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Can Claressa Shields Remake Women’s Boxing?

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Teenage Olympic boxer Claressa Shields, and the culture of women's boxing.

Girls listen better:

Crutchfield likes to say that at his gym “you’re not a boy or a girl, you’re an athlete.” But, like most of the other coaches at the trials, he never imagined he’d train a woman. Al Mitchell, who has worked with three hundred and fifty national champions—all of them male—came to Spokane with the lightweight Mikaela Mayer. When she first contacted him, he wasn’t interested. “I’ve been to the mountain a few thousand times,” he said. “I wasn’t going to train no women! Her father must’ve called me ten times.” Mitchell told me that he had been converted, and repeated a line that I heard from every coach: “Girls listen better."

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Claressa Shields is awesome.







I truly hope she wins a gold.

I found this great article on 3 of USA's women boxers: Claressa Shields, Marlen Esparza, and Queen Underwood


Keisha Morrisey writes:

2012 is the first year women’s boxing will be a part of the Olympic Games. Although women’s boxing has been a recognized sport since the first organized bouts in London in the 1720’s, it has taken a very long time for women to be allowed in the ring at the Olympics. London will host the first women’s boxing events in just a few days, bringing the sport full circle over a span of approximately 300 years.

Three women will represent Team USA in three weight classes. Each of these young women possess an enormous amount of strength, beauty, character, and yes, femininity. They each have battled their way to a chance to compete in this historic event.

Claressa Shields

At just 17 years of age, Claressa Shields is a stunning young woman who is unafraid to speak openly of her faith. At an age when faith is one of the last things on most young people’s minds, God ranks first for Shields. This gold medal favorite trains hard and fights hard, going undefeated for 26 fights before her first loss. It was a loss she accepted prayerfully as a lesson God wanted her to learn on her journey to the Olympics.

Shields will represent the USA in the middleweight class. Her muscles tight, long brown hair braided back from her face, Shields is a picture of determination, a young woman who has overcome awful abuse but still stands strong. Head bowed and eyes closed in prayer, her beautiful, youthful glow exudes peace and serenity. “God has a plan for me, if it’s meant for me to get this gold medal, I will,” Shields told reporter, Val Berry.

Marlen Esparza

A new CoverGirl model, 22-year-old Marlen Esparza is as stunning outside the ring as in. Outside the ring, Esparza is happy to be the first Hispanic Olympian to be selected to represent CoverGirl, saying, “Anyone can be beautiful, and is deserving of beauty no matter what your personal situation is. You don’t have to be famous to look good.” Inside the ring, she has won six consecutive national championships in her division and will represent Team USA in the flyweight class.

Esparza is also unafraid to let her light shine when it comes to her faith. She told the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, upon receiving an award for her accomplishments, “I’ve done really well in the last three years, and I give all the glory to God and to Jesus Christ. That lifts a lot off of me and helps me perform better.”

Queen Underwood

Queen Underwood has the heart of a champion. She has strength almost beyond measure, and not just physically. Yes, she is a strong fighter with determination made clear in her motto, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.” But she also has an inner strength that gave her the power to overcome horrible abuse and stand tall as a role model and inspiration for others.

Fighting for Team USA in the lightweight class, 27-year-old Underwood has been through more than many people face in a lifetime, but she chooses to fight. With a radiant smile that testifies to her ability to overcome, Underwood’s truest beauty will always be her heart.

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