(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO) – After
a perfect opening day at the 2012 Women’s Continental
Championships in Cornwall, Ontario Canada, the U.S. squad split
their second day contests, winning their first two match-ups and
dropping their final two bouts at the NAV Centre. Flyweight
Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and featherweight Tiara Brown
(Lehigh Acres, Fla.) both won their tournament openers while
lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) and welterweight
Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) didn’t enjoy the same
success on Thursday.
Photo: Raquel Miller
Esparza enjoyed a convincing victory in her first bout of the
tournament, a quarterfinal match-up with Pemela Benavidez of
Argentina. Esparza claimed a 21-10 win over Benavidez in their
flyweight match-up to move on today’s semifinal bouts where she
will face Canada’s Mandy Bujold.
Featherweight Brown looked to make a statement in her tournament
opener and she accomplished her mission in a bout with Edelme
Jeffrey of Saint Lucia. Brown put an early end to the contest,
stopping Jeffrey in the third round of the four round bout.
Brown’s victory advances her to tonight’s semifinals and a
match-up with Melissa Esquivel of Mexico.
Underwood faced off with 2011 Pan American Games bronze medalist
Sandra Bizier of host nation, Canada. The American boxer dropped
a 24-17 decision to Bizier, eliminating her from the tournament.
Welterweight Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) fell just
short in a razor-close contest with Canada’s Myriam de Silva.
Miller lost an 18-17 decision to de Silva in her first major
In addition to Esparza and Brown, bantamweight Christina Cruz
(New York, N.Y.) will return to the tonight for a semifinal bout
with Brazil’s Clelia Costa. Tonight’s action will also feature
the highly anticipated tournament debut of 17-year-old
middleweight sensation Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) as she
faces Roseli Feitosa of Brazil in her open division
Light flyweight Alex Love (Monroe, Wash.), light heavyweight
Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) and heavyweight Victoria Perez
(Ventura, Calif.) have berths in Saturday’s finals.
Team USA is being led by coaches Israel Acosta (Milwaukee,
Wis.), Gloria Peek (Norfolk, Va.), Bruce Kawano (Pearl City,
Hawaii) and Team Manager Joe Smith (Chattanooga, Tenn.). Dr. Ted
Mills (Glen Cove, N.Y.) is working as the Team Physician with
Patricia Pliner (Janesville, Wis.) joining the squad as the AIBA
Thursday U.S. Results
112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec. Pemela
Benavidez, ARG, 21-10
125 lbs: Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla./USA stopped Edelme
Jeffrey, LCA, RSC-3
132 lbs: Sandra Bizier, CAN, dec. Queen Underwood, Seattle,
152 lbs: Myriam de Silva, CAN, dec. Raquel Miller, San
Francisco, Calif./USA, 18-17