Boxer Facing Olympic Gold Medalist Quits After Taking Single Punch

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Middleweight boxer Claressa Shields won Olympic gold in London as a 17-year-old, and her subsequent career has found the Michigan native building a 43-1 record and claiming nearly every title available in women's boxing—save for the AIBA championship, competition for which is currently underway in Korea. And her bout yesterday against Uganda's Hellen Baleke might have been her easiest KO ever.

That's because Baleke's corner threw in the towel three seconds into the match, just after Shields landed her first punch. It might seem absurd—just watch the video of the match above—but in defense of Baleke, we're sure her trainers had the best of intentions. Baleke's path to international boxing competition is a tragic one, and given she had no chance of lasting against Shields it was best for everyone involved that she avoid the possibility of getting seriously hurt.


That's one of the unfortunate realities of amateur boxing, though: unlike, say, a FIBA competition in which a seriously-disadvantaged team could learn from the experience of a figurative beatdown (think Nigeria vs. United States), boxing only offers the literal version. That's especially true in the still-emerging field of women's boxing, where well-funded fighters from countries sporting long histories in the discipline experience massive chasms in the quality of fighters from less-advantaged backgrounds.

h/t to Beau