After squeaking out a 25-24 win Thursday, Garfield alumna Queen Underwood took apart her opponent in Saturday’s final to win the US women’s boxing trials in Spokane. This brings the Queen one step closer to competing in the 2012 Olympics in London.
She must now place in the top eight for weight class at a May Olympic qualifier in China before taking the ring in London to battle for the crown… er… gold medal.
Underwood had her home-state crowd going crazy, the AP reports. Her story of perseverance and strength in the face of childhood abuse has resonated nationwide. You can help the Queen by supporting her Living Out the Dream Foundation.
The sellout crowd was behind the Seattle native, stomping on the floor and chanting “Queen! Queen! Queen!” while Underwood took apart Mayer with brutally effective shots from all angles. The final margin was smaller than expected, but Underwood had little doubt, raising one finger in anticipation of the verdict.
“It hurts. I’m happy. All in one,” she said. “I’ve been national champion since 2007 and waiting for this opportunity, and it’s finally here, and it’s over at once, but it feels great.”
Even with extensive international experience, Underwood acknowledged a huge case of jitters when she entered the ring for her first fight at the trials Monday night. She was stunned by the exuberant reception from her home-state crowd, including dozens of family and friends who traveled from Seattle.
Underwood barely escaped with a 25-24 win over 19-year-old N’yteeyah Sherman in Thursday’s fight, but the final was smoother.
“I don’t believe in losing,” Underwood said. “I don’t want to lose, ever. I knew I had the opportunity to come back tomorrow if things didn’t go right, but that wasn’t in my rule book. My rule book is coming out with a win all days. I came here planning to have four fights, and I fought exactly the way I thought.”