Olympic Boxing 2012: Women Save U.S. Boxing from Going Medal-Less

Mick AkersAnalyst IAugust 9, 2012

The United State's Claressa Shields (middle) celebrates her gold-medal win.
The United State's Claressa Shields (middle) celebrates her gold-medal win.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

After the most disappointing showing by a U.S. men's boxing team in Olympic history (per Newsday.com)—not winning a single medal—the inaugural women's team came through for the U.S. by winning two medals in London.

Flyweight Marlen Esparza came through Wednesday, winning a bronze medal (per NYdailynews.com) and, in a huge moment for the U.S., middleweight Claressa Shields beat Russian Nadezda Torlopova 19-12 in a dominating gold-medal performance Thursday (per SFgate.com).

Although the 33-year-old Torlopova had the edge in experience, the 17-year-old Shields put on an impressive performance, using superior speed and well timed combos to take the gold.

In the first year of women's boxing in the Olympic games, the women have shined, showing that females can hold their own in a sport largely dominated by their male counterparts.

Look for Shields to build off her Olympic success in four years at the 2016 Rio games, as she should be around for at least one more Olympics before making the jump to the pro ranks, given her young age.

Although it wasn't the way many had thought the U.S. would win medals in boxing, Shields and Esparza came through and saved the United Sates boxing program from not winning a single medal for the first time in its Olympic history.