– Six action-filled bouts highlighted Thursday night’s
competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing
at the Northern Quest Resort. The winners bracket competitors
returned to action on Thursday to battle for a coveted spot in
Saturday’s championship bout. The challengers bracket boxers
took the ring as well, fighting for their tournament lives in
Flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) clinched the first
berth in Saturday’s final round contest in a close bout with
Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.). Esparza held the lead after
every round, but Cruz kept the match close throughout all four
rounds. Cruz managed to tie the bout up during the final round
but Esparza quickly reclaimed the lead en route to a 13-10 final
The second spot in the championship round went to Queen
Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) but it didn’t come easy.
Nineteen-year-old Kent State student N’yteeyah Sherman
(Barberton, Ohio) utilized her long reach and active pace to
claim a one-point lead after each of the three round, but
Underwood wouldn’t be denied in the fourth. Underwood kept up
the pressure over the final two minutes to win a 25-24 final
decision and a berth in the final bout.
Sixteen-year-old Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) has impressed
the crowd throughout the tournament and Thursday was no
exception. Shields battled two-time light heavyweight national
champion Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in the winners bracket
finale. Shields built up a strong 20-9 lead after three rounds
and despite Hemingway’s best efforts, she couldn’t overcome her
opponent’s advantage. Shields won a 23-15 decision to claim the
third spot in Saturday’s championship round.
In challengers bracket action, middleweight Raquel Miller (San
Francisco, Calif.) continued her surprising run by knocking off
top seed Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) in the middleweight
contest. Miller took control of the bout in the second round and
didn’t let it go, winning a 26-15 final decision. She will face
Hemingway in Friday’s challengers bracket final.
2011 National Golden Gloves champion Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles,
Calif.) kept her Olympic dreams alive with a 23-18 victory over
2011 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Tiara
Brown (Washington DC). Mayer will battle Sherman tomorrow night
for the lightweight spot in the finals with Underwood.
In the first challengers bracket bout, two-time USA Boxing
National Championships silver medalist Tyrieshia Douglas
(Baltimore, Md.) won a 31-19 decision over Virginia Fuchs
(Kemah, Texas) to move on to a rematch with Cruz.
The three challengers bracket final bouts will begin at 8 p.m.
PT on Friday at the Pend Oreille Pavilion while the three
finalists enjoy a second day off. Universal Sports will once
again live stream the bouts and Friday’s action can be viewed
112 lbs/winners bracket: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas, dec.
Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., 13-10
112 lbs/challengers bracket: Tyrieshia Douglas, Md., dec.
Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas, 31-19
132 lbs/winners bracket: Queen Underwood, Wash., dec. N'yteeyah
Sherman, Barberton, Ohio, 25-24
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Mikaela Mayer, Calif., dec. Tiara
Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla., 23-18
165 lbs/winners bracket: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich., dec.
Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa., 23-15
165 lbs/challengers bracket: Raquel Miller, Calif., dec.
Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., 26-15
Friday’s Challengers Bracket Bout Sheet
112 lbs: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., vs. Tyrieshia Douglas,
132 lbs: N’yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio vs. Mikaela Mayer,
Los Angeles, Calif.
165 lbs: Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa., vs. Raquel Miller, San
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style
boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the
International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of
the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).