(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Featherweight Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) made quite an impressive World Championships debut in Qinhuangdao, China, winning gold at her first-ever major international event. Brown completed her run to the top of the medal podium with a 24-21 victory over Poland’s Sandra Kruk on Saturday. Welterweight Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) and light heavyweight Franchon Crews(Baltimore, Md.) each lost their championship bouts, but will take home silver for their efforts in China.
Brown competed in the Olympic Trials at the lightweight division before moving down to the featherweight class for the 2012 USA Boxing National Championships and subsequent World Championships. The lower weight class seems to be a perfect fit for Brown who became only the third U.S. female boxer to win a world championship with her win on Saturday.
Brown rode a strong first two rounds to a gold medal in her bout with Kruk. After claiming a 5-3 lead after the first, she pushed her advantage to a 10-5 margin at the halfway mark. Kruk attempted to mount a comeback in the third, chipping two points off of Brown’s lead in but Brown hung on over the final two minutes. The American featherweight earned a 24-21 decision over Kruk to claim gold for Team USA.
Miller was the second U.S. newcomer to World Championships action to advance all the way to the tournament finals, winning four bouts during her tournament run. Yet her streak ended on Saturday as Ukraine’s Mariia Badulina defeated Miller by a 14-8 margin. Badulina took a 2-1 lead after one and doubled it in the second round. The Ukrainian boxer held the a two-point advantage after the third as well but pulled away in the fourth round to win a 14-8 final decision. Despite the loss, Miller will take home a silver medal from her first World Championships following her outstanding performance in China.
Crews grabbed the second silver medal of the night for Team USA following an 18-11 loss to home nation boxer Yuan Meiqing of China. The two boxed to a 2-2 tie following one round, but Meiqing grabbed the momentum in the second round and didn’t relinquish it for the remainder of the bout. She held an 11-7 lead over Crews after the third before moving out to an 18-11 final decision. Crews wins a silver medal at her new light heavyweight division for her tournament showing in China.
The gold and two silvers won by U.S. boxers on Saturday bring the U.S. medal count for the event to five for the event, following bronze medal performances by bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) and light welterweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.). In addition to five of the nine U.S. boxers claiming hardware, flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) qualified spots in the first Olympic Games for women’s boxing.
The team will return to the United States on Sunday.
125 lbs: Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla./USA dec. Sandra Kruk, POL, 24-21
152 lbs: Mariia Badulina, UKR, dec. Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif./USA, 24-21
178 lbs: Yuan Meiqing, CHN, dec. Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md./USA,