Seattle’s 28-year-old Queen Underwood, who vowed to bring home a gold medal, made history Sunday by becoming the first American female to appear in an Olympic boxing match, but she lost Sunday in the preliminaries of the lightweight classification to Great Britain’s highly-ranked Natasha Jones 21-13