Claressa Shields wins second straight world title
With a win Friday at the Women's World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, Claressa Shields has earned her second consecutive world title.
Shields scored a unanimous decision over Dutch boxer Nouchka Fontijn in the middleweight (75kg/165 lbs) Gold Medal Bout. The win improved her all-time record to 74-1.
The lone loss of Shields' career came at the 2012 World Championships. Since then, she has won three consecutive global titles (2012 Olympics, 2014 Worlds, 2016 Worlds) without dropping a single bout.
The focus for Shields will now turn to the Rio Games, where she can become the first American boxer to win gold at multiple Olympics. In 2012, she was the only member of the U.S. team to earn an Olympic championship.
In the flyweight (51kg/112 lbs) division, reigning Olympic champion Nicola Adams of Great Britain captured her first world title after a split decision victory over Thailand's Peamwilai Laopeam in the final.
In the lightweight (60kg/132 lbs) class, it was France's Estelle Mossely winning a unanimous decision over Russian Anastasiia Beliakova. One day earlier in the semifinals, Mossely had upset Irish boxer Katie Taylor, who entered the tournament as the overwhelming favorite thanks to five straight world titles and an Olympic championship in 2012.
Flyweight, lightweight and middleweight are the only three weight classes contested at the Olympics. At the world championships though, tournaments were also held for the seven non-Olympic weight classes. In those divisions, four Americans earned medals: Heavyweight (81+kg/178.5 lbs) Shadasia Green won silver, while Marlen Esparza, Christina Cruz and Franchon Crews will all take home bronze medals.
The world championships served as the final Olympic qualifier for women's boxing. All qualification spots have now been allocated.