(SPOKANE, WASH.) – The U.S. Olympic Team Trials Championship bouts are now set following three challengers bracket final round contests at Northern Quest Resort. All six competitors in Friday’s action were battling to stay alive in the first-ever Olympic Trials, and the intensity of the action reflected the night’s high stakes.
Flyweight Tyrieshia Douglas (Baltimore, Md.) was competing in her fifth bout in as many days but didn’t show any signs of fatigue in her contest with Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.). Douglas held a slim two-point advantage going into the final round, and she didn’t leave anything to chance over the final two minutes. The two-time USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist scored 11 points in the final round to claim a 22-14 victory and move on to Saturday’s championship contest with six-time national champion Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas).
Two tall and skilled lightweights faced off in the second contest of the evening with 2011 National Golden Gloves champion Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) challenging 2011 USA Boxing National Championships bronze medalist N’yteeyah Sherman (Barberton, Ohio). The momentum swung throughout the bout with Sherman taking a 7-5 lead after the opening two minutes. Yet Mayer pulled the bout to a 13-13 tie at the midway point of the contest. Mayer grabbed the lead in the third round, holding a 20-17 advantage with one round of action remaining. Sherman, an accounting major at Kent State University, nearly managed to pull the bout to a tie score over the final two minutes but Mayer held on to a one-point lead. She went on to win a 26-25 final decision and move on to a rematch of Tuesday’s action with Queen Underwood in Saturday’s finals.
Middleweight Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the final spot in the championship round with a convincing 21-6 victory over Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) in their challengers bracket contest. Hemingway took the early lead and built it out slowly, closing the show with nine points in the final round to win a 21-6 decision. She will face 16-year-old Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) in a rematch of Thursday’s action on Saturday night.
The evening opened with three junior female bouts, featuring contests ranging from the 10 and 11 year-old division to the 15 and 16-year-old class. The participants traveled from as far as Alberta, Canada to take part in the event.
Saturday’s championship round action will begin at 8 p.m. PT and should the winners bracket titlist emerge victorious, they will be the first-ever U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing champion. If a challengers bracket champion wins on Saturday, the weight class will go to a second winner-takes-all bout on Sunday.
Saturday’s championship bouts can be viewed via live stream at http://www.universalsports.com/video/assetid=fa5a8f09-8696-4cf8-8833-f9f42c58631b.html.
Friday’s Challengers Bracket Finals Results
112 lbs/challengers bracket: Tyrieshia Douglas, Baltimore, Md., dec. Christina Cruz, 22-14
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. N'yteeyah Sherman, 26-24
165 lbs/challengers bracket: Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa., dec. Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif., 21-6
Saturday’s Championship Round Bout Sheet
112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas vs. Tyrieshia Douglas, Baltimore, Md.
132 lbs: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash., vs. Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif.
165 lbs: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich., vs. Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa.