Sharon Anyos

Sharon Anyos

Sharon Anyos official website

Current WBC & WBF Featherweight Champion

As Australia's only female World Boxing Champion, and a very 'photogenic subject', Sharon is popular with the media. She has made several appearance on television, including notable appearances on the Sam & The Fatman and The Panel, and has been the subject of numerous articles published in national and local newspapers, magazines and sporting journals. These include - Who Weekly, The Australian, Courier Mail, Gold Coast Bulletin, various Sporting Journals and many more! Please click on an image to display the article.

Sharon has also recently made appearances on Today/Tonight (Channel 7), In The First Person (Sky Channel) and the Today Show (Channel 9) and is also on Inside Cover of The Fist Magazine featuring a story written by Tony Nobbs in relation to Sharon's World Title Bout.


ABC Australian Story
The Wild Thing

When Sharon 'Wild Thing' Anyos stepped into the ring on Friday September 22, she was fighting for more than a win against her Dutch opponent.

WBC featherweight champion Sharon, was not only defending her world title. She was fighting to create a new career beyond boxing.

As the first and only women's WBC champion she finds it almost impossible to find opponents in Australia. Prejudice against her sport, legal hurdles and extremely low financial rewards have pushed Sharon and her partner Steve Boyce into promoting her own event at the Gold Coast.

Growing up in a family of martial artists, where even her mother is a black belt in karate, Sharon found that the sport that brought her closer to her trainer-father was also something she did extremely well. She got to the top in karate, kick-boxing and muay thai, then moved into traditional boxing. Her chance came when family friend and heavyweight boxing champion Joe Bugner agreed to put Sharon on an under-card fight when he fought in his 1998 comeback fight.

In a scene that could have come from the film Million Dollar Baby, Sharon sought help from legendary fighter and trainer Jeff Fenech. Fenech, a staunch opponent of women's boxing, agreed to help her after she insisted on training in his Sydney gym and impressed him.

Her career hit its peak last year when she won the coveted WBC title, joining the likes of Muhammad Ali, Kostya Tszyu and Fenech himself.

But success has come only through stubborn refusal to accept the limits of this male dominated sport. Against the advice of everyone, including Joe Bugner, Sharon and Steve, with the promise of support from family and friends, will take a huge financial risk with the ultimate challenge.

Australian Story followed Sharon and Steve as she prepared for her make or break mission. Along with the exhilaration and determination there were tears and hurts as they found out who their friends were and how much pressure they could take. (Credit: ABC Australian Story).


The Wild Thing - Transcript
PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT: Monday, 25 September , 2006

JOE BUGNER, PRESENTER: Hello, I'm Joe Bugner, undefeated world boxing heavyweight champion. Tonight Australian Story is on a young woman who's one of the most determined and one of the toughest ladies I've ever met. Sharon 'The Wild Thing' Anyos. She will be defending her WBC championship belt whilst trying to carve out a brand new career. And let me tell you something, she's one tough watch it. This is Sharon Anyos's story.

SHARON ANYOS: I would say I was a tomboy probably up until I was about, probably 16, 17. And it wasn't probably until my mid 20s that I really started to make a big effort when it came to the feminine side. And I think it's very special to feel like a princess and get done up and preened and primped and made to look beautiful. The feminine side dominates pretty much all of my life. When I step into the ring, it's a completely different story. Don't worry, I still worry about how I look when I'm in the ring because I still want to look really pretty and I still want to look really feminine and I want to look like a lady, it doesn't matter what I'm doing.

JOE BUGNER, FRIEND: Anybody who deserves to make a few quid out of this terribly tough sport, is Sharon Anyos. And I think this country, this country Australia, should in some ways recognise what she has achieved. She's the first one to do it, to win a WBC title. It's phenomenal.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: Starting the preparation for Sharon's world title defence coming up on September the 22nd. Sharon, she's the WBC world champion and we can't get fights for her in Australia. So what we're going to try to do is put on an event where Sharon is the main event.

SHARON ANYOS: I guess when you look at promoting the event as well as fighting on it, it does not feel like there is enough hours in a day and enough days in a week. So, yeah, the pressure's already started for us.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: Winning a world title is a Mt Everest. Defending a world title is a Mt Everest. Promoting a show and defending your world title is like two Mt Everests.

SHARON ANYOS: To win the WBC world title is a pretty big step in anyone's life. To be able to defend it successfully, is what really makes you a world champion. To lose this fight could be very detrimental to me as a person and what my goals and achievements are.

