Women's boxing makes Olympic debut

Published On: Aug 09 2012 08:21:31 AM HST   Updated On: Aug 06 2012 11:42:32 AM HST

Women's boxing was an Olympic event for the first time ever during the 2012 Summer Games.

Competition is under way in London. One of the American women on Team USA has been eliminated. The other two fight on Monday night.

Boxing has been a sport in the modern Olympics since 1904. It has taken more than 100 years to include women.

Flyweight boxer Marlen Esparza said this is her time. The 22-year-old has modeled for CoverGirl out of the ring, but don't let the flawless face fool you.

"A lot of girls who want to be pretty and wear makeup and do their hair, you can look feminine and still be in a contact sport and do well," Esparza said.

"There's not one male in this world who's ever seen me box and said I fight like a girl," said Team USA's Claressa Shields.

Shields is only 17 years old. The middleweight fighter said she's ready to wow the world.

"It feels great, because I feel I'm the greatest female boxer out there," she said. "If they see me boxing, they're going to see the best of women's boxing."

The veteran of the group is lightweight 28-year-old Queen Underwood.

"It feels good. It's well-deserved, a lot of sacrifice and dedication," she said.

Her nickname is the Queen of the Ring.

"I picked it up after high school and I fell in love with it and continued with it after high school," Underwood said.

The boxers said the men on the team are supporting them, but they know there are plenty of doubters out there.

"I think a lot of guys and society, period, is trying to figure out right now. After these games, it will be set in stone and we'll be on our way," Esparza said.

Underwood lost to a British fighter on Sunday. Esparza and Shields fight on Monday. If they win, they move on to the semis on Wednesday.

Eight of the nine American male boxers in London have been eliminated. The only one still competing, Errol Spence, fights on Tuesday.


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