The winners of the Flyweight class (51 kg), Welterweight class (69 kg), Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) and Heavyweight class (+81 kg) advanced to the quarter-finals in Jeju, Korea on the fourth competition day of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, which means they all need to win just one further bout for a guaranteed bronze medal.
Many boxers excelled on Day 4, and the US delegation won all of their four bouts, including a win for London 2012 Olympic Champion Claressa Shields who spent only eleven seconds in the ring.
Bout of the day
Canada’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Ariane Fortin defeated her main national level rival, and three-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Mary Spencer to secure her place in the squad.
The 30-year-old Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer also claimed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in the beginning of August where only England’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall was able to stop her in a narrow final.
She had to meet with Mongolia’s Asian Games silver medallist Undram Erdenesoyol in Jeju, who was a tough opponent for a first fight in the Championships.
Fortin controlled the opening round, and used her footwork to dominate the action, and was sharper in the punch exchanges.
The Mongolian tried to move ahead, but Fortin was quicker and prevented lot of the attacks, and the Canadian southpaw proved she is a medal contender in Jeju.
Team of the day
USA’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Marlen Esparza is one of the gold medal contenders of the Flyweight class (51 kg) in Jeju, where she had to meet with Kazakhstan’s Merjen Ishanguliyeva.
Following her first triumph in the Championships she needed to be at her very best to advance to the next stage of the event.
Ishanguliyeva was impressive in the opening round, but Esparza managed to change her tactics, and she improved well as the fight progressed.
Two-time AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Danyelle Wolf and Canada’s Myriam Da Silva have been frequent opponents in the past, and the US Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer won their last battle in the final of the AMBC American Women’s Continental Championships in Guadalajara two months ago, but in their rematch Wolf was able perform better, and won all of the rounds in the fight.
London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist and AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Claressa Shields is only 19, but she has won all of the major competitions excluding the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, which she is looking to add to her list in Jeju.
The US teenager spent only eleven seconds in the ring against Uganda’s East African Champion Hellen Baleke before the Russian referee stopped their bout due to the clear dominance of Shields.
Heidi Henriksen only joined the US squad this year, and following her successes at the national level she received the right to fight for the United States in these Championships.
She also had an Ugandan opponent in her match, but Diana Turyanabo could not get near to her, so therefore Henriksen managed to secure the fourth triumph for the United States on Day 4.
Surprises of the day
Morocco’s African Women’s Cup winner Khadija Mardi is competing in her first ever AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju to raise her experience at the international level, and the 23-year-old boxer, who trains in the club of Energique, had to meet with Brazil’s South American Games winner Flavia Tereza Figueiredo who was the favourite in their contest.
Mardi used her height advantage as an effective weapon, and boxed very well from a longer distance which the Brazilian Middleweight class (75 kg) struggled with, leading her to lose to her talented African opponent on Day 4.
Independence Cup winner and South American Games silver medallist Atheyna Bylon won her opening contest in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships which was the first ever triumph for Panama in the history of the event, and the new sensation surprisingly then went on to beat Wales’ Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lauren Price on the fourth competition day in Jeju.
Hungary’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion and defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Maria Kovacs defeated Turkey’s Emine Bozduman in the semi-final of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships, and the 33-year-old Hungarian had to meet with the younger Turkish hope again in Jeju.
Although she began their contest with effective punches, the 22-year-old Turkish southpaw was able to turn up the heat, and her skills and heart saw her eventually eliminate the main medal contender of the Heavyweight class (+81 kg).
Ones to watch
Netherlands’s defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Nouchka Fontijn is a great prospect in the Middleweight class (75 kg), and could be competitive rival for US star Claressa Shields and England’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall.
She began her Championships against Chinese Taipei’s Flora Dara Shen who competed in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, and trains in the United States.
Fontijn was at her very best in the opening round, and her frequent jabs and sharp punches were potent enough for the referee to stop their contest after three minutes.
Sweden’s Love Holgersson was gold medallist at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships in Antalya in 2011, and since then she moved up to the Middleweight class (75 kg).
She replaced London 2012 Olympian and AIBA Women’s World Champion Anna Laurell Nash in the national team, and arrived to Korea with great expectations.
With ample time to acclimatize to the time difference, her first opponent was against Belarus’ Viktoriya Kebikava, who moved ahead and tried to control the bout, but the impressive counter-attacks from Holgersson were more successful, which resulted in the 21-year-old Swedish boxer winning her debut match in Jeju.
Stat/Fact of the day
Africa’s two leading women’s boxing nations Egypt and Morocco both won bouts on Day 4, which shows the development of boxing in that region.
Quote of the day
“The fight was pretty scrappy but I just wanted to keep the pressure on my opponent and close the distance down. It worked for the most part in the bout, and I just need to keep my feet moving with punches and don’t start throwing too early. I’ll probably need to do the same thing against my next opponent, China’s Li Qian. She is a well skilled boxer that will want to stay long range. I’ll have to shut her space down. I am happy to get the win today but it was not a memorable one,” said Australia’s Kaye Scott following her triumph over Azerbaijan’s EUBC European Continental Championships bronze medallist Leyla Javadova.
The fifth competition day will decide who will be qualify for the quarter-finals in the following weight classes: Light Flyweight class (48 kg), Bantamweight class (54 kg), Featherweight class (57 kg), Lightweight class (60 kg), Light Welterweight class (64 kg) and Middleweight class (75 kg).
England’s current AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall will be fighting against Russia’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Iaroslava Iakushina, which will be one of the most anticipated battles of Day 5.