FLINT (WWJ) – Boxing fans in Flint have something to celebrate, after 17-year-old local Claressa Shields won her bout in the Olympic Boxing semifinals. The middleweight beat Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova by a wide margin, 29-15.
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said about 200 people gathered at Blackstone’s Pub Wednesday morning to watch the match. He said Shields is a class act in and out of the ring.
“She is tough as nails in the ring and has tremendous power and poise. But I can tell you that outside of the ring, she’s a beautiful young lady, she works hard in school and keeps her grades up, she’s a good friend and is just an outstanding role model,” said Walling.
While Shields grew up in less-than-ideal circumstances, Walling said she’s proven that anything’s possible
“When you’ve got the right heart and the right direction, then you really can do anything in this country, in this world. She’s been a part of our youth programs in the last few months and taking time to do that, to give back to the community, while she’s on this incredible journey,” he said.
In London on Monday, Shields closed furiously in an 18-14 win over Swedish veteran Anna Laurell. She’ll now take on Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova in her quest for the gold on Thursday.
Shields is the last American boxer left in London.
Walling said the city will celebrate Shields’ achievement, regardless of how she finishes.