Claressa Shields shows little rust, dominates quarterfinal opponent
USA Boxing’s Claressa Shields delivered a stern message on Wednesday for anyone thinking she may be rusty after a first-round bye, dominating her quarterfinal opponent in a middleweight women’s bout in Rio to pick up at least a bronze medal.
The reigning Olympic gold medalist won by scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37 against Russia’s Iaroslava Iakushina to advance to the semifinals on Friday against Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova. Shields of Flint, Michigan was in control from the get-go, pushing Iakushina back with heavy blows and thumping away. Shields doled out a standing eight-count for good measure as the fight came to a close.
The U.S. team has now won three medals after Nico Hernandez and Shakur Stevenson also clinched bronze. Stevenson can go even further with a win in Thursday’s semifinals. But the face of USA Boxing for the moment is Shields, who won gold in London in 2012 and has since won a pair of World Championships and a Pan-American games championship. About the only thing that hasn’t gone right for her is the construction of her name. Olympic organizers have spelled her name “Claresa” on the bout sheets and video board in Rio.