Five American Boxers Clinch Medals
with Quarterfinal Victories at the 2016 Women's World Boxing
by Julie Goldsticker/USA Boxing
May 25, 2016
(MAY 25) COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.
- Five American boxers advanced to the semifinal round with
quarterfinal wins at the 2016 Women's World Championships in
Astana, Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Olympic bronze medalist Marlen
Esparza (Houston, Texas), bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York,
N.Y.), Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.),
light heavyweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) and
heavyweight Shadasia Green (Newark, N.J.) all clinched medals
today at the Barys Arena. Welterweight Naomi Graham (Colorado
Springs, Colo.) lost her quarterfinal bout on Tuesday in her
first-ever World Championships.
Shields moved one step closer to defending her middleweight
crown with her second straight unanimous decision win in
Tuesday's quarterfinal competition. She was the final American
boxer to compete on Tuesday and she capped a highly successful
day for the United States with another dominant performance at
the 2016 World Championships. Shields won a 3-0 victory, taking
the bout by a wide margin on each of the judges' scorecards over
Kazakhstan's Violleta Knyazeva. The quarterfinal victory
advances Shields on to a semifinal match-up with Taipei's Nien-Chin
Chen in the sixth bout of Thursday's evening semifinal action at
approximately 8:20 p.m. local time (10:20 a.m. ET). Should she
emerge victorious and former World Champion Savannah Marshall of
Great Britain win her semifinal bout on the opposite side of the
bracket, Shields could get the rematch she's been waiting for
since the lone loss of her career at the 2012 World
Fellow Olympic medalist Esparza set off the day for the United
States in her light flyweight bout with Altantsetseg Lutsaikan
of Mongolia. Esparza scored her second victory in as many days,
winning a 3-0 decision over Lutsaikan in their quarterfinal
contest. She moves on to a semifinal match-up with China's Yuyan
Wang in the opening bout of Thursday's semifinal competition at
3 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET). Esparza's 2016 medal is not her
first at the light flyweight division. She took home a bronze
medal from her first World Championships in 2006 in the light
Cruz clinched her berth in the medal round with a victory over
France's Delphine Mancini in the bantamweight division. She took
a 2-0 decision over Mancini in the quarterfinal contest to
secure her second World Championships medal in the bantamweight
division. She will box in her semifinal bout against Bulgaria's
Stoyka Petrova in bout three on Thursday at approximately 3:20
p.m. local time (5:20 a.m. ET).
In the light heavyweight division, Crews returned to the medal
stand with a quarterfinal win over fellow boxing veteran Maria
Kovacs of Hungary. She won a wide, unanimous decision victory
over Kovacs in their quarterfinal contest to clinch a spot in
the semifinal round. Crews will face off with China's Xiaoli
Yang in bout nine of the early session at approximately 5 p.m.
local time (7 a.m. ET) on Thursday.
Green is the international newcomer of the group but that didn't
deter her from scoring a big quarterfinal victory over
powerhouse Russia in her quarterfinal match. She earned a 2-1
decision over Zenfira Magomedalieva in her second bout of the
2016 Women's World Championships. Green now moves on to a
semifinal contest with Turkey's Sennur Demir on Thursday evening
at approximately 9 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET).
Graham was also competing in her first World Championships and
was able to advance to the quarterfinal round in the major
international event. She dropped a 3-0 decision to Germany's
Nadine Apetz, eliminating her from the competition.
With quarterfinal competition now complete, the women's boxing
Olympic allocations have been finalized. As American flyweight
Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) did not place in the top four and
the two finalists from the Americas Qualifier did not advance to
the semifinals, she did not qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.
All of the competitors will enjoy a rest day on Wednesday before
the event resumes with semifinal action on Thursday and the gold
medal bouts on Friday at the Barys Arena.
The competition is being livestreamed on the AIBA website at
www.aiba.org. For all of the tournament brackets, competition
schedule, bout sheets and current results, go to: www.aiba.org/aiba-womens-world-boxing-championships-astana-2016.
Coaches Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Israel Acosta
(Milwaukee, Wis.) and Benny Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) are leading
the U.S. team in Kazakhstan.
Over 275 boxers from 70 nations are competing in the ninth
edition of the Women's World Championships. The first-ever
Women's World Boxing Championships took place in Scranton, Pa.,
in 2001 and has grown exponentially since that time. The 2016
event is the second world championships since the Olympic debut
of women's boxing at the 2012 Olympic Games. While only three
women's weight divisions are contested in Olympic competition,
all 10 weight classes are showcased in world championships
U.S. Quarterfinal Results
106 lbs/48 kg: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA, dec.
Altantsetseg Lutsaikan, MGL, 3-0
119 lbs/54 kg: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y./USA, dec. Delphine
Mancini, FRA, 2-0
152 lbs/69 kg: Nadine Apetz, GER, dec. Naomi Graham, Colorado
Springs, Colo./USA, 3-0
165 lbs/75 kg: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA dec. Violleta
Knyazeva, KAZ, 3-0
178 lbs/81 kg: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md./USA, dec. Maria
Kovacs, HUN, 3-0
178+ lbs/81+ kg: Shadasia Green, Patterson, N.J./USA, dec.
Zenfira Magomedalieva, RUS, 2-1.