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Six American Women Win Semifinal Bouts to Advance to the 2014 Elite Women Continental Championships Final Round
by Julie Goldsticker/USA Boxing
September 27, 2014


(SEPT 27) Team USA enjoyed a highly successful day of competition on Thursday at the 2014 Elite Women’s Continental Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. Six U.S. boxers earned semifinal wins on the day to join light welterweight Destiny Chearino (Warwick, R.I.) in the championship round. Flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), featherweight Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.), welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.), middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.), and heavyweight Krystal Dixon (New Rochelle, N.Y.) all emerged victorious in their semifinal match-ups. After two victories under belt in Mexico, lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) dropped her semifinal contest and will take home a bronze medal.   

Esparza took on a familiar face in the first U.S. bout of the day, battling Mexico’s own Sulem Urbina. Esparza wasn’t deterred by her opponent’s home ring advantage, winning a unanimous decision victory over Urbina. She will face Brazil’s Clelia Costa for flyweight gold in a rematch of the semifinal showdown between the two at the Pan American Olympic festival in July. 

Cruz looked to make a statement in her bantamweight bout with the Dominican Republic’s Laura Alcantara and she did so with a third round TKO win. The Olympic Training Center resident dominated the contest over the first two rounds before stopping Alcantara at the 1:25 mark of the third round. The victory advances Cruz on to a championship round contest with Argentina’s Leonela Sanchez. 

Brown, the reigning world champion, enjoyed a convincing win in her semifinal bout as well. She won all four rounds in her match-up with Argentina’s Florencia Juarez, taking a unanimous decision victory. Brown moves on to a featherweight final round bout with Brazil’s Taynna Cardoso. 

Wolf took the ring for the second time in Mexico, facing the Dominican Republic’s Yosmira Borges for a berth in the welterweight championship bout. She won a 2-1 decision over Borges to clinch a berth in the finals with Canada’s Myriam da Silva.  The Canadian owns two victories over Wolf in duel action earlier this year so she will be looking to avenge those earlier losses in Saturday’s final round bout. 

Team USA’s Olympic champion always enjoys stepping through the ropes for international competition and Shields’ bout with Brazil’s Flavia Figueiredo on Thursday was no exception. Despite suffering from food poisoning earlier in the week, Shields took every round on the judges’ scorecards to win a unanimous decision victory and a berth in the event final. She will take on Canada’s Arine Forti for middleweight gold on Saturday. 

Dixon was the last American boxer to compete in Mexico and she closed the night with a win in her bout with Mexico’s Nancy Patino. The reigning U.S. champion won a 2-0 decision over the home nation boxer to join her teammates in Saturday’s championship round. She will face Canada’s Vanessa Lepage in the heavyweight final round bout. 

Chearino earned her berth in the final round with a semifinal win on Wednesday and will take on Mexico’s Esmerelda Falcon on Saturday.  All of the competitors will enjoy a rest day on Friday before Saturday’s final round competition. 

Coaches Benny Roman (New York, N.Y.), Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.), and Juan Estrada (San Diego, Calif.) are leading the U.S. team at the Women’s Continental Championships in Guadalajara. 

Thursday’s U.S. Results

112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. Sulem Urbina, MEX, 3-0

119 lbs: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y./USA won on TKO over Laura Alcantara, DOM, TKO-3

125 lbs: Tiara Brown, Fort Myers, Fla./USA dec. Florencia Juarez, ARG, 3-0

132 lbs: Victoria Torres, MEX, dec. Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash./USA, 3-0

152 lbs: Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif./USA dec. Yosmira Borges, DOM, 2-1

165 lbs: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA dec. Flavia Figueiredo, BRA, 3-0

178+ lbs: Krystal Dixon, New Rochelle, N.Y./USA, dec. Vanessa Lepage, CAN, 2-0


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