BERYL ANYOS, MOTHER: When Sharon was born, I promised that baby that it wouldn't be a girl the world could walk over. So we grew her up with strength. I did such a good job of it that by the time Sharon was eight, I was in the kitchen ripping my hair out saying, "My goodness, what have I created?"

SHARON ANYOS: My father was a karate instructor. My mum was his number one student. I had three elder brothers, so I learnt pretty early on how to fight for what I wanted. The biggest thing to me was to see my dad proud and smile and give me that little bit of affection because I'd done something really well. It was something I really craved when I was young. I said, "Dad, I just want to be a world champion." He's like, "Well, what at?" "I don't care. I just want to be a world champion." That's all I wanted.

LES ANYOS, FATHER: I always told all my kids that, you know, "Stick with me, kid, I'll make you a star," and stuff like that, that was my saying. And, well, I did. I made her one.

SHARON ANYOS: So I won titles in kickboxing and then got involved in Muay Thai and then we stepped over into boxing.

JOE BUGNER, FRIEND: That's when I first saw Sharon working out on the bags and doing a bit of sparring with some of the young fellows there. I thought to myself, "Jeez, that's a little tearaway then." So I looked at Les and Les said, "Joe, that's my daughter Sharon." Les actually asked, "Do you think we could put Sharon on the undercard "on the Joe Bugner world title?" I said, "Yes, I can't see any problems."

SHARON ANYOS: That happened in 1998, was my first boxing debut.

BERYL ANYOS, MOTHER: After that, she said, "Mum," she said, "I've got a dilemma. I'd love to be a professional athlete, but I know the sensible thing is to keep your pay coming in. You know, money coming in every week." And I said, "Sharon, you've got a choice, love." I said, "So, when you're 90, do you want to tell your grandchildren you were, or you could've been?" And she said, "Mum,” she said “you make things so easy." And I said, "That's why they gave me the name Mum."

LES ANYOS, FATHER: All of a sudden, boxing was taking over my life. And Sharon was taking over my life. I went into hock with finance companies and stuff like that. Sold whatever I had. And then I sold me boxing ring which was my pride and joy.

SHARON ANYOS: If we wanted to make it in boxing, we had to go where boxing was big. Everybody sort of chipped in and before I knew it, Dad and I were heading off to America and it became a three-month stint. Well I won three titles in America against an American, with all American judges. It was the hardest fight I've ever had.

BERYL ANYOS, MOTHER: I have a lot of people that look down at me because obviously I've done something wrong as a mother by letting my daughter become a fighter. I say to those people, you know, that I'd rather my daughter do her fighting other than being a bored kid that could've ended up dead in the gutter or on the streets like so many others have. So I have no qualms with my daughter fighting. I'm fully, 500% behind her.

JOE BUGNER, FRIEND: People have often asked me, "Joe, what do you think of women's boxing?" I personally don't like it. I really, I find it uncomfortable, watching a woman in the ring, punching another woman... er, in areas that I treasure. Sharon and I became friends. So when you become friends, you try and help as much as you can.

SHARON ANYOS: I believe that when you're born, everyone's born with a destiny. I was born into a family full of fighters. That's why I believe I've taken on the role that I have. It would be great to be able to just dress up and have your make-up done every day and put on some high heels and go into a fantastic job, but that's not me.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: Sharon became a WBC world champion in October last year. If she was a male, she would be a multi-millionaire now.

SHARON ANYOS: Financially it is really hard. There's weeks where you just can't even scrape past on your bills, you know. I'm lucky to earn, not even 10% of what a man earns.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: A sponsor has supplied Sharon with a yellow Porsche to use because of the outstanding athlete that she is. And also, I think, because of the charitable work that she's done for different organisations on the Gold Coast. Sharon actually hadn't had a car of her own for, I think, maybe four or five years. No, it's not hers to keep. We've only just got $10 to be able to put in the car for petrol. But, yeah, so...

JOE BUGNER, FRIEND: I think that it is so vitally important for Sharon to go out of this business with a few quid in her pocket because without that, she would’ve achieved so much, and yet so little. Because you can't live looking at your belt. But I do know one thing, I would not put a red cent into a promotion of my own. It is very, very easy to put on a show. But it's terribly hard to get the money through the gate. They're taking all the risks. They have to come up with the up front money for the stadium. They have to come up with the seating. They've going to have to come up with the ring, blah-blah-blah. So suddenly a $50,000 bill, for a big promotion, blows into $75,000. Where does the other $25,000 come from?

