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Olympic Medalists Claressa Shields and Marlen Esparza Defeat Familiar Faces to Advance to the 2014 Elite Women’s World Championships Finals
by Julie Goldsticker/USA Boxing
November 23, 2014
     
   
   


 

(NOV 23)  (COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.)  - The two historic American women to reach the Olympic podium in London moved up another step on the World Championships medal stand with semifinal wins on Saturday at the Halla Gymnasium in Jeju, South Korea. Olympic champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) and Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) both earned strong victories over familiar opponents from the Americas to punch their tickets for their respective championship round bouts. Defending world champion Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) lost her featherweight bout on Sunday and will receive a bronze medal in the 2014 event. 

Esparza, who is competing in her fifth straight world championships competition in South Korea, faced off with Brazil’s Clelia da Costa in a flyweight semifinal bout. As the two had competed four times this year, Esparza knew what to expect from her Brazilian opponent. She won a unanimous decision over da Costa in the contest to move on to her first World Championships final round bout. Esparza will take on England’s Lisa Jane Whiteside for flyweight gold on Monday at approximately 2:15 p.m. local time (12:15 a.m. ET).  

Shields also enjoyed the security of a familiar opponent in her middleweight contest with Canada’s Ariane Fortin. As a Michigan native, the 19-year-old Olympic champion has had a great deal of experience with boxers from the United States’ northern neighbor. Once again, the power-punching middleweight left no doubt, winning a wide decision on all three judges’ scorecards. She will look to close the show and win her first elite world title in a final round bout with China’s Qian Li on Monday at approximately 3:45 p.m. local time (1:45 a.m. ET) 

Brown had hoped to return to her second straight world championships final round, but she will have to settle for a bronze medal in the 2014 edition. She dropped a 3-0 decision to the Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio in their featherweight semifinal match-up. Brown is the only American female boxer in history to ever win both a gold and bronze medal in world championships competition.  

With two boxers in the finals, the United States team is tied for second place with only powerhouse Russia advancing more athletes to the championship round (4).  

All of the Elite Women’s World Championships action is being shown via live stream and it can be accessed at www.aiba.org.  

U.S. Results

112 lbs/51 kg: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec. Clelia da Costa, BRA, 3-0

125 lbs/57 kg: Nesthy Petecio, PHI, dec.  Tiara Brown, Fort Myers, Fla./USA, 3-0

165 lbs/75 kg: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA dec. Ariane Fortin, CAN, 3-0

 
     
     
   
 
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