|Season 7, Episode 11|
|Air date||February 2, 2003|
|Written by||Dean Young|
|Directed by||Mike DiMartino|
Boxing Luanne is the one hundred-thirty-seventh episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on February 2, 2003. The episode was written by Dean Young, and directed by Mike DiMartino. The episode features Luanne taking up boxing to show that she is just more than a pretty woman. However, she later finds out that it was all a get-rich-quick scheme formed by Buck when she goes to face Freeda Foreman.
At Arlen Community College Luanne is trying to answer a question on the board but is constantly being oggled and catcalled by the boys in the class. After class she vents her rage at being disrespected and objectified through a dance-kickboxing class called Taibo.
Meanwhile Buck Strickland's brother Randy visits Buck at Strickland Propane and demands money that Buck owes, using a large female boxer he manages to manhandle Buck into doing so. After agreeing to pay, Buck offers to take his brother to a strip club that charges no cover fee and ends up taking him to Luanne's gym where they sit idly on bicycle machines drinking and watching women, including Luanne and her Taibo class. After complimenting Luanne on her workout she threatens to call security on them for watching her and the other women but is soothed by Randy's statement that they are merely scouting out new boxing talent. Buck offers to have Luanne fight Randy's female boxer, billing the fight "The Beauty and the Beast."
At dinner that night Luanne excitedly reports how she has an opportunity to become a real boxer, however Hank is skeptical of her fighting abilities and says she should not do it. Peggy however urges Luanne to do so, and on Friday night Luanne prepares to fight Randy's boxer in the backroom behind Sugarfoot's Barbeque. Hank learns of the fight when Bobby informs him that he is on the phone with the hostess of Sugarfoot's getting a live feed from Luanne's fight. Hank rushes to stop the fight before Luanne is hurt. At the fight itself Luanne is almost disqualified for kicking and is constantly forced back by the other boxer, and Hank arrives to find Luanne forced back onto the ropes. Luanne however manages to knock out her opponent with a decisive southpaw, much to Hank's surprise. Luanne is declared the winner and Randy offers her a contract. Luanne is ecstatic to become a professional fighter with Hank as her coach.
That night Buck and Randy marvel over the cash generated by the fight and decide to continue billing fights. However it is revealed that Buck and Randy paid Luanne's opponent to lose the fight, thus rendering Luanne's victory pointless. Buck informs Randy that it is too difficult to find a real boxer willing to lose fights, and thus the two hire other non-boxers, starting with Buck's maid.
At Luanne's next match Buck attempts to sexualize Luanne by giving her tassels for her breasts but Hank mistakes them as shoulder epaulettes. Luanne wins the fight against Buck's maid (due to the maid throwing the fight) and continues to win fights against women paid by Buck to lose. As she wins more and more fights Hank believes she is ready to challenge the best female fighter in Texas: Rita Foreman, daughter of boxing champion George Foreman. Buck and Randy however realize that Luanne stands no chance against Rita (having never actually won a fight) and lie that they already made contact with Rita Foreman and she refused to fight Luanne. Peggy refuses to take no for an answer however, and takes Luanne to Rita's gym where Peggy heckles and taunts her until Rita agrees to the fight, with Rita promising to come find Peggy after she's done with Luanne.
Buck, unaware of Luanne's arrangement with Rita Foreman, gives her a skimpy and sexy French maid outfit for her next staged fight, claiming her fighting name will be "The Fighting French Maid." When Hank drives over to Buck's house to object, he is greeted by Buck's maid, whom he recognizes from Luanne's second fight. When Hank realizes that she's not a professional boxer Buck confesses that he was paying Luanne's opponent to take a fall. Hank realizes that Luanne has not actually been winning fights but returns home to Luanne telling him she arranged a fight with Rita Foreman. Hank, unwilling to crush Luanne's spirit by telling her that her wins were staged, instead approaches George Foreman himself and appeals to him to get Rita to stop the fight. George Foreman agrees, however as Hank is leaving George asks Hank if Strickland would consider stocking his "George Foreman Grill", which he had been demonstrating in a store. Hank declines, stating that Strickland has a strict "No Novelty Grill" Policy. George Foreman is enraged at Hank calling his grill a novelty, and announces the fight is back on, even insulting propane by saying it can cause brain damage. When Hank retaliates by saying that at least propane grills aren't sold in "Housewares", George has to be restrained by his son from attacking Hank.
With the fight back on, Hank has no choice but to tell Luanne that her wins were staged and that the men simply attended to watch her jumping around in a skimpy gym outfit. This crushes Luanne's spirit, and with her self-respect so low she accepts an offer from Buck to lose to Rita Foreman for pay. At the fight Buck doesn't hold back objectifying her, even instructing her to wave hello to a group of college-aged boys holding a birthday party. During the fight Luanne quickly takes a hit from Rita Foreman and, per her agreement with Buck, goes down. However as she lies on the ground she becomes enraged at the misogynistic catcalling from the crowd, and she stands back up to fight Rita Foreman. Rita at first easily lands punch after punch on Luanne, however Luanne stubbornly refuses to go down, slowly earning the crowd's respect. As the fight goes on and Rita continues punching away she begins to tire and her defense opens up, allowing Luanne to begin landing counterstrikes. At this point the crowd has stopped catcalling and begun genuinely cheering for Luanne, with even the college boys shouting boxing advice and encouragement rather than catcalls. Even George Foreman, who is in attendance of the fight, comments positively on Luanne's impressive ability to take punches, claiming that if he could've taken a punch like she did he'd have thought of a different name for each of his sons rather than naming them all "George." The fight continues into the night...
The next day Luanne arrives at community college heavily bruised from her fight. As one of the men in her class take a camera out she angrily shouts at him to stop taking photos of her. However he states that he wanted a photo with her, commenting that he saw her fight the previous night and was impressed. It is revealed Luanne lasted three rounds with Rita Foreman, and that she gained the respect of the entire audience in doing so. Luanne, feeling respected for the first time, smiles in her photo with her classmate as he holds her hand up in a triumphant boxing pose.
- The boxing gloves that Hank gives to Luanne are the same boxing gloves used by Hank (his old YMCA gloves) when attempting to teach Bobby to fight above the belt in Bobby Goes Nuts.
- The episode name is a reference to the thriller Boxing Helena.
- Luanne was reading a Guinness Book of World Records about the woman Sandy Allen, who is actually 7'7, and Sandy died in 2008.