Cheney Free Press -

 
 

By AL STOVER
Staff Reporter 

Queen Underwood retains USA Boxing national crown

Olympian claims seventh boxing title at Northern Quest Resort

 


The crowd at the Pend Oreille Pavilion at Northern Quest Resort erupted as Queen Underwood made her entrance to the ring. A chant of “Queen of the ring” filled the air as Underwood steps through the ropes and stands at the red corner and waits for her opponent Mikaela Mayer.

Prior to this bout, Underwood faced Mayer in the finals of the 2014 USA Boxing National Championships women’s lightweight (132 pounds) tournament, Jan. 25.

Underwood is no stranger to winning championships in Spokane. Last year she defeated Tiara Brown in the finals of the women’s lightweight tournament. In 2012, she defeated Mayer to win the London Olympic trials and become the first woman representative in the lightweight division at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

The night before her rematch against Mayer, Underwood battled 2013 USA Boxing Youth National Champion Rashida Ellis in the semifinal round. After four rounds of back-and-forth action, Underwood earned the split-decision victory.

The rematch between Underwood and Mayer quickly turned into a war as both fighters threw quick combinations. Underwood would come off the better of several exchanges in rounds two and three and finished strong in the fourth round. The judges scored it a 2-1 decision win for Underwood, who had captured her seventh national championship.

During the match, some of the cheers and chants came from a table close to one of the neutral corners. This is where Underwood’s family and friends watched the fight.

Underwood’s sister, Hazzauna Underwood, said it can be nerve racking watching her sister compete in the ring but she also felt relaxed, excited and enthused.

Tom Keefe is a friend of the family and owns Howard Street Boxing in Spokane. He said it was a thrill to have Queen back in Spokane.

“She was such an inspiration during the Olympic trials, a real magnetic personality and a great ambassador for the sport of boxing, particularly women’s boxing,” Keffe said.

Underwood had a lot of fan support as she stood on the outside, in addition to her family and loved ones in the audience. Several minutes after she had won her seventh national title, she took pictures and signed autographs for fans.

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.

USA Boxing winners:

106 pounds/female: Alex Love

108 pounds/male: Leroy Davila

112 pounds/female: Marlen Esparza

114 pounds/male: Malik Jackson

119 pounds/female: Christina Cruz

123 pounds/male: Jarico O’Quinn

125 pounds/female: Tiara Brown

132 pounds/male: Genaro Gamez

132 pounds/female: Queen Underwood

141 pounds/female: Destiny Chearino

141 pounds/male: Abraham Nova

152 pounds/female: Danyelle Wolf

152 pounds/male: Jose Alday

165 pounds/female: Claressa Shields

165 pounds/male: LeShawn Rodriquez

178 pounds/male: Julius Butler

178 pounds/female: Dara Shen

178+ pounds/female: Krystal Dixon

201 pounds/male: Joshua Temple

201+ pounds/male: Cam F. Awesome

 

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