Posts Tagged ‘Queen Underwood



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.

 

05
Aug
12

Olympic dreams all 36 of them!

Olympic dreams all 36 of them!

One of the great things about life is the capacity to surprise. Beyond surprises though are the hopes and dreams that inform all of our greatest achievements. Today marked one of those brilliant moments when the first of the thirty-six female boxing Olympians donned the gloves to make their mark on history.

The first women to step into the ring were two flyweights: Russia’s Elena Savelyeva in her bout against North Korea’s Hye Song Kim. The rounds were hard fought if not the most elegant of bouts, but it didn’t matter. Both women fought with heart, tenacity and gumption having both spent years in the ring perfecting their skills for that one moment. Savelyeva won the fight by a 12-9 decision after four rounds–and with her win, what had at one time seemed so impossible became something ordinary, women boxing at the Olympics as if they had always boxed at that vaulted contest whose history as a venue for boxing spans millennia.

And to my mind, watching it through the miracle of digital images transported across space, Teddy Atlas‘ voice speaking to the heart of what makes a champion, it was hard not to feel the pomp and circumstance of the Olympian spirit that permeates the Games in the best sense. I thought of old Nestor in The Iliad lamenting his age and its denial of his chance to sport once more in the ring of combat. It gave those moments a kind of “churchiness” as each young women resplendent in blue and red, their shiny new head-gear and gloves in place; gave it their all with skill and ring savvy and dreams of Olympic glory informing their pas de deux around the canvas.

I ached for Queen Underwood whose years of hard work came to a crashing halt–pushing through tears as she spoke so eloquently for the cameras about her 21-13 loss to Natasha Jonas. Queen fought with fire, each punch the culmination of thousands of hours of gym time as so many pathways of muscle memory. She said, “I took a big jump in my life to get here.”  And she did, but more than her jump, she jumped for all of us. Yes, she is terribly disappointed that she didn’t go on–but she should also know that she was a champion walking into the ring and no less a champion walking out.

Perhaps that’s the point. Each of the thirty-six athletes who will box over the course of the next few days has taken a big jump to get to the Olympics. They have endured countless years of hard labor at their craft and have overcome the personal trials and tribulations that inform a life to step up into the ring in the first place–not to mention enduring the “slings and arrows” if you will, of a wider public that has been somewhat unforgiving when it comes to supporting the sport of women’s boxing.

What I saw today, however, was a brilliant display of skill and temerity–pure and simple and as my husband put, “I keep forgetting that I’m watching women because they’re just great boxers!”  Would that all of us could embrace this wonderous sport with such ease.

===

Today’s bout sheet results from AIBA!

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

19
Jun
12

The greatest things … Queen Underwood, Olympian!

The greatest things … Queen Underwood, Olympian!

Sometimes things just work out.

For USA Boxing‘s Olympic Lightweight Trials Champion Queen Underwood, talent, determination and sheer courage have won the day in the Olympic Tripartite Commission’s decision to give her the last lightweight boxing berth available to the American continent in this year’s historical debut of women’s boxing at the 2012 summer Olympic Games in London.

Queen will join her teammates and fellow Olympians, Marlen Esparza and Claressa Shields in representing the United States this year.

Also getting the nod were Canada’s fabulous boxing talent Mary Spencer in the middleweight division and Brazil’s great flyweight champion, Erica Matos.

All three women were tremendously worthy of the honor not the least of which for their incredible skills as boxers.

In Queen Underwood’s case there is also something extra.

Her personal story is one of triumph over odds none of us should ever have to face or even consider. She is a survivor and a role model for punching through and finding a way to grapple with the demons that can haunt a person late into the night or otherwise push them into a spiral of self-abnegation and decline. Queen chose another way–and in that choice we are all the beneficiaries of an enormous talent not only in the ring, but in life itself.

(See this superlative article in the NY Times for more on Queen’s personal saga.)

In the game of life as in the ring we often roll with whatever the shots are. Sometimes they are to the gut and sometimes not, what’s great to know is that life has the capacity to surprise and to reward greatness when it counts.

————————

Note to readers:

I will be a one-armed bandit for a while as I am about to undergo the “knife” so to speak for arthroscopic shoulder surgery on June 20th.

