The faces of the women’s Olympic boxing!
The faces tell the story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/18/12! (Update 2)
All five of the remaining USA Boxing team members are scheduled to compete in the semifinals today.
Results so far are as follows:
Franchon Crews (81kg) routed her opponent Hungary’s Timea Nagy by the score of 22:8 to win her semifinal bout in the first session of today’s Women’s World Championship action today. She led the fight from the beginning, but really put it away with a 6:2 third round and a 9:3 fourth round. No word yet on who Crews will face in the finals!
Raquel Miller (69 kg) proved victorious in her semifinal bout over Russia’s Irina Poteyeva winning the close bout 13:10. Miller was able to hold Poteyeva off through most of the match and will proudly move on to the finals!
Christina Cruz (54 kg) lost her semifinal bid to Italy’s Terry Gordini by the score of 7:11. The low scoring bout saw Gordini to effectively hold Cruz to low points throughout, though Cruz was able to tie Gordini 2:2 in the third round. Cruz has been a true champion with excellent showings throughout the tournament so this is a big loss.
From the PM sessions, Tiara Brown (57kg) defeated Bulgaria’s Svetlana Staneva by the score of 22:14. She moves onto the finals as the top seed in her division!
Mikaela Mayer (64gk) who fought the North Korean light welterweight Kyong Pak on the heels of her quarterfinal rout of India’s Meena Rani, lost a tough, close battle 24:25 to Pak. Mayer and Pak each won a round in the first two, but Pak pulled out a 3-point advantage in the third. In the fourth round Mayer came back very strong, however, a mid-round stop effected her momentum and though she took the round 10-8, Pak’s holding at the end of the round cost Mayer the bout.
Other results from the first session are as follows:
Ireland’s Katie Taylor took her semifinal bout and will be in the finals against Russia’s own Sofya Ochigava. Ochigava defeated the heavily touted British fighter Natasha Jones 18:10 to gain her spot in the final.
Click here for the Full Bout roster for 5/16/12:
Click here for full results for 5/16/12 & the first session for 5/18/12:
AIBA’s article link is here: Russian women continue terrific form in quarter-finals.
AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/16/12! – Updated (3)!
Quarterfinals for the Lightweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight and Heavyweight divisions!
All six of the remaining USA Boxing team members are scheduled to compete on 5/16/12. While Marlen Esparza is the first American female boxer to have one a place at the Olympics, she is still avid to medal at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships!
In Results from today’s bouts it seems that the USA Boxing team has won four bouts out of five so far with one bout still to go.
Christina Cruz (54kg) fought a tough close bout against Sopida Saturmrum of Thailand, but managed to take the bout by the score of 29:19. Cruz managed to tie the first round 3:3, but actually lost the second and third round trailing by a total of two points before she put everything she had into the fourth round to take it by the score of 6:3. She advances to the semi-finals against Italy’s Terry Gordini on May 18th, giving her a well-need rest day.
In the third afternoon fight for the American team, Franchon Crews had a big win outscoring her opponent for Kasakhstan, Dariga Shakimova by the score of 30:12. Franchon came out blasting from the beginning and finished her fight with a devastating 10:2 round. Franchon will fight Hungary’s Timea Nagy in the semifinals. Her fight is also scheduled for May 18th.
In the 7:00 PM (local time) session so far:
Yesterday, Marlen Esparza’s (51kg) became the first American female boxer in history to win a spot in the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, Esparza has lost her quarterfinal bout against China’s Cancan Ren by the score of 8:16. Ren was able to outscore Esparza throughout the bout, and although she came back with a 3:3 tie in the third round, Esparza was not able to take the win in the fourth. Still, this loss does not take away her victory yesterday or her place in history as America’s first female boxing Olympian!
Tiara Brown (57kg) who is considered the top seed narrowly defeated China’s Jian Quin by the score of 23:22. The tightly fought contest saw Jian in control in the first two rounds, however, Brown came roaring back to win her quarterfinal match. No word yet on who she will fight in the semifinals.
To round out the PM session, Mikaela Mayer (64kg), following her fantastic win yesterday by the score of 34:13, will be taking on India’s Meena Rani. In yesterday’s bout, Mayer led throughout with huge scores in the second and third rounds (10:4 & 10:3).
As a reminder, in a true heartbreaker, Queen Underwood (60kg) lost her very close battle with Norway’s Ingrid Egner by the score of 26:25. Egner held a slight advantage in the first two rounds scoring 6:4 and 8:5. Queen was able to tie up the score 6:6 in the third round and came back with a fierce fourth round scoring 6:10, however, it was not enough. This is very, very tough for Queen, and she joins Claressa Shields in the waiting game for a place in the Olympics.
In a couple of notes on the Lightweight division, Ingrid Egner went on to lose today to Natasha Jonas of England by the score of 32:9. While Ireland’s Katie Taylor received a walkover against Mihaela Lacatus.
For one other bit of news, Australian flyweight champion boxer, Bianca Elmir was provisionally banned due to a failed doping test from her national championship battle this past February. She was notified of the ban in China, and while her team has appealed to allow her to compete, the appeal was denied. Elmir tested positive for a banned diuretic. For more details on the issues click here.
Click here for the Full Bout roster for 5/16/12:
Click here for full results for 5/15/12 and 5/16/12 Afternoon Session Results:
AIBA’s article link is here: Ochigava eliminates the first Chinese boxer in Qinhuangdan
Women’s boxing in UK
Britain’s BBC has started airing Women’s boxing as a run-up to the debut of the sport in the 2012 Olympics. Broadcasting a fight this past weekend with Britain’s Nicola Adams, a buzz has started to filter through the British press about the viability of the sport as one that is professional and exciting.
The matches included Amanda Coulson versus Natasha Jonas, and Nicola Adams versus Lyndsey Holdaway.
We might all say, well “duh,” but as an acknowledgment of how far Women’s boxing has come since the early 1990’s it is exciting to see.
The BBC reported the story here.
Meanwhile, The Women’s International Dual Series is starting today in Oxnard, California. In this series, a total of 18 boxers coming from five nations around the world will compete. The event will have nine bouts of exciting boxing per night and its promoters hope that it will continue to elevate the visibility of the sport. Boxing News 24 has a story about it here.