*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on dmboxing.com on August 11, 2012
By Adam Pollack (GUEST POST) for dmboxing.com
As expected, in the semifinals, the fix was in once again in Marlen Esparza’s bout with the Chinese boxer. When Marlen was down 3-2 after the first round, a round in which the Chinese boxer did absolutely nothing but wait and step back and occasionally throw a counter that missed, and never came close to landing a punch, I knew then they were going to “do” Marlen. Afterwards, when asked if she should have been more aggressive and tried even harder, Marlen made a poignant, insightful, and accurate comment, whichwas that if she took more risks and threw more punches, they would have had her down by even more. And that is a sad but truthful commentary on amateur boxing, and also explains why these bouts have utterly lost their entertainment value. The more you try to be aggressive against these boxers who look to wait and jump back and only throw quick arm-punch counters, the more the international judges will have you losing. So Marlen tried to play their game as best she could, but nevertheless, she was an American, which meant that if it was close she was going to lose. You damn near have to kill your opponent to win in this tournament.
Claressa Shields did what she needed to do to get into the final, which was beat the living hell out of her opponent. She has blazing fast hands, plenty of pop on her punches, and I love the way she puts together her punches in bunches, firing fast and hard combinations. She works the body and head. I also like the way she does not allow her foes to clinch her much, for she really works that inside short right very well and makes them pay for trying to lay in on her. And as soon as she gets some room, she follows up with more blows.