It’ll mean I’ll be out of the box for a while, but I will attempt to post, albeit, one-armed. That will likely be next week, but sooner if I can manage.

While I can’t say I’m jumping for joy about all of this, I do look forward to walking into Gleason’s Gym to spend many a happy hour at work on the double-ended bag.

My surgeon is Dr. Andrew Feldman who has otherwise had a lot of “practice” on New York Ranger’s hockey players (he’s their team physician) so I’ve got to figure he’ll be ready for the “show” when he works his surgical magic on my labrum and tendons tomorrow.

I’ll see you from the other side.

 

23
May
12

Tea and Sympathy …

Tea and Sympathy …

Mikaela Mayer vs. Kyong Pak – Lt. Welterweight Semifinals, Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images

Women’s boxing had an extraordinary lift last week at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.

Watching the talented athletes in the semi-finals and finals on YouTube was a source of great pride — not only from the perspective of cheering on one’s “colors” so to speak, but in knowing that the sport had evolved to the point where those athletes were all true champions.

And yes there were winners and losers … women who are nursing hurt feelings, sore muscles and the terrible disappointments that comes when goals are missed. Sometimes, as in the case of Queen Underwood, the loss was by a point or two in the tough, tough fight of her life — but the fact that she was there at all along with Canada’s Mary Spencer and Afghanistan’s Sadaf Rahimi says something about hard work, perseverance and talent against the kind of odds that can otherwise defeat a person in life, never mind behind the velvet ropes of the ring.

Whether as spectators, Saturday boxers or athletes who are ourselves in the mix, the sight of those young women pushing themselves physically and mentally was as uplifting a gift as I can remember.  That it resulted in some press in support of the sport and a bit of a mention on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights was a brilliant arc of light as well. For all of those articles that continued to question a women’s “right” to be in the ring at all, well … perhaps the response should be left to the imagination for now, suffice it to say, if ever there were 325 women who set out to grab a ring for themselves, the women who fought with elegance, grace and sheer force at the world boxing tournament certainly earned the right to be there for generations to come.

WBA Superfeatherweight Kina “Dinamita” Malpartida v. Sriphrae Nongkipahayuth(L), Credit: Ernest Benavides AFP/GettyImages

Competitions come and go as do the emotions that accompany winning and losing. For my “money” so to speak, everyone who participated was a winner and as women go about the real work of boxing — training at the gym, competing in the amateurs and trying their hardest to make something of a professional career, we can strive to make those opportunities better for the young girls who may have been inspired by what they saw.

This summer, 36 women will represent us all in the Olympics, surely that will see all of our dreams come true.

 

 

 

16
May
12

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/16/12!

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/16/12! – Updated (3)!

Quarterfinals for the Lightweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight and Heavyweight divisions!

Marlen Esparza, USA Olympian, Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images AsiaPac

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!

Christina Cruz, Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images AsiaPac

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.

Raquel Miller (69kg) was equally victorious in her bout over Turkish boxer Bilgehan Karabulut by the score of 11:5.  Raquel led the low scoring bout throughout all four rounds. Her next bout in the semifinals of her division will be against Irina Poteyeva of Russia on May 18th.

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).

Queen Underwood in her heartbreaking lost to Ingrid Egner, Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images

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:

5:16:12 Full Roster

Click here for full results for 5/15/12 and 5/16/12 Afternoon Session Results:

5:15:12 Results Session 8A

5:15:12 Results Session 8B

5:15:12 Results Session 9A

5:15:12 Results Session 9B

5:16:12 Results Session 10A

5:16:12 Results Session 10B

AIBA’s article link is here: Ochigava eliminates the first Chinese boxer in Qinhuangdan


15
May
12

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/15/12!

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/15/12! – Updated (5/15/12 Afternoon Session Results)

More Preliminary Rounds!

USA’s Claressa Shields in defeat against England’s Savannah Marshall, Credit Getty Images

Well in early results from today’s bouts it seems that the USA Boxing team has had mixed results.

