Posts Tagged ‘Mary Kom

09
Aug
12

Women’s Olympic Boxing Finals!!!

Women’s Olympic Boxing Finals!!!

“I wasn’t supposed to bang with her, but she didn’t respect me, so I had to!” – Claressa Shields on winning her semifinal bout 29:15 over Marina Volnova.

Update:

Claressa Shields wins the first middleweight gold medal in history by the score of 19:12!!!

 

Well it’s down to this, the first women’s Olympic boxing finals in history.

Fighting for the gold for the United States will be middleweight Claressa Shields who put the proverbial “beat down” on Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova by the score of 29-15 after rocking her to an eight-count in the third and forth rounds. Claressa’s opponent will be Russia’s Nadeszda Torlopova who defeated Li Jinzi by the score of 12:10 in a somewhat lackluster contest.

In speaking about Claressa, AP sportswriter Greg Beacham wrote: “And just like Cassius Clay, Joe Frazier and Oscar De La Hoya before her, Claressa Shields is about to fight for a gold medal.”

Claressa has that effect. She’s infectious and has the same kind of star quality that makes putting her in the company of boxing greats seem like the most natural thing in the world. She’s also promised to bring home nothing less than gold — and knowing Claressa, she probably will.

Claressa Shields and Barbara “The Mighty Atom” Buttrick backstage at the Excel Arena. Buttrick began boxing in 1949 in carnival shows all over England. Credit: Sue Jay Johnson

In the Flyweight division, China’s Cancan Ren who defeated the USA’s Marlen Esparza by the score of 10-8 will take on Great Britain’s Nicola Adams who won her semifinal match against India’s Magnificent Mary Kom by decision 11:6.

Marlen Esparza and Mary Kom will both be awarded the first women’s flyweight bronze medals for women’s boxing. Both performed their best and should feel proud of their place in the evolution of the sport. Marlen has been a fierce competitor and a model of selfless achievement in the American amateur boxing community. And as for Mary Kom — having boxed in the first ever AIBA World Women’s Boxing tournament in 2001, she has persevered in the sport she loves to become an Olympian.

Ireland’s wildly popular Katie Taylor the reigning world champion in the Lightweight division handily defeated Mayzuna Chorieva 17:9 to earn her berth in the finals. She will face the number two seed, Sofya Ochigava from Russia who defeated the Brazilian fighter Adriana Araujo, 17:11.

Katie is a veteran amateur fighter who has long been lauded as the best of best. She also works tirelessly for women’s sports in her native Ireland and has become so beloved that she led the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin in 2011.

Whether these remarkable women win silver or gold — they each have stories to tell of how they made their way through the labyrinth of training, competition and the dings that life threw them along the way. As women they are trailblazers in a sport that more often than not has neglected their presence or worse attempted to meddle in such things as whether they should wear skirts. Still they have boxed their way into the hearts of their fans — and new ones who are being won over by the poise, skills and temerity of these athletes.

As you watch the women’s Olympic boxing finals today remember that you are part of history — and then send up an extra loud cheer for the sheer guts that these women embody as they step into the ring!

Don’t watch the Finals on your own! Cheer on with a terrific web chat!

Join Girlboxing, Sarah Deming and 2012 World Champion Tiara Brown and producer Marianne McCune online with WNYC.org Radio’s online chat as part of the WomenBox coverage! The festivities get underway at 11:30 AM (EDT) in the US. Link to the chat is here.

Great articles from around the web!

Ariel Levy, New Yorker: Claressa Shields Boxes for Gold

Greg Beacham, AP: US’ Claressa Shields advances to gold-medal bout

Eric Woodyard, MLive: Claressa Shields’ promise: Nothing less than gold in the Olympics

John Henderson, Denver Post: Olympic Boxing draws interest from all corners of the world

Ignacio Toress, NBC Latino: Marlen Esparza gets bronze and makes history

Lyndsey Telford, Independent.ie: Katie Taylor hailed as role model in hometown Bray

Olympics Results

Semifinal Session Results

08
Aug
12

Women’s boxing is going for the Gold!