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: The preparation has not been 100% with the different pressures that we've had. The opponent's taken another fight, but it just jeopardises the match that Sharon has got coming up with her. Today's been a pretty rough day for us all round. I think anything that could've gone wrong has gone wrong. I'm definitely feeling the pressures and the stress of everything over the last few days. I can't let Sharon know because I don't want to let her spirits drop at all. But we've gone and picked two huge mountains to climb and we're definitely struggling at the base of the mountains at the moment. Definitely.

SHARON ANYOS: I first met Steve at the start of 2003. Steve trained out of the Nerang PCYC when Dad and I were training out of there. And Steve come up and offered, "If you need a sparring partner or a punching bag, well I'm happy to come and help."

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: At first it was hard for me because of her being a woman. Sharon's a very strong-willed woman, especially in the ring and she honestly believes in her mind that no-one can sort of knock her around. So, I suppose, I had to apply a fair bit of pressure on different occasions, and I must admit, I've had to hit her a couple of times a little bit harder than what I've planned to.

SHARON ANYOS: So Steve spent nearly three months helping me prepare for the Japan fight, the defence of my world title. When I went to Japan, um... ..I guess I really missed him, yeah.

LES ANYOS, FATHER: We went to Japan for a world title defence. Sharon won every round, by any man's standards. The girl was a total mess, an absolute mess. Broken cheekbones and everything and they declared her the winner.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: When Sharon came back from Japan, they thought that she possibly might retire, but then me and Sharon became an item, and then I think I reignited the passion within Sharon and she realised that, like, we did train really well together and she didn't have to do it by herself.

SHARON ANYOS: So, that was probably where it led to the final break-up with Dad and I. I guess it was me, at 33, deciding I'm going to leave the family nest and find somebody else to take over in Dad's position. It was probably worse than a divorce, I guess, because we're family, so it was something that hit pretty hard for both of us. It ruined Dad, I believe. I think in his heart he felt like he probably wasn't good enough, or maybe he thought that he couldn't teach me any more. I get emotional on this one - sorry.

LES ANYOS, FATHER: I can't see the tears. I can just see good memories. It was fun. It was a ball, it was a ball. Not many parents can boast of having done that with one of their kids.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: She was at the crossroads. And then we said, "Well, what do you want to do?" And she said, "Well, I'd like to really fight for a world title in Australia."

SHARON ANYOS: And that's probably where we realised that we were going to need somebody else in the likes of Jeff Fenech.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: So we rang Jeff, and that's when Jeff invited us down to train with him and talk to him.

SHARON ANYOS: And we were, like, so excited because it's another step. And good, bad or indifferent as a person, Jeff Fenech's Jeff Fenech. He's done so much for boxing in Australia.

JEFF FENECH: See, if it was up to me, she'd be at home washing dishes and changing some nappies like she should be, you know?
STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: But she can fight, though - you got to admit that. She can fight. So, you got to let her do what she wants to do.
SHARON ANYOS: You've got to let me do what I want to do.
JEFF FENECH: I'll never support ladies fighting.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: Jeff wasn't one for women's boxing. He'd say to me, he'd go, "How can you let her do this?" Like, "How can you let her get in the ring, mate," and stuff. And I said, "Jeff, I can't stop Sharon, so the best thing I could possibly do is help her as much as I can." And I said, "And, Jeff, that's why I've come to you."

SHARON ANYOS: In my sport, the support that you do get from the likes of Joe Bugner and Jeff Fenech, they're great. They support you, they do what they can to help you, but at the same time they have their own views on what women should or shouldn't do. But at the same time, they know what it is to be a champion. As hard as it's been and it's long as it's taken, they're all starting to give me recognition now. The injury side of boxing is plenty. My hands would give me the most amount of grief. There's days where I can't even, you know, I can't even pick up my coffee cup. It's, like, yeah, they're really sore. I guess some people would stop and go, "Well, why would you do it?"
When you're who you are and you love what you do because it's a passion in your heart, you just keep doing it - you don't know any different. We're four and a half weeks out from the fight. Everything seems to be running pretty smooth. Training's going really, really well. The hardest part now is, like, selling the tables. We're up to 19 tables. We got to sell 45.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: The opponent that Sharon was going to fight injured her hand, which we were concerned about - she took a fight.

