The return of Claressa Shields, the 1st gold medal women's boxing champ
July 31, 2016 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Four years ago, WNYC published a series titled Women Box: Fighting to Make History (start at the beginning), looking at some women who would take part in the first year that women's boxing was an official Olympic sport. 16 year old Claressa Shields, a junior at Northwestern High School in Flint, Michigan (16 min, audio) was part of that history, probably the biggest part: she won. Four years later, you probably haven't seen her as much as you might have seen other gold medalists, because it's hard to get promotions and sponsors when you're a tough woman who fights, but she's back to fight again.
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nice roundup of links! She's so impressive. I don't follow boxing, so I hadn't heard of her until I heard her interviewed on the Another Round podcast but she is really awesome.
posted by aka burlap at 4:11 PM on July 31, 2016


Go Claressa!
posted by alex_skazat at 4:39 PM on July 31, 2016


Thanks for this fantastic roundup, filthy light thief! Can I add on a link to the trailer for T-Rex, a documentary about Claressa that's produced by Sue Jaye Johnson, the photographer who took those NYT photos? As far as I can tell, the movie is available to rent through Vimeo right now, it'll air on PBS's Independent lens on August 2, and it looks really, really good.
posted by Hellgirl at 5:24 PM on July 31, 2016


Boxing, owing mostly to its promoters greed resulting in corruption and an interest in fights that are more brief and decided via the referee rather than the judges scorecards is becoming less and less relevant, or popular anyway, on television here in the US.

I'd be willing to bet that more people have heard of Ronda Rousey (MMA) than have heard of any boxer - male or female.

At one time I was an ardent boxing fan. I've watched hundreds of matches. Congratulations of course to Ms. Shields but I think this is evidence more of a waning interest in boxing as compared with a rising interest in MMA.

It's hard to get promotions as a boxer.
posted by vapidave at 6:01 PM on July 31, 2016


Ask yourself, would a fat stack of cash make one a better boxer.

Nice post FLT.
posted by clavdivs at 6:08 PM on July 31, 2016


Asking a boxer to "tone it down" because she says she likes to fight? Seriously? That's pathetic.
posted by Peach at 6:31 PM on July 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Here's the full gold-medal bout from the excellent Olympic YouTube channel.
posted by clorox at 9:02 PM on July 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


T-Rex is a great documentary and she's an amazing athlete and was incredibly articulate and mature for her age when it was filmed. I really thought she would be more famous in the run up to these Olympics but maybe it is because of the waning popularity of boxing, I don't know. It kills me a bit to read the NPR article and hear her say she's not a pretty girl with straight hair.
posted by fshgrl at 9:29 PM on July 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just as a point of information, Shields was actually the third woman to win a boxing Olympic gold, the first was Nicola Adams, the second was Katie Taylor. This report covers the timeline.
posted by biffa at 4:09 AM on August 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deirdre Gogarty v Christy Martin

For perspective, this was in 1996. Two women throwing down like true warriors.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:27 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


(The shortened rounds bother me still. They did this with women's MMA back when it first made it to television, because of some patronising fear women couldn't handle full-length rounds or some bullshit.)
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:28 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


clavdivs: Ask yourself, would a fat stack of cash make one a better boxer.

I don't think she's looking for a fat stack of cash, but her $1,000 a month stipend for being a member of the U.S. national boxing team were going to pay her mom's water bill and helping her older brother, who was in prison. Increased financial security for her and her family would be nice.


biffa: Just as a point of information, Shields was actually the third woman to win a boxing Olympic gold, the first was Nicola Adams, the second was Katie Taylor. This report covers the timeline.

Thanks! I overlooked the other weight classes for women (Flyweight (51kg/ ~112lbs), Lightweight (60kg/ ~132lbs) and Middleweight (75kg/ ~165lbs). Men, for comparison, had ten weight classes in the 2012 Olympics.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2016


her $1,000 a month stipend for being a member of the U.S. national boxing team were going to pay her mom's water bill

...in Flint.
posted by Etrigan at 1:18 PM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


It seems like none of these athletes ever get the mythical endorsements and futures they're promised, after giving it everything they have. The olympics are a giant scam.
posted by bleep at 11:51 PM on August 1, 2016


Nicola Adams has just successfully defended her title.
posted by biffa at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2016


Yes!
posted by clavdivs at 2:37 PM on August 22, 2016


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