High-SchoolGirl: women's boxing

Claressa Shields wins boxing gold

August, 9, 2012
Claressa Shields, 17, will be going back to Flint with a whole lot of glint.

The senior-to-be at Northwestern (Flint, Mich.) defeated 33-year-old Russian Nadezda Torlopova 19-12 on Thursday to win the gold medal in boxing's middleweight division at the London Olympics. This is the first time women's boxing has been a medal sport at the Olympics.

After getting a first-round bye, Shields beat 32-year-old Anna Laurell of Sweden 18-14 in the quarterfinals and 23-year-old Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan 29-15 in the semifinals.

Shields, the youngest member of the United States boxing team, was the only American fighter, man or woman, to win gold.

Read the full story here.

Claressa Shields to fight for Olympic gold

August, 8, 2012
Claressa Shields, the youngest member of the United States boxing team, is the only one left standing at the London Olympics.

The 17-year-old from Flint, Mich., beat Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova in the semifinals of the middleweight division on Wednesday to advance to Thursday's gold-medal match, where she will face 33-year-old Russian Nadezda Torlopova.

Shields, a senior-to-be at Northwestern (Flint, Mich.) who has been boxing since she was 9, beat Volnova 29-15.
The youngest women's boxer at the London Olympics has guaranteed she'll return home with some hardware.

Claressa Shields, a 17-year-old middleweight from Flint, Mich., beat Sweden's Anna Laurell 18-14 in the quarterfinals on Monday after receiving a first-round bye. Shields clinched at least a bronze medal -- two bronze medals are awarded to the semifinal losers -- but still has a shot at silver or gold.

Shields, who will be a senior at Northwestern (Flint, Mich.), takes on Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan on Wednesday in the semifinals.

Volnova defeated Great Britain's Savannah Marshall in the quarterfinals. Marshall handed Shields her only loss as an amateur in May at the Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China.

Read the full story here.
Claressa Shields
Tom McKenzieClaressa Shields, a junior at Northwestern (Flint, Mich.) who has been boxing since she was 9, suffered her first loss in China.
Claressa Shields, a 17-year-old boxer from Flint, Mich., and the top-ranked American in her weight class, was upset at the Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China.

Shields was trying to clinch a berth to the London Olympics with a top-eight finish in the single-elimination tournament. The loss to England's Savannah Marshall was Shields' first loss as an amateur.

According to MLive, Shields' hopes now rest with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tripartite Commission, which will add a fighter to each weight class after the world championships.

"It would mean everything to me to get a spot so that people could stop calling me an 'Olympic hopeful,' " Shields said prior to the championships. "I know I can do it."

Secrets from the Training Room: Try your hand at boxing?

November, 21, 2011
Girls boxingCourtesy of Bob MillerNicole Wokas says boxing appeals to her because it challenges her both physically and mentally.

Life as an athlete doesn’t begin and end on the field. The dedicated are relentless in searching for a perfect mix of diet, clothing, sleeping patterns and cross-training that will beat the competition. Although the choices are seemingly endless, we’re making your search easier by going to coaches, trainers and athletes and bringing you back the secrets from the training room.

This week, we’re taking a look at boxing as cross-training.

What it is: A sport that underdog movie dreams are made of, boxing pits two competitors of roughly equal weight in a ring for a specified number of rounds. The winner is determined either by judges’ scoring or when one competitor is unable – or deemed unable -- to continue.

How it works: Although a sport based on hand-to-hand combat may not seem beneficial to the total body, boxing doesn’t leave many areas out when it comes to training. Gary Dobry, owner of Pug’s Boxing Gym in Crystal Lake, Ill, refers to boxing as “the art of being relaxed while performing at a sprinter’s pace,” a practice that takes incredible focus and conditioning.

Boxers must have great endurance, agility and flexibility. Plus, mental sharpness is key to staying one step — sometimes literally — ahead of your opponent.

Who does it: These days, participants include moms who want to get back into shape, kids who attend boxing classes alongside trumpet lessons and soccer practice, professional athletes dreaming of gold medals, and, of course, girls in high school looking to cross-train and potentially excel at another sport.

Does it work? Given the accessibility of boxing trainers, gyms and coaches across the country -- along with the addition of women’s boxing to the 2012 Olympics -- it would seem the sport is doing something right for its participants.

Bob Miller, co-owner and coach at Warrior Boxing in Downers Grove, Ill., trains one of the largest female boxing teams in the country.

“(I’m) happy that there is a good avenue for girls to express their talents in this area,” Miller says.

One of his boxers, sophomore Nicole Wokas, loves the sports because it challenges her on multiple levels.

“(Boxing) not only demands physical agility,” she says. “But also forces you to mindfully pace yourself, which builds stamina.”

An added bonus, according to Lake County Boxing Club coach Larry Lentz, is that with women’s boxing just starting to catch on, a smaller pool of competition allows for a higher chance of excelling.

“It’s easier to turn a good fighter into a champion,” he says.

And even if your sights aren’t set on the championship in the ring, Dobry provides another benefit.

“Life is all about challenges and going the distance,” he says. “If you can take on a scary opponent inside the ring, the challenges outside will be a piece of cake.”