Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and international newcomer Shadasia Green (Newark, N.J.) both earned preliminary victories on Monday afternoon at the 2016 Women’s World Championships at the Barys Arena in Astana, Kazakhstan. Junior and Youth World Champion Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) dropped her second round bout in the light welterweight division in her first elite World Championships.
Esparza, who moved down from the flyweight to the light flyweight division after winning her first world title in 2014, faced off with Korea’s Chorong Bak in her first bout of the 2016 event. She took a unanimous decision victory in the match to advance on to the quarterfinal round where she will face Mongolia’s Altantsetseg Lutsaikhan tomorrow afternoon in bout two at approximately 2:10 p.m. local time (4:10 a.m. ET).
Unlike Esparza who has been competing in the World Championships since 2006, Green boxed in her first major international bout on Monday in Kazakhstan. She faced Romania’s Elena Turcin in heavyweight preliminary action. After shaking off early nerves, Green began to turn it up on her shorter opponent. She went on to win a wide, unanimous decision to join Esparza in tomorrow’s quarterfinals. Green will face Russia’s Zenfina Magomedalieva in Tuesday’s afternoon competition in bout 13 at approximately 5 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET)
Gonzalez took on China’s Wenlu Yang in her second round bout following a third round stoppage victory in her opening match. She didn’t have the same the success in her second bout with Yang holding early and often in the match to stop Gonzalez’ output. Yang took the bout by one round on the judges scorecards to win a 3-0 decision in the bout and eliminate Gonzalez from the tournament.
Four American boxers will join Esparza and Green in quarterfinal action on Tuesday. Bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) will take on France’s Delphine Mancini in bout four at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time (4:40 a.m. ET). Welterweight Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is back for her second bout in the 10th match of the early session against Germany’s Nadine Apetz at approximately 4:20 p.m. local time (6:20 a.m. ET). In the light heavyweight division, Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will battle Maria Kovacs of Hungary in bout 12 at approximately 5 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET).
Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) will close the day in the lone U.S. bout of the evening session. Shields will face off with Kazakhstan’s Violeta Knyazeva in bout five at approximately 8 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).
The competition is being livestreamed on the AIBA website at www.aiba.org. For all of the tournament brackets, competition schedule, bout sheets and current results, go to: www.aiba.org/aiba-womens-world-boxing-championships-astana-2016.
Coaches Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Benny Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) are leading the U.S. team in Kazakhstan.
Over 275 boxers from 70 nations are competing in the ninth edition of the Women’s World Championships. The first-ever Women’s World Boxing Championships took place in Scranton, Pa., in 2001 and has grown exponentially since that time. The 2016 event is the second world championships since the Olympic debut of women’s boxing at the 2012 Olympic Games. While only three women’s weight divisions are contested in Olympic competition, all 10 weight classes are showcased in world championships action.
106 lbs/48 kg: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec. Chorong Bak, KOR, 3-0
141 lbs/64 kg: Wenlu Yang, CHN, dec. Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA, 3-0
178+ lbs/81+ kg: Shadasia Green, Newark, N.J./USA dec. Elena Turcin, ROU, 3-0