Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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The First-Ever U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing Participants are Announced
by Julie Goldsticker
October 19, 2011


(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The sport of women’s boxing will make its Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 24 American women who will vie for a spot in London have been determined after six months of qualifying tournaments. Eight women in each of the three Olympic weight divisions will compete in the first-ever U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing in early 2012.

“The 24 women who have qualified for the first-ever Olympic Trials are all outstanding athletes that will represent our sport and country in a first-class fashion,” said Harold Adonis, USA Boxing president. “They have each dedicated endless hours in the gym and made tremendous sacrifices to chase their Olympic dreams and we look forward to seeing them all compete in this historic event. Congratulations to all of these fine athletes who have qualified for this once in a lifetime event.”

The three U.S. Pan American Games representatives claimed the first spots in the Olympic Trials, following a combination of domestic and international qualifiers. Flyweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) and middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will all represent Team USA in the 2011 Pan American Games, which is currently underway in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“We are looking forward to this historic event and an outstanding week of boxing at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing,” said Anthony Bartkowski, USA Boxing executive director. “The sport has come a long way over the last decade, and the talent and skill level of these women will surprise those who haven’t had a chance to see them perform before.”

The 2011 USA Boxing National Championships, which took place in June in Colorado Springs, was the second qualifying tournament for the nation’s top female boxers. As each of the Pan American Games representatives also placed in the top four in the major national tournament, three boxers in each weight class punched their tickets for the Olympic Trials in Colorado Springs. Flyweights Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), Tyrieshia Douglas (Baltimore, Md.), and Poula Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.); lightweights Tiara Brown (Lehigh, Fla.), Lisa Porter (Northridge, Calif.), and N'yteeyah Sherman (Barberton, Ohio); and middleweights Alyssa DeFazio (Peoria, Ariz.), Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Tiffanie Ward (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) all won Olympic Trials berths at the USA Boxing National Championships.

The three 2011 National Golden Gloves champions were the next group to advance on to the inaugural Olympic Trials. Flyweight Cynthia Moreno (Phoenix, Ariz.), lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.), and middleweight Tiffanie Hearn (Louisville, Ky.) all claimed the fifth Olympic Trials berths in their respective weight divisions.

The 2011 National PAL Championships served as the final qualifying tournament with three boxers in each Olympic weight class moving on to the Olympic Trials. The nine boxers completing the Olympic Trials rosters are flyweights Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas), Alex Love (Monroe, Wash.), and Taversha Norwood (Marietta, Ga.); lightweights Patricia Manuel (Long Beach, Calif.), Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.), Asia Stevenson (Washington DC); and middleweights Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.), Andrecia Wasson (Centerline, Mich.), and Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.).

The date and location for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing are currently being finalized and will be announced shortly, however the event is currently slated to take place in February. The three winners of the Olympic Trials will compete in the lone international Olympic qualifier, the Women’s World Championships, May 21-June 3 in Qinhuangdao, China. Twelve boxers in each of the three Olympic weight classes will compete in the Olympic Games with the top eight finishers at the Women’s World Championships and four boxers per weight class selected by a tripartite commission earning berths in London.

U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing Qualified Athletes

Flyweight/112 lbs

1. Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. (Pan American Games representative)
2. Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas (USA Boxing National Championships)
3. Tyrieshia Douglas, Baltimore, Md. (USA Boxing National Championships)
4. Poula Estrada, Palmdale, Calif. (USA Boxing Championships)
5. Cynthia Moreno, Phoenix, Ariz. (Golden Gloves Championships)
6. Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas (National PAL Championships)
7. Alex Love, Monroe, Wash. (National PAL Championships)
8. Taversha Norwood, Marietta, Ga. (National PAL Championships)

Lightweight/132 lbs

1. Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash. (Pan American Games representative)
2. Tiara Brown, Lehigh, Fla. (USA Boxing National Championships)
3. Lisa Porter, Northridge, Calif. (USA Boxing National Championships)
4. N'yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio (USA Boxing National Championships)
5. Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif. (Golden Gloves Championships)
6. Patricia Manuel Long Beach, Calif. (National PAL Championships)
7. Bertha Aracil, Yonkers, N.Y. (National PAL Championships)
8. Asia Stevenson, Washington DC (National PAL Championships)

Middleweight/165 lbs

1. Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md. (Pan American Games representative
2. Alyssa DeFazio, Peoria, Ariz. (USA Boxing National Championships)
3. Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa. (USA Boxing National Championships)
4. Tiffanie Ward, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (USA Boxing National Championships)
5. Tiffanie Hearn, Louisville, Ky. (Golden Gloves Championships)
6. Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich. (National PAL Championships)
7. Andrecia Wasson, Centerline, Mich. (National PAL Championships)
8. Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif. (National PAL Championships)

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