No Controversy Here: Women’s Olympic Boxing Quarterfinals Results

Women’s boxing put on a hell of a show Monday, mostly washing the nasty taste from yesterday’s terrible judging out of our collective mouths. There was atmosphere, upsets and feel-good stories galore at the Excel Arena in East London. Hometown favourite Natasha Jonas combined with Katie Taylor in a lightweight Quarterfinal to put on one of the more memorable bouts of the Games so far. Other impressive ladies included Indian legend Mary Kom and America’s Marlene Esparza.

(Jonas, left, trades punches with Taylor, right; photo via Olympics website)

Flyweight – 51kg/112.4lb

Ren Cancan vs. Elena Savelyeva: Chinese world champion Cancan Ren got out to an early lead and never really gave it up in the opening bout of the women’s quarter finals. After three rounds Cancan was up 9-3 and content to survive. Despite Savelyeva landing some eye-catching shots, the Chinese woman was simply too fast with her hands and too elusive, eventually winning 12-7.

Marlene Esparza vs. Karlha Magliocco: For all the talk of the U.S.’s worst ever performance, the truth is that, thanks to Marlene Esparza, Team USA has now equaled its one bronze medal from Beijing. Esparza consistently landed harder shots than her Venezualan opponent, Karlha Magliocco, and ended up winning by a margin of 24-16. She’s now guaranteed at least a bronze.

Mary Kom vs. Marouha Rahali: Indian mother of two Mary Kom was greeted by huge applause from the London crowd. After a tentative opening round she found her range, landing big straight lefts and right hooks before slipping out of range. Tunisia’s Rahali largely had no answers and went down 15-6.

Nicola Adams vs. Stoyka Petrova: The London crowd had an even more raucous welcome for Team GB’s Nicola Adams. After taking the 1st round 2-1, the Englishwoman extended her lead throughout the fight, eventually winning 16-7. Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova had already lost to Adams three times previously and was powerless once again in the face of Adams’ long jab and committed body punching.

Lightweight – 60kg/132.2lb

Katie Taylor vs. Natasha Jonas: The ring announcer’s request to the assembled to “please make some noise” was truly unnecessary, with the feverish crowd lifting the roof off the Excel Arena. Both boxers came out swinging, with flashy combinations that were thrown with worse and worse intentions round after round. Ireland’s Katie Taylor ended up getting the better of it, winning 26-15 and forcing Jonas to take two standing eight counts on the way.

Mavzuna Chorieva vs. Cheng Dong: China’s Dong attempted to box using her height and active lead hand but couldn’t deal with her Tajik opponent’s timing. Dong didn’t really do enough despite being down on points from beginning to end. Chorieva landed the much harder shots throughout, taking it by the scoreline of 13-8.

Adriana Araujo vs. Mahjouba Oubtil: Adriana Araujo surged to an early lead on the back of solid punching from set feet but Morroco’s Oubtil didn’t lose heart, attempting to chase the Brazilian down. She nearly got there too, closing the gap to two points in the third before Araujo stepped on the gas again to take the win 16-12.

Sofya Ochigava vs. Alexis Pritchard: Poor New Zealand’s Alexis Pritchard had no answers for her far superior Russian opponent, two-time world champ Ochigava. The brave Kiwi ended up taking a beating and will go home to NZ with a 22-4 loss on her record.

Middleweight – 75kg/165.3lb

Marina Volnova vs. Savannah Marshall: Great Britain’s best medal hope, Marshall received a warm welcome from the home crowd, which perhaps increased the weight of expectations on her shoulders. Neither boxer could rise above the other, with the fight even through two but in the 3rd Kazakhstan’s Volnova began to land the harder, shorter shots – especially an eye-catching overhand right. Down by two going into the 4th and final round Marshall simply didn’t do enough and lost 16-12, fair and square.

Claressa Shields vs. Anna Laurell: Sweden’s Laurell looked HUGE in the ring against American Shields. Not that it deterred the Flint, Michigan teenager, who winged strong, upwardly angled punches at the Scandinavian giant from the second round on. At 12-12 after the 3rd, Shields found yet another gear, put an eight count on Laurell and earned the W and a medal with a score of 18-14.

Jinzi Li vs. Mary Spencer: Canadian three-time world champ Mary Spence roared out of the blocks to start the penultimate bout of the session, using brilliant footwork to chase China’s Jinzi Li around the ring. Li was forced to take a standing eight count in the 1st round but clawed her way back into it in, leading by two points through rounds 2 and 3. In the final round the fight was up for grabs, with the referee doing Spencer a bit of a favour with a two-point public warning for holding against the Chinese woman. Both boxers knew they were playing for all the marbles and went for it hell for leather, with Li pipping the Canadian 17-14.

Nadezda Torlopova vs. Edith Ogoke: The final women’s Quarterfinal pitted Nigeria’s Edith Ogoke against number two-seeded Russian Nadezda Torlopova. The 32-year-old Russian seemed quite stiff (though I guess that’s the Eastern European style) in the 1st and 2nd, eating quite a bit of leather from the plucky African southpaw. Ogoke basically didn’t care about her opponent’s pedigree, showcasing deceptive timing and powerful punching. The judges scored the 2nd 10-4, which was just silly, but Torlopova earned those points in a dominant 3rd round in which she dropped Ogoke. The two tired fighters finished the bout swinging but Torlopova survived to book her place in the semis with an 18-8 victory.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.