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Underwood, Brown and Crews Advance at the 2012 World Championships While Shields Suffers Her First Loss
by Julie Goldsticker
May 15, 2012

(MAY 15) Lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) moved one step closer to a berth in the 2012 Olympic Games with a convincing victory in her second bout of the 2012 World Championships on Monday in Qinhuangdao, China. Seventeen-year-old middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) suffered the first loss of six-year boxing career, but due to AIBA’s qualifying procedures, she could still have a shot at the Olympic Games. Featherweight Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) and light heavyweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) each won their opening bouts on Monday to advance in the tournament.

Underwood faced Zealand’s Alexis Pritchard in the second round bout and took early control of the bout. She more than doubled Pritchard’s point total in the first, taking a 5-2 lead after one and showcased more of the same in the second round. Underwood held a 12-5 lead after one but she poured it on in the third, scoring 10 points while holding Pritchard to only two in the round. The five-time U.S. national champion enjoyed a 22-7 lead as the final round began and went on to win a 28-9 final decision to advance to Tuesday’s action. She will face Norway’s Ingrid Egner on Tuesday. Under AIBA’s altered selection process, Underwood must be the number one finisher in the Americas to punch her ticket for London. The only other boxer from the Americas remaining in action is Brazil’s Adriana Araujo, who recently won the 2012 Women’s Continental Championships.

Shields entered the 2012 Women’s World Championships undefeated in her career but that streak ended on Sunday as she fell to reigning World silver medalist Savannah Marshall of England. Shields and Marshall boxed to a 2-2 tie after the first round but Marshall took the lead in the second round and didn’t let it go through the remainder of the bout. The British boxer held a 7-4 lead after one and extended it to an 11-7 advantage with one round remaining. She held on over the final two minutes to defeat Shields by a 14-8 margin. As all of the middleweight boxers from the Americas have now been eliminated, Shields could still end the tournament as one of the top two finishers based upon Marshall’s finish.

Brown faced off with India’s Mandakini Chanu Kangabam in her first bout of the tournament on Monday. The score was extremely close in the first three rounds with the two boxers tied at 7-7 at the halfway point. Brown entered the final round up one but left nothing to chance, outscoring her opponent by four points to win a 21-16 final decision. She moves on to a bout on Wednesday with China’s Jian Qin.

Veteran Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) took on France’s Sabrina Delarue in light heavyweight action on Monday in her first bout of the event. Crews got off to a quick start, claiming a 4-1 lead after one and continued to build on her lead throughout the four rounds of action. She took a 16-6 advantage after three rounds and claimed a dominating 22-8 final decision in the bout. She will return to action on Wednesday in a contest with Dariga Shakimova of Kazakhstan.

Five U.S. boxers will highlight Tuesday’s competition in China with Olympic hopefuls Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and Underwood facing Vietnam’s Luu Thi Duyen and Norway’s Ingrid Egner respectively. Light flyweight Alex Love (Monroe, Wash.) will see her first action in a contest with Nazym Kyzaybay of Kazakhstan while light welterweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) takes on New Zealand’s Laura Matthews in her tournament opener. Bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) will challenge Norway’s Shora Razaiz Jahroni in her second bout of the tournament.

More information on the qualification process for Shields following her loss will be available tomorrow.

U.S. Results
125 lbs: Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres,Fla./USA dec. Mandakini Chanu Kangabam, IND, 21-16
132 lbs: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash./USA dec. Alexis Pritchard, NZL, 28-9
165 lbs: Savannah Marshall, ENG, dec. Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA, 14-8
178 lbs: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md./USA dec. Sabrina Delarue, FRA, 22-8

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

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