Games' Last Male-Only Sport Officially Dies

Women box for 1st time in Olympics yesterday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2012 8:30 AM CDT
Games' Last Male-Only Sport Officially Dies
Li Jinzi of China, left, and Roseli Feitosa of Brazil fight during the women's 75-kg middleweight boxing competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

It's been a banner year for women at the Olympics, with the presence of two female Saudi Arabian athletes getting the lion's share of attention—until yesterday. Sunday marked the death of the Games' last male-only sport: boxing. The day saw a dozen fights, a number of them "thrilling," in the New York Times' telling. Just 36 slots in three classes—flyweight (112 pounds), lightweight (132), and middleweight (165)—were made available, and with some boxers drawing a bye in the first round, it's a short path to a medal.

But not, unfortunately, for American Quanitta Underwood, a five-time US champ who suffered an apparently devastating loss to Natasha Jonas of Britain, reports Reuters. "History doesn't mean anything to me, the gold medal meant more," said a teary Underwood. Fellow Americans Marlen Esparza and Claressa Shields drew byes in the first round and will fight in today's quarterfinals. (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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