Women’s boxing is going for the Gold!

Marlen Esparza, Claressa Shields and the ten other semi-finalists who will be battling it out today have spent years getting to this point.

India’s Mary Kom boxed in the first International Boxing Association (AIBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships held in November 2001 at a venue in Scranton, PA. Mary was one of 125 boxers who participated in the championship and won a Silver medal in the 48KG division. She subsequently won Gold in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2010.

China’s Cancan Ren who will face Marlen Esparza in the semifinals is also a Gold medalist having won in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Marlen herself is no stranger to achieving the top spot in her sport having won the USA Boxing national championship five times in her career.

Ireland’s Katie Taylor is considered pound – for – pound about the best that women’s amateur boxing has to offer and if her quarterfinal bout against Natasha Jonas is any indication she is well on her way to Gold in the lightweight division.

And not to say that these remarkable athletes are only in it for the Gold, but as competitors they won’t say no to the opportunity to shine.

As members of the first class of female boxing Olympians there is, of course, a little something extra to the achievements that their considerable talent, gumption and strong work ethics have given them. Whatever happens they will hit the history books–and why not, they deserve every brilliant accolade coming to them for persevering in a sport that loves to hate them.

Even as of last night, @espnboxing tweeted the following: “2012 Summer Olympics–Errol Spence’s loss ensures no U.S. boxing medal…”

Okay, I give up–I thought that Marlen Esparza and Claressa Shields are fighting today for the chance to win a Bronze, Silver or Gold U.S. boxing medal. I guess I got that wrong–or is it that ESPN doesn’t consider that Marlen Esparza, Queen Underwood and Claressa Shields were worth noticing as members of the U.S. Olympic boxing team; not to mention consideration for the years and years and years of work and effort they put into becoming Olympians: win or lose.

Still Marlen and Claressa will box.

They will box alongside the other ten Olympians who have made it to the semifinals and leaving all the doubters and naysayers behind will fight their hearts out for Gold. It will be Gold they can feel proud of as a personal achievement, and yes for a bit of national pride too, no matter that for some of the women who will box for the chance to win Gold, it will be nothing more than an asterisk that’ll sit next to the “no U.S. boxing medal” mindset or equivalent nonsense thereof.

07
Aug
12

2012 Women’s Olympics Boxing Semi-Finals!

2012 Women’s Olympics Boxing Semi-Finals on Wed. August 8! — UPDATED (see link at bottom of post for full quarterfinal results)

Then there were twelve … twelve extraordinary boxers who will begin the medals rounds on Wednesday, August 8th to box for bronze, silver and gold and for their countries!  This is pretty heady stuff in the world of women’s boxing!  The action begins at 1:30 PM Local Time (8:30 AM EDT) on Wed. August 8th.

FLYWEIGHTS 

China’s top seed in the flyweight division Cancan Ren fought a quick and technically smart fight against Russia’s Elena Savelyeva to win her quarterfinal bout by decision with the score 12-7.  Her opponent is none other than the USA’s Marlen Esparza, who fought her signature inside/outside game with quick and assured hands to not only take the win against Bulgaria’s Karhla Magiolocco, but to show her dominance of the ring.  Esparza took the decision by the decisive score of 24-16.

The popular Indian Flyweight Mary Kom (Chungneihang Mery Kom Hmangte), who is a champion many times over won her fight by the score of 15-6 against Tunisian boxer Maroua Rahali.  Kom faces the Great Britain’s hometown favorite, Nicola Adams who handily defeated Bulgaria’s Stokya Petrova by decision with the score of 16-7 in the quarterfinals.

