17-year-old Claressa Shields of the United States won the middleweight gold medal in women's boxing today in London, beating Russia's Nadezda Torlopova, 19-12. It's the only gold medal that any American boxer has won since Andre Ward in 2004.
[ Lightweight Gold Medal: Katie Taylor (Ireland) ]
[ Flyweight Gold Medal: Nicola Adams (Great Britain) ]
[ Full London 2012 Boxing Coverage ]
Shields, the teenager from Flint, Mich., with prodigious talent and true star quality, may indeed wind up leading a surge of interest in women's boxing in the States. She's got skills, punching in combination like nobody else we saw in London, and a serious will to win.
In the final, she defeated Torlopova, 33, building her lead steadily in the second and third rounds. She was too fast, too strong, and too good.
Shields is without question the star of USA Boxing in 2012, men's or women's. Our congratulations on what should be the breakthrough moment of a great career.
Bronze medals were won by Li Jinzi of China and Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan.