AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. (AP) — Unheralded teenage middleweight Claressa Shields upset top-ranked Olympic hopeful Franchon Crews of Baltimore on Monday night in the first U.S. team trials for women’s boxing.
Top-ranked lightweight Queen Underwood overcame serious jitters in front of her home-state crowd, winning her first bout in a small ballroom at a resort-casino just outside Spokane.
Shields, a 16-year-old from Michigan with Betty Boop on her tall socks, thoroughly overwhelmed five-time national champion Crews, 24, with a relentless work rate and athleticism. Shields has shot up the national rankings in the past year while growing 4 inches.
The double-elimination trials feature eight fighters in each of the three weight classes of the first Olympic women’s boxing tournament. The three trials winners still must do well at the world championships in May to qualify for the London Olympics.