Boxing: Singing Shields punches through to another final
By Alan Baldwin
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Claressa Shields had awarded herself a "C" after her first fight in Rio on Wednesday but it was "A" for achievement on Friday after the U.S. boxer punched through to a second successive Olympic middleweight final.
Shields, now one fight away from becoming a double Olympic champion, blasted past Kazakhstan's Dariga Shakimova in convincing fashion, forcing a standing eight count at the finish.
"I give it A minus," said the 21-year-old fighter from Flint, Michigan. "I did great. I went out there, showed my skill, showed my class. I showed I was the better, stronger and more skilled fighter.
"I actually could have stopped her, but I was having so much fun out there I was like, why do that?
"I wanted her to throw her punches at me so I could show her I'm faster than you, I punch harder than you. It was a great match."
Shields, who could become the first U.S. boxer to win two golds since 1904, is the second member of the current team to reach a final with bantamweight Shakur Stevenson going for his gold on Saturday.
The thought of that was enough for Shields to turn all musical.
"Just the two of us," she sang, getting into the swing of a familiar tune. Continued...