the way, was with Mike Tyson in Philadelphia.
Polis would start working Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware events until April of 1980 when she traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a WBA World title fight between Ayub Kalule and Emiliano Villa. In November of 1980, she worked Philly’s “Joltin” Jeff Chandler’s winning the title from Julian Solis in Miami, Florida. In August of 1981 she worked a Eusebio Pedroza’s defense in Caracas, Venezuela. In January of 1982, Polis worked a title fight in Argentina and in 1983 in Japan. In December of 1982, she judged the WBA title fight Michael Dokes and Mike Weaver in Las Vegas, NV.
Being a Pennsylvania judge Polis worked many bouts at the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia starting in April of 1977. In December of 1982, she worked a show in this writer’s hometown of Conshohocken, PA, and two months later, she was working one in Las Vegas, NV.
In 1985 Polis would continue judging around the world in such countries as in Italy. In 1978 she judged in France and the UK with several returns to Italy, Japan and France. In 1996 she judged her last title fight outside of the US in Panama. That is the country her favorite boxer Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran lived.
This writer remembers her on a book tour signing for her “The Lady is a Champ” publication. Former world champions Mark Breland and Iran Barkley were there. Coming late was Pernell Whitaker.
She urged me to go talk to Whitaker and knowing his reputation of not being the friendliest boxer out there I hesitated until her third request. I went over with his boxing record in my hand and asked, “what was your toughest fight?” His smart-ass reply was, “all of them!” One of the champs said “he only likes talking to the ladies, Ken” as I was walking away.
“I used to hate it when the fans would yell instructions to the boxers like as if they would hear them and do what they said. I also disliked when the scores were read and the fans did the judging including the writers,” said Polis. She added a famous quote, “The greatness of the boxer is who he fought, not his record.” A champion is one who gets up when he knows he can’t and yet pulls himself up,” said Jack Dempsey. “More people will lose their money if they end up betting on Sonny,” said Muhammad Ali.
“Manny Pacquiao is a left hander with great punching power with short club-like arms, thick legs which is excellent leverage with all of his punches starting at the bottom of his planted feet and end at the tips of his fists being extremely powerful,” said Polis.
In being asked, “Do you judge a title fight the same way as in a normal fight,” she replied, “I judge the fight the same way, but the challenger, in order to win, must decisively take the fight away from the champion!” Adding, “A judge is under a lot of pressure as his score not only determines the fighter’s paycheck but also his standings in the ranks.”
Polis appeared on the TV show “What’s My line?” She also appeared twice on “To Tell the Truth.” She even made an appearance in the “Rocky V” movie as one of the judges. Living in Philadelphia at the time, she was a cancer survivor. Being a personal friend of Ms. Polis and having dated her at one time.
“I’m available for paid speaking engagements with the theme of “With Courage Anything is Possible.” Her presentation is broken into 5 rounds, like boxing, with questions and answers from the audience at the end. Her book will also be for sale. I can say “she knows how to work a room and is an excellent speaker!”
For more information or to schedule a presentation please contact her at 239-984-2120 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org