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Shields wins in 11 seconds as United States dominate day 4 of Worlds' in Jeju
by Michael O'Neill
November 19, 2014
Photos of Shield: Facebook


(NOV 19) Following Tuesday’s loss of both Queen Underwood and Alex Love, Wednesday proved to be ‘a good day at the office for the United States with four wins including 19 yrs old Olympic Gold medallist Claressa Shields, who took all of 11 seconds to despatch Uganda’s Hellen Baleke from this year’s championships.

As always you will find Julie Goldsticker’s USA Boxing update here on WBAN with more detailed information regarding the American boxers including Marlen Esparza - another fine win today for Marlen.

Photo of Fortin by Raquel Ruiz

For me though the performance of the day came from 30 yrs. old Canadian, Ariane Fortin who emerged victorious over the highly experienced Undram Erdenesoyol of Mongolia, silver medallist at the recent Asian Games in Incheon. More on that one from the AIBA’s report and Canadian followers are of course also being updated on the ‘Boxing Canada’ website, and on Social Media, with regular news from Jeju.

There was a disappointment for Irish medallist hopeful Clare Grace who suffered a bad cut in her previous bout against Romania’s Christina Stancu. The Irish coaching team and management sensibly withdrew the Kilkenny woman to save possible further damage later as she would have to have several other fights had she progressed.

On social media and later in communication with WBAN, Clare said,  “I had to withdraw from the competition because of a bad cut over my left eye. It's a nasty cut and was too risky to go into competition. I'm really disappointed but these things happen.

A huge thanks to the teammates, coaches and everyone for all the support. And best of luck to Michaela and Katie in the rest of the competition”. Clare’s withdrawal led to Turkey’s Guluzar Kara (whom the Irish woman defeated when last they met) through to the quarter finals.

Tomorrow those team mates, Michaela Walsh and Katie Taylor continue Ireland’s quest for Gold in Jeju. Michaela is up against Azerbaijan champion Anna Alimardanova whilst Katie Taylor meets ‘old’ friend and foe, Finland’s Mira Potkonen, a winner of many multi-nations tournaments in recent years.

Russia’s Sofya Ochigava faces a stiff task also when she gloves off against Brazil’s Adriana dos Santos Araujo in the bout that immediately follows the Potkonen-Taylor clash. Interestingly AIBA no 3 ranked Chinese champion – and Asian Games winner Junhua Yin is in action immediately following Ochigava/Araujo so an opportunity for one and all to gauge just how strong this 60kg division is.

Claressa Shields defeat of Uganda’s Hellen Beleke in 11 seconds obviously raises concerns re welfare and safety of athletes, especially those from emerging new boxing nations of which there are many. Happily the Russian referee stopped the bout after only 11 seconds therefore saving the brave Ugandan further punishment but it is undoubtedly a concern for not only AIBA but also boxers and their coaches, especially with the current proposals on headguards under consideration.

Only 2 days ago on her Instagram social media account the charming Olympic Gold medallist, a devout Christian, had commented as she awaited her first bout: “Dear God! I come to you and pray before every fight. I pray that you protect me and my opponent from any serious injuries that can occur during the fight. I also like to pray that judges and refs are fair and give the bout to the person that worked the hardest and smartest for it and in Jesus name I pray Amen!" God loves me and my opponents “.

Over now to AIBA for the day’s latest news from Jeju.

“The winners of the Flyweight class (51 kg), Welterweight class (69 kg), Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) and Heavyweight class (+81 kg) advanced to the quarter-finals in Jeju, Korea on the fourth competition day of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, which means they all need to win just one further bout for a guaranteed bronze medal.

Bout of the day:

Canada’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Ariane Fortin defeated her main national level rival, and three-time AIBA Women's World Champion Mary Spencer to secure her place in the squad.

The 30-year-old Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer also claimed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in the beginning of August where only England's defending AIBA Women's World Champion Savannah Marshall was able to stop her in a narrow final.

She had to meet with Mongolia’s Asian Games silver medallist Undram Erdenesoyol in Jeju, who was a tough opponent for a first fight in the Championships.

Fortin controlled the opening round, and used her footwork to dominate the action, and was sharper in the punch exchanges.

The Mongolian tried to move ahead, but Fortin was quicker and prevented lot of the attacks, and the Canadian southpaw proved she is a medal contender in Jeju.

Team of the day

USA’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Marlen Esparza is one of the gold medal contenders of the Flyweight class (51 kg) in Jeju, where she had to meet with Kazakhstan’s Merjen Ishanguliyeva.

