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Queen Underwood: New Olympic Addition
by Bernie McCoy
June 19, 2012
     
   
   
   
   

(JUNE 19)  In a media teleconference, originating from Colorado Springs, USA Boxing introduced Queen Underwood as the newest addition to the 2012 Olympic female boxing squad. Underwood, who will compete as a lightweight, joins flyweight Marlen Esparaza and middleweight Claressa Shields on the three woman US squad that will compete in London in July. The Seattle based fighter was presented to the press by Tony Bartkowski, USA Boxing Executive Director.

Underwood had failed to qualify for the Olympic squad at the 2012 Women's World Championships in China, losing a close (26-25) decision to Norway's Ingrid Egner in the Round of 8. However, a subsequent ruling by AIBA, the International Boxing Association, in conjunction with the Tripartite Commission bestowed a "quota" spot on Underwood, as the "next place finisher," placing her on the US team. Mary Spencer, of Canada, was another North America female fighter added, in the similar fashion, to her Olympic team.

Underwood expressed excitement with her selection and also an anxiousness to join the team and get started on what she expects to be "hard" training. She confirmed that she felt "truly blessed" to receive the opportunity and emphasized that "I look forward to representing the USA and while it's still hard to believe, I'll be ready to compete against the best female fighters in the world."

Asked whether she looked forward to a rematch with Egner at the Games, Underwood replied, "I haven't really given much thought to what the match-ups might be, I could get Taylor in the first round." Katie Taylor, from Ireland, is generally considered the top amateur lightweight boxer in the world and a prime contender for the gold medal in London. Her name came up several times during the teleconference.

It was mentioned that while a coach for the female boxing team has yet to be named, it is expected "shortly."

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