Canada’s Mary Spencer exited the Women’s amateur World Boxing Championships on Monday but Al Dannity says she still has a good shot at making it to London based on her past performances.
A big blow
It was a clash of world champions in the opening round of the 75kg division at the women’s World Championships in China. Three-time champion Mary Spencer of Canada lost to two time champion Anna Laurell of Sweden on a decisive 18-11 margin. The result, while a surprise, wasn’t entirely shocking given the recent rust shown by Spencer in the ring. With an open draw format, Spencer’s pedigree was never going to protect her from a tough fight in her opening contest. That’s just what happened as the 27 year old, who fights out of Windsor, Ont., went down to the veteran Laurell.
With women’s Boxing only having 3 weight classes in the Olympics, as opposed the usual 10 in the World Championships, there’s a squeeze on places at London 2012. Spencer’s own class, 75kg, is one of the weight divisions being contested in London. The 5’11” fighter no longer controls her own fate but a few breaks went her way to give her some hope.
The Americas will send three boxers in the 75kg class to the Olympics and, like Spencer, all the fighters from the continent were eliminated in the first round of action. Two of those three boxers will earn their spots in London based on the performance of the fighter who beat them. In Spencer’s case that’s a huge bonus as Laurell will now be among the favorites for gold at these World Championships. Should the Swede take gold or silver, Spencer will be assured of her place in London and even a lesser performance may suffice to get her on the plane.
Laurell is no lock to medal this week, and indeed failed to do so in the last World Championships in Barbados two years ago. Should she fail, then Spencer will hope to pick up the third slot on offer to the Americas. This is a wild card slot and, as the name suggests, won’t necessarily go to the best fighter. Spencer’s three world titles and five Pan-American golds will certainly carry a lot of weight with the powers that be but stranger things have happened. There is also a tendency to award wild card slots to nations with few athletes automatically qualified for London. With this being the first year for women’s Boxing at the games, there appears to be more support to award the wild card slot based on merit. Spencer however will be hoping Laurell keeps on winning, saving the Canadian an anxious wait.
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