LIGHTWEIGHTS

Ireland’s Katie Taylor, the number one seed in the division, showed boxing brilliance in her match against Britain’s Natasha Jonas. Both fighters gave credance to the idea of calling boxing The Sweet Science. Taylor scored 26-15 by decision after rocking Jonas in both the third and forth rounds.  Her opponent will be Mavzuna Chorieva from Tajikistan who won her semi-final berth by defeating China’s Cheng Dong by the score of 13-8.

Brazil’s Adriana Araujo had a fairly close win over Morocco’s Mahjouba Oubtil scoring 16-12 by decision.  Araujo faces the number two seed, Russia’s Sofya Ochigava who walked through her bout against New Zealand’s Alexis Pritchard by the score of 22-4.

MIDDLEWEIGHTS

The first semifinal bout will be between the USA’s Claressa Shields and Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan. Shields gained her berth in a tough demanding bout against the much taller and experienced Anna Laurell. Shields toughness and ferocity, however won out as she muscled through her opponents defences to take the fight decisively by the score of 18-14.  Volnova gained her berth by toppling number one seed Savannah Marshall of Great Britain by decision, 16:12.

China’s Li Jinzi defeated Canadian favorite Mary Spencer in the quarterfinal by the score of 17-14. Jinzi will face number two seed Nadezda Torlopova of Russia who overpowered the Nigerian boxer Edith Ogoke 18-8 to take the decision.

Taking home the gold!

If viewers and boxing fans have questioned the quality of the boxing at the Olympics (especially the USA Boxing men’s program) — the female fighters have proven that where the women’s boxing program is concerned, they came to medal and medal they will. Fighters such as Marlen Esparza and Claressa Shields will come home with nothing less than a bronze, but truth be told it is gold they are after.

Whatever happens, the excitement in the ExCel Arena has been infectious if not mind-bendingly loud with decibel levels well in excess of 107 for the Taylor-Jonas fight. The Detroit Free Press added this quote which is apt:

“This Olympics just amplifies what they’ve already done,” Charles Leverette, assistant U.S. coach, said of women’s boxing’s inaugural competition. “It’s an exclamation point. These women here, they’re great talents. Me, personally, I think they’re going to be adding another couple of weight classes. This is some of the most exciting competition you can get.” (Full article here.)

Girlboxing for one couldn’t be prouder or more humbled by the remarkable efforts of the first class of female boxing Olympians who have stepped through the velvet ropes to fight. No matter the outcome they are all true champions who have defied the prevailing winds to prove themselves as true Olympians.

Quarterfinal Results Click HERE!!!

06
Aug
12

2012 Women’s Olympic Boxing Quarterfinals!

2012 Women’s Olympic Boxing Quarterfinals!

Yep, today’s the day.  Twelve bouts across three Olympic weights:  flyweight, lightweight and middleweight. Action gets underway at the ExCel arena starting at 1:30 PM local time (8:30 ET).

FLYWEIGHTS

First up will be China’s Cancan Ren against Elena Savelyeva who won by decision yesterday over Hye Song Kim 12-9, in the first women’s Olympic bout in history.

The USA’s medal-hopeful and six-time national champion, Marlen Esparza will fight Karlha Magliocco of Venezuela who won her bout by a 15-14 decision against the Brazilian flyweight Erica Matos.

Next up will be India’s great champion Mary Kom who fought a gallant prelim bout against the much larger Polish fighter Karolina Michalczuk taking the decision by a score of 19-14.  Kom faces Tunisia’s Marous Rahali who had a BYE yesterday.

The last flyweight quarterfinal match will pit Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova who proved herself to be a talented competitor in her bout against New Zealand’s Siona Fernandes by taking the decision 23-11 against Great Britain’s Nicola Adams.

LIGHTWEIGHTS

The great Irish fighter Katie Taylor who as the number one seed is favored to win the gold may have had a BYE yesterday, but she will have her hands full when she faces the popular British fighter Natasha Jonas.  Jonas defeated the highly popular USA fighter Queen Underwood in a heartbreaker in the prelim round taking the decision 21-13.

