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She enforces rule of law in boxing

Pat Lundvall was enjoying her successful law career when her phone rang in early September 2007. At the other end of the line was Gov. Jim Gibbons, and he had a proposal for Lundvall.

The Nevada Athletic Commission was about to undergo a change on its board, and the governor wondered whether Lundvall would consider serving as a commissioner.

"I was honored," Lundvall, 51, said. "I've always loved sports and to be part of something like this was very special to me."

Only the second female commissioner in the history of the panel -- Amy Ayoub served as commissioner from 1999 to 2002 -- Lundvall uses her 20 years as an attorney effectively in dealing with the myriad rules and regulations that the commission must follow. She has proven to be a no-nonsense individual, though she claims if she were a man, her demeanor would be no different.

"I take this responsibility very, very seriously," said Lundvall, who works for the law firm McDonald Carano Wilson. "Having a license to fight, train or promote in Nevada is a privilege, not a right. It's also a privilege you have to maintain."

Lundvall isn't easily intimidated. She tells the story of when she was teaching a recreation class at the University of Nebraska where one of her students was star running back Mike Rozier. Rozier would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1983, but he wouldn't pass Lundvall's class. She flunked him because he didn't do the required work, and even though he was a football star, she refused to extend to him any preferential treatment.

"I was the only one in my department who didn't get a raise next year," she said. "There was a lot of pressure on me but I wasn't going to compromise my principles."

Lundvall said her toughness comes from growing up on a Nebraska farm as one of 13 children. When an argument couldn't be settled at the dinner table, it would get settled with boxing gloves.

"My mother had a couple of pairs of gloves, and we would fight it out," she said, adding that she held her own, even when she was duking it out with one of her older brothers.

Lundvall said anyone who comes before her on commission business and thinks she is a pushover because she is a woman is only fooling themselves.

"It's not a problem for me what other people think of me," she said. "It's sad that they underestimate me."

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