All three women's Olympic boxing gold medal matches were held on Thursday afternoon, and the crowd had plenty to celebrate. Home country favorite, Flyweight Nicola Adams, won her match to become the first ever women's Olympic boxing gold medalist, Irish superstar Katie Taylor took home gold to the delight of her fans, and American teenager Claressa Shields lived up to her promise and captured gold at Middleweight.
Nicola Adams was up first against the favored Ren Cancan of China, a three-time world champion. Whether it was the support of the crowd buoying her, or simply performing at her best when she needed to the most, Adams was in charge of the fight from the opening bell.
Adams opened up a 9-4 lead through two rounds, and kept on piling it on. By the third, the fight was out of reach, and Adams ended up cruising to a 16-7 gold medal victory in the women's Flyweight division. How very fitting that the first women's Olympic boxing gold medalist ever was a British woman fighting in front of her British fans at the 2012 London Summer Games.
The second fight was the Lightweight final between Ireland's Katie Taylor and Russia's Sofya Ochigava. As has been the case every time Taylor fought during the Olympics, the crowd was simply off the charts in support of their favorite, fierce, Irish darling.
The fight began tentatively, however, and was tied at 2-2 after the first round. Ochigava then took a 4-3 lead heading into the second, and suddenly everything was in jeopardy for the massive favorite to win gold.
Katie Taylor wasn't going to sit back and just let her gold disappear, however. She came out much more aggressive in the third round, instead of sitting back and countering. She took the session 4-1 to go ahead 7-5 in the fight.
The fourth was tense, and Ochigava wasn't going to disappear either. However, when the scorecard was announced, Katie Taylor took home the gold for Ireland with a 10-8 win. If the crowd was loud before, it absolutely erupted as she was announced the gold medal winner and Olympic champion.
Finally, it was time for the Middleweight gold medal final between USA's Claressa Shields, and Russia's Nadezda Torlopova. The fight began slowly, with the tall Russian working behind her jab, and Shields laying back to counter.
But that's not the type of performance that got her here, and she began to turn it up. Once Claressa was the aggressor, she had too much speed and power for Torlopova, and began easily taking control of the bout. She was up 10-7 after two, and 15-10 after three.
Torlopova never really applied any pressure in the fourth to try to turn around the fight, and Shields cruised to her 19-12 gold medal victory. Just 17-years-old, Shields takes home the only boxing gold medal for the United States at the London 2012 Olympics.
That wraps up the women's Olympic boxing competition at London, with Adams, Taylor and Shields winning gold for Great Britain, Ireland and the USA.
Sources: AIBA.org, NBC Olympics Coverage
More from this contributor:
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, including a complete guide to the London 2012 Olympic Boxing competition, as well as exclusive stories and special features on the Games at the site.
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