The second fight will pit China’s Cheng Dong who won her quiet bout 10-5 against Mihaela Lacatus of Rumania.  She’ll face Mayzuna Chorieva of Tajekistan who had a BYE in the prelims.

The next outing will pit the scrappy Brazilian fighter Adriana Araujo who pulled out her win with fierce forth round action against Khassenova Saida (KAZ) by decision with the score of 16-14 against Mahjouba Oubtil (MAR) who will be making her Olympic debut.

The last lightweight bout will pit New Zealand’s popular boxer Alexis Pritchard who took her decision 15-10 against a very scrappy Rim Jouini of Tunisia against Russia’s Sofya Ochigava who sat out yesterday’s prelims with a BYE.

MIDDLEWEIGHTS

Great Britain’s Savannah Marshall, the number one seed in the middleweight division will make her Olympic debut facing Marina Volnova (KAZ) who took her decision 20-11 against Kenya’s great champion Elizabeth Andiego who quite frankly gave it her all in the ring during their preliminary bout–and should have won on heart alone.

Claressa Shields, the 17-year-old American phenomenon will enter the Olympic boxing ring for the first time against Sweden’s Anna Laurell who fought a tight technical bout against Australia’s Naomi Rasmussen winning the bout with a 24-17 decision.

The third bout will see Canada’s best hope for a boxing medal Mary Spencer against China’s Jinzi Li who fought a tough controversal bout against Brazil’s Rosell Feitosa. Li won the bout 19-14, but commentators felt that while she may have won the bout, the fourth round scoring did not accurately reflect action in the fight.

The last quarterfinal bout will pit Nigeria’s Edith Ogoke who won a close hard fought bout against Elena Vystropova (AZE) by the score of 14-12.  Ogoke is matched against the number two seed, Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova who sat out the prelims with a BYE.

Yesterday’s scoring results can be found here.

Today’s official bout sheet can be found here.

Queen Underwood’s emotional post-fight interview from NBC.

 

03
May
12

2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships set for May 9 – May 20!

2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships set for May 9 – May 20!


Talk about exciting, the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships will be taking place in Qinhuangdao, China. The event will not only determine the world championship status in the competing weight classes but is the *only* qualifying event for this summer’s historic debut of Women’s Boxing at the London 2012 Olympics in the three Olympic weight divisions.

Marlen Esparza, Claressa Shields, Queen Underwood, 2012 USA Boxing Olympic Trials Champions, Credit: James Snook/US Presswire

Competitors from all of the world will be arriving in China to face off against each other in the tournament. USA Boxing’s full field of National Champions is set to leave on May 3rd. The team includes the three Olympic hopefuls, Marlen Esparza, Queen Underwood and Claressa Shields, representing the flyweight, lightweight and middleweight divisions respectively.

Under the rules of the Olympic qualifying event portion of the competition, only the top eight competitors in each of the Olympic weight divisions will be selected to represent their nations in the Olympics this summer.

This year’s tournament is the seventh AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The first was held in in late 2001 in Scranton, PA, USA.

Notable luminaries from that first tournament included Sweden’s Frida Wallberg who won a gold medal in the 63.5kg weight class and France’s Myriam Lamare who won the silver. Both of these remarkable athletes have carved out fantastic professional careers. Mary Kom, who will be vying for an Olympic berth on India’s Team also competed in 2001, winning a silver medal in the 48KG division.

Barbados 2010, Lightweight Medal Winners

The last AIBA sponsored Women’s World Championship (the 6th) was held in Barbardos in September of 2010.

Among other memorable bouts, Ireland’s Katie Taylor (blue) defeated Cheng Dong (red) of China for the 60KG Lightweight Gold Medal.

21
Mar
12

Mia St. John and Mary Kom: Female Boxers in the news …

Mia St. John and Mary Kom: Female Boxers in the news …

From barely a trickle of stories about women’s boxing, there is a fair amount of press — all over the world about women’s boxing.  Here are stories featuring American boxer Mia St. John and India’s great amateur Olympic hopeful Mary Kom!

