Two American boxers familiar with international success each added to their winning streaks on Thursday at the 2014 Elite Women’s World Championships in Jeju, South Korea. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) and reigning world champion Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) enjoyed unanimous decision victories today to move on to Friday’s quarterfinal competition. Light flyweight Alex Love (Fort Carson, Colo.) and light welterweight Destiny Chearino (Warwick, R.I.) dropped close decisions in their preliminary contests on Thursday.
After an 11-second bout on Wednesday, Shields faced off in a full four rounds of competition in her middleweight bout with Poland’s Lidia Fudura on Thursday. The Olympic champion won a wide decision in the contest to advance to what she had hoped would be a rematch with the lone conqueror of her career – Savanah Marshall of England. Marshall defeated Shields in the 2012 World Championships, giving the teenager her only loss. Yet Shields won’t be able to avenge the defeat as she’d hoped due to Marshall falling to Russia’s Iavoslava Iakushina in their preliminary contest on Thursday. Shields will face off with Iakushina on Friday at approximately 8:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET) for a spot in the medal round.
Brown was one of the first U.S. boxers to compete in Jeju, boxing in her first round contest on Monday and she was finally back in action in the featherweight division on Thursday. Once again, Brown pulled out a hotly contested victory, taking a 3-0 decision over Bulgaria’s Sveltana Staneva to join Shields in Friday’s quarterfinals. She will take on Chinese Taipei’s Wen Ling Chen at approximately 7:45 p.m. local time (5:45 a.m. ET) on Friday.
Love enjoyed a win in her first bout of the World Championships on Tuesday but she couldn’t duplicate the result in her second bout on Thursday. She dropped a 2-1 decision to Indonesia’s Aldriani Suguro in their light flyweight contest, eliminating her from the tournament.
Chearino spent the first three days of competition watching her teammates battle international foes in Jeju and she finally got her opportunity to step in to the ring on Thursday. She took on Romania’s Simona Sitar in light welterweight competition and despite her best efforts, fell by a 2-0 score.
All six remaining United States competitors will box in Friday’s quarterfinal competition at the Halla Gymnasium. In addition to Shields and Brown, flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) and light heavyweight Heidi Henriksen (St. Louis Park, Minn.) will return to action while heavyweight Krystal Dixon (New Rochelle, N.Y.) makes her tournament debut.
Wolf will start off the day in a bout with Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova at approximately 3:30 p.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET) with Henriksen battling Ukraine’s Anastasia Chernokolenko at about 4:15 p.m. local time (2:15 a.m. ET).
Esparza will compete in the first bout of the evening session, taking on Turkey’s Elif Nur Coska at 7 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) and Dixon will close out the day in a match-up with a Turkish foe as well, battling Emine Bozduman at approximately 9 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET).
Through five days of boxing, the United States sits in third place in the team standings behind Russia and China with six boxers in medal contention.
All of the tournament action is being live streamed at www.aiba.org.
106 lbs/48 kg: Aldriani Suguro, INA, dec. Alex Love, Fort Carson, Colo./USA, 2-1
125 lbs/57 kg: Tiara Brown, Fort Myers, Fla./USA dec. Svetlana Staneva, BUL, 3-0
141 lbs/64 kg: Simona Sitar, ROU, dec. Destiny Chearino, Warwick, R.I./USA, 2-0
165 lbs/75 kg: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA dec. Lidia Fidura, POL, 3-0