For the great news, Marlen Esparza (51kg) had a decisive win over Viet Nam’s Thi Duyen Luu, taking the decision by the score of 28:13.  Marlen led through out with a whopping 9:2 forth round to close out the bout.  Marlen will continue to fight tomorrow in the quarter finals for the Flyweight division against China’s much ballyhooed Cancan Ren.  Marlen’s win means that she is going to the Olympics!!!

Christina Cruz (54kg) also proved victorious in her bout against Norway’s Shora Rezaie Johroni, taking the bout by the score of 14:10. Cruz kept fair control of the fight except for the third round when Johroni came back with a 7:4 round, however, Cruz was able to beat back her advance with a 5:2 forth round. The next bout for Cruz will be in the quarterfinals against Thailand’s Sopida Satumrum, on May 16th.

In a true heartbreaker, Queen Underwood  (60kg) has lost in a 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 the second of Team USA Boxing’s defeats today, Alex Love (48kg) lost a very close bout to Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaybay by the score of 20:19. The bout was very close through out and will Alex led in the first round 2:3 and tied the second 5:5, Kyzaybay was able to take the third and forth rounds scoring 7:6 and 6:5 respectively to win the bout.

Set to fight in the PM session today is California’s own, Mikaela Mayer (64kg) against New Zealand’s Laura Matthews. (Results to be posted later).

One other note in the Lightweight Division, Ireland’s Katie Taylor proved successful in her bout against Kazakhstan’s Saida Khassenova, defeating her by the score of 20:8.

Bouts in the Olympic Flyweight, Lightweight and Middleweight divisions  and non-Olympic Bantamweight, Light Flyweight, Bantamweight, and Light Welterweight divisions dominate today’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Quinhuangdao, China.

Click here for the Full Bout roster for 5/15/12:

5:15:12 Full Roster

Click here for full results for 5/14/12 + 5/15/12 Afternoon Sessions:

5:14:12 Results Session 6A

5:14:12 Results Session 6B

5:14:12 Results Session 7A

5:14:12 Results Session 7B

5:15:12 Results Session 8A

5:15:12 Result Session 8B

AIBA’s article link is here: Katie Taylor Opens her World Championships in Style

14
May
12

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/14/12!

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 5/14/12! – UPDATED! (Added 5/14/12 Results Session 6B)

More Preliminary Rounds!

Erika Guerrier (Red) & Nives Radic, Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images AsiaPac

Well in early results from today’s bouts it seems the USA has three winners so far!

As the PM results come through, however, it seems that Claressa Shields has suffered a defeat at the hands of Great Britain’s Savannah Marshall by the score of 8:14.  The low scoring bout saw a 2:2 draw in the first round followed by a steady increase in points by Marshall.  This is a heartbreaker for Claressa who was an early favorite to go all the way.

The USA’s own Queen Underwood continues to advance with a huge win against New Zealand’s Alexis Pritchard by the score of 28:9. Queen dominated throughout the fight with an amazing third round that saw her to receive the score of 10:2.  Queen will go on to fight in the Elite 8 next where she will face Norway’s Ingrid Egner.

Franchon Crews (81kg) the USA Boxing Champion also routed her opponent, Sabrina Arlette Jaqueline Delarue of France with a score of 22:8.  She advances to the quarterfinals where she will face Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova.

And finally, the USA’s Tiara Brown who has been awarded the top seed handily won her bout against India’s Mandakini Chanu Kangabam by the score of 21:16 in the 57kg division. She faces China’s Jian Qin in the quarterfinal.

Bouts in the Olympic Flyweight, and non-Olympic Bantamweight, Light Flyweight, Light Welterweight and Welterweight divisions dominate today’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Quinhuangdao, China.

The afternoon and evening sessions include bouts in the Featherweight, Lightweight, Light Heavyweight and Middleweight divisions.

Click here for the Full Bout roster for 5/14/12:

5:14:12 Full Bout Roster

Click here for full results for 5/13/12 + 5/14/12 first two sessions:

5:13:12 Results Session 4A

5:13:12 Results Session 4B

5:13:12 Results Session 5A

5:13:12 Results Session 5B

5:14:12 Results Session 6A

5:14:12 Results Session 6B

AIBA’s article link is here: China, Russia and the USA still perfect in Qinhuangdao




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