Following her first triumph in the Championships she needed to be at her very best to advance to the next stage of the event.

Ishanguliyeva was impressive in the opening round, but Esparza managed to change her tactics, and she improved well as the fight progressed.

Two-time AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Danyelle Wolf and Canada’s Myriam Da Silva have been frequent opponents in the past, and the US Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer won their last battle in the final of the AMBC American Women’s Continental Championships in Guadalajara two months ago, but in their rematch Wolf was able perform better, and won all of the rounds in the fight.

London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist and AIBA Women's Youth World Champion Claressa Shields is only 19, but she has won all of the major competitions excluding the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships, which she is looking to add to her list in Jeju.

The US teenager spent only eleven seconds in the ring against Uganda’s East African Champion Hellen Baleke before the Russian referee stopped their bout due to the clear dominance of Shields.

Heidi Henriksen only joined the US squad this year, and following her successes at the national level she received the right to fight for the United States in these Championships.

She also had another Ugandan opponent in her match, but Diana Turyanabo could not get near to her, so therefore Henriksen managed to secure the fourth triumph for the United States on Day 4.

Surprises of the day:

Morocco’s African Women’s Cup winner Khadija Mardi is competing in her first ever AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju to raise her experience at the international level, and the 23-year-old boxer, who trains in the club of Energique, had to meet with Brazil’s South American Games winner Flavia Tereza Figueiredo who was the favourite in their contest.

Mardi used her height advantage as an effective weapon, and boxed very well from a longer distance which the Brazilian Middleweight class (75 kg) struggled with, leading her to lose to her talented African opponent on Day 4.

Independence Cup winner and South American Games silver medallist Atheyna Bylon won her opening contest in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships which was the first ever triumph for Panama in the history of the event, and the new sensation surprisingly then went on to beat Wales’ Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lauren Price on the fourth competition day in Jeju.

Hungary’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion and defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Maria Kovacs defeated Turkey’s Emine Bozduman in the semi-final of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships, and the 33-year-old Hungarian had to meet with the younger Turkish hope again in Jeju.

Although she began their contest with effective punches, the 22-year-old Turkish southpaw was able to turn up the heat, and her skills and heart saw her eventually eliminate the main medal contender of the Heavyweight class (+81 kg).

Ones to watch:

Netherlands’s defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Nouchka Fontijn is a great prospect in the Middleweight class (75 kg), and could be competitive rival for US star Claressa Shields and England’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall.

She began her Championships against Chinese Taipei’s Flora Dara Shen who competed in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, and trains in the United States.

Fontijn was at her very best in the opening round, and her frequent jabs and sharp punches were potent enough for the referee to stop their contest after three minutes.

Sweden’s Love Holgersson was gold medallist at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships in Antalya in 2011, and since then she moved up to the Middleweight class (75 kg).

She replaced London 2012 Olympian and AIBA Women’s World Champion Anna Laurell Nash in the national team, and arrived to Korea with great expectations.

With ample time to acclimatize to the time difference, her first opponent was against Belarus’ Viktoriya Kebikava, who moved ahead and tried to control the bout, but the impressive counter-attacks from Holgersson were more successful, which resulted in the 21-year-old Swedish boxer winning her debut match in Jeju.

Stat/Fact of the day

Africa’s two leading women’s boxing nations Egypt and Morocco both won bouts on Day 4, which shows the development of boxing in that region.

Quote of the day

“The fight was pretty scrappy but I just wanted to keep the pressure on my opponent and close the distance down. It worked for the most part in the bout, and I just need to keep my feet moving with punches and don’t start throwing too early. I’ll probably need to do the same thing against my next opponent, China’s Li Qian. She is a well skilled boxer that will want to stay long range. I’ll have to shut her space down. I am happy to get the win today but it was not a memorable one,” said Australia’s Kaye Scott following her triumph over Azerbaijan’s EUBC European Continental Championships bronze medallist Leyla Javadova.

Tomorrow's program

The fifth competition day will decide who will be qualify for the quarter-finals in the following weight classes: Light Flyweight class (48 kg), Bantamweight class (54 kg), Featherweight class (57 kg), Lightweight class (60 kg), Light Welterweight class (64 kg) and Middleweight class (75 kg).

England’s current AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall will be fighting against Russia’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Iaroslava Iakushina, which will be one of the most anticipated battles of Day 5.

 Here are today’s full results from Jeju, courtesy Strefa Poland boxing - Link

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