SHARON ANYOS: We wrote to everyone that we had contact details for. Esther Schouten was the first one to get back to us. Our new opponent is very attractive, so media-wise that's going to give us a lot better publicity. Australia will love it because it's going to be two very attractive girls, and we're going to be fighting like men, so it's going to be unbelievable.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: A lot of the fights that Sharon had been in previous to us getting together, she tended to just go in and just...not attack, but stand in front of her opponent and just fight. If she wore two or three, she'd give three or four back. So, I tried to prepare Sharon to be boxing smart and to step off the back feet and take a few different angles, and sort of not charge in so much and stand in and go to war with them.

LES ANYOS, FATHER: I think he's a very, very lucky boy to be able to train alongside her and be her partner, or whatever they, whatever they do. Sharon's had boyfriends in the past, and normally if I like 'em she discards 'em, if I don't like 'em, she hangs on to 'em. So, there's our problem.

BERYL ANYOS, MOTHER: Les is a dad. I don't think there's a dad alive that accepts that any man's good enough for his daughter. But I've got all the faith in the world. It's Sharon's life, it's Sharon's choice, and if Steve's the man she loves, Steve's the man she should be with.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: That fight with Marcello Acuna for the WBC world title was the toughest woman’s fight that I've ever seen.

SHARON ANYOS: Round 1 I had a broken finger, and all that went through my mind was, "How cool am I going to be to get through 10 rounds with a broken finger and, like, still use my hand?"

BERYL ANYOS, MOTHER: By the third round, if I had have been able to take Sharon out of the ring, I would have gladly got in the ring to do the job for her.

SHARON ANYOS: I was still in the lead on the 7th round. So, then I copped a really solid head butt to my face which actually broke my cheekbone, and I felt my cheekbone just cave in. I was saying, "OK, Lord, this is between us." It was probably the most memorable moment I have in my boxing career. There's always been two sides to Sharon Anyos. There's been the exterior that everybody sees and what I've probably portrayed to everybody as being the Wild Thing and the party animal and make everybody laugh...but then there was the person that was inside me. I guess, out of pretty much anyone I've ever been with, Steve could bring that inner person out like that before I even knew that that inner person was there. It actually took Steve a while to tell me that he actually went to church. 'Cause you wouldn't pick it with Steve, you just wouldn't pick it. And then I was, like, "Oh, cool! You go to church! Can I come?" So I've gone from being someone that's turned up in, like, miniskirts and singlets and scratching and fidgeting and can't stay still to someone that's just... I guess, progressed into a young lady that understands a lot.

BERYL ANYOS, MOTHER: Religion has tamed Sharon a bit. She's not quite as outspoken as she was. She's a gentler person. When, well, if you see her hit the bags or the opponents, you won't think so.

SHARON ANYOS: We're three days out from the fight. I feel fantastic. I feel pumped, fit, in shape. The last week has just been absolutely horrendous for us. I've spent I don't know how many times in tears. I've just wanted to get in the car and drive off. People that have guaranteed and promised they'd support us and buy corporate tables, they haven't. Last night was, like, buckle down with a lot of prayer and putting a lot of faith into the Lord, and He's come through today. Like, we ended up with a major sponsor today, which has really saved us, and if we keep going the way things have been going today then, God willing, we'll at least break even. This is where it all counts today. Lovemore's made it up here from Sydney, which is just a blessing to us, to have someone like Lovemore in our corner. Lovemore Ndou is very compassionate. He's understanding. He's a fighter, so he knows what you go through, and all he done was got me faster.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: Lovemore Ndou comes up and finishes off the training for her in the last parts of the preparation, strapping her hands and different things like that which I'm not qualified to do.

SHARON ANYOS: I never go in with the thought of hurting someone. I step into the ring with the thought that I'm the fittest athlete, I'm the fastest, I'm not going to get hit. And I know that at the level that I'm at, it'll never get to the point where someone's got to be hurt that badly that it could substitute or end up in death. That was awesome! Not only did I have God on my side, I had Steve and Lovemore, and they just kept my head just where it was meant to be. Mate, I ranked her very good. She was strong, everything she threw was nice and strong, and she was smart, and she was a mover.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: As far as the financial side of it, I don't know how we went.

SHARON ANYOS: If we've cut even, we're happy.

STEVE BOYCE, PARTNER: Shaz had actually earned $400, but we miscalculated and I had to give it to one of the fighters just before, so maybe it's McDonald's for breakfast.

COMMENTATOR: The winner and still featherweight champion of the world, Sharon Anyos!


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