Claressa Shields of Team USA stole the show this morning in London with a dominant performance in the middleweight semifinals, and tomorrow at about 12:15 p.m. EDT, she'll be going for the gold medal. Here are today's full morning results from the women's semifinals.
We'll be back this afternoon at 3:30 EDT with men's quarterfinal action in the light flyweight, light welterweight, and light heavyweight divisions.
Women's Flyweight (112 lbs/51kg)
Ren Cancan (China) def. Marlen Esparza (United States), 10-8: Considering that a few months ago, Ren beat Esparza 16-8 at the Worlds, you could say this was an encouraging performance. In terms of scoring blows, there was nothing between them. But Ren was a little better, I suppose. I didn't think the 2-2 third was scored all that well, but what can you do? Esparza officially takes a bronze, and is reportedly leaving boxing to focus on school. Good for her.
Nicola Adams (Great Britain) def. Mary Kom (India), 11-6: Kom was game, but had zero advantages against Adams, who was bigger, stronger, and probably even faster. Kom has one of the best stories of the entire Olympics, but she was beaten fair and square here.
Women's Lightweight (132 lbs/60kg)
Katie Taylor (Ireland) def. Mavzuna Chorieva (Tajikistan), 17-9: Taylor is just terrific, and a legitimate star. The Irish fans packed the ExCel for this session and this fight. This fight might as well have been in Dublin. Chorieva was game but still outclassed by Taylor.
Sofya Ochigava (Russia) def. Adriana Araujo (Brazil), 17-11: Araujo got the shaft here, which sets up a Taylor-Ochigava fight in the gold medal match, a rematch of the Worlds final in May.
Women's Middleweight (165 lbs/75kg)
Claressa Shields (United States) def. Marina Volnova (Kazakhstan), 29-15: Shields, 17, is a prodigious talent and she fights mean, to boot. In other words, there is absolutely nothing I don't like about Claressa Shields or her approach to boxing. This was a star-making sort of performance. She goes for gold tomorrow. USA! USA!
Nadezda Torlopova (Russia) def. Li Jinzi (China), 12-10: Torlopova gets Shields tomorrow, and I really do think Shields appears the class of the fighters here.