Mia St. John has granted an exclusive interview to Jake Emen over at Proboxingfans.com on her upcoming June 19th battle against the great Christy Martin.  Here’s a smattering of the interview …

“You’ve been fighting professionally since 1997, so it’s been 15 years. How much longer will you continue to fight, and is there any way this is your last fight?

Mia: I have to fight Christy one more time after this! We have to do the rubber match! Other than that, I’m done. I’ve lived out dream and it was a hell of a ride.”

The article link is here.

India’s leading contender for Gold in the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games — with a eye first on winning a berth to the 2012 Women’s World Championships this coming May in China is none other than Mary Kom.  The five time amateur champion has recently upped her weight class to 51 KG  in order to compete.  She is currently a participant in the 6th Asian Women’s Boxing Championships being held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia where she has advanced to the quarter finals.

This recent piece entitled India’s Mary Kom keeps proving doubters wrong is particularly revealing of her struggles to become a world-class boxing champion and is well worth the read.  Here is a brief preview …

“When I started boxing, people laughed at me and said, ‘What can women do in boxing?’” she said. “I took it as a challenge. If men can do it why can’t women? And I became a world champion before my marriage.

“When I got married, they doubted if I can win again after marriage. I took it as the second challenge and proved myself.”

The article link is here.

India Today also has a story on Mary Kom entitled Boxing: Mary Kom off to a winning start about her quarterfinal win.

28
Jul
11

Women’s Boxing: One year to go till Olympic Glory!

Women’s Boxing: One year to go till Olympic Glory!

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t like boxing.  My boxing hero was Mohammad Ali — and I have vivid memories of watching his fights on television, not to mention his running diatribes with Howard Cosell. And sure, that was all “back in the day” — but that was also history unfolding from Ali’s decision to embrace Islam on through refusing induction in the Army.  What resonated was Ali smiling for the camera and saying, “I’m so pretty.”  Those were powerful words for a boxer and a black man in America at that time — and frankly any time — upending notions of beauty, the ferosity of the ring, and the notion that there were limits on how high a human being could soar.

What I found was inspiration. I wanted to be him. Not so much as a boxer per se, but as a person that could take life and make it my own as an act of courage.

In thinking about the young women working their hearts out in the ring in preparation for next summer’s Olympics, I think of Ali. As a young 18 year old, he won Gold as a light heavyweight in the Rome Olympics and by the age of 28 had became an iconic figure in American history.  “The Greatest” changed the world.

The future Olympians who ply the boards through countless hours of hard work in the gym show feats of courage every time they step into the ring — and while they may not be as earth shattering as Ali, those acts of hard work are no less important to the scheme of things, not to mention that we don’t yet know just where any of these women will end up in the years to come.

Given that we’ve hit the one year mark — the main stream press has started to focus in on these women and their ambition, and as a salute to our future Olympic heros, here’s a smattering from around the web.

Queen Underwood (USA) – USA Today has a piece out entitled Queen Underwood chases glory in the boxing ring that talks about Queen’s dreams of winning Olympic gold.

Mary Kom (India) – Called “Magnificent Mary”, Kom is a five-time gold medal winner who is currently training with the Indian men’s team in pursuit of Olympic gold as noted in the Times of India article, Mary Kom trains with men’s team’s foreign coach.

Katie Taylor (Ireland) – Talk about courage in the ring, Katie Taylor is a fearless competitor having just won her 38th victory in a row with her gold medal victory in the European Union championships.  She is also an iconic figure of brilliance in action in her native Ireland as the Irish Times piece ‘Perfect fight’ ends with European Title attests.

There are countless other Olympic hopefuls with countless other dreams of rising to the podium — and what we can do is support those dreams with our unwavering passion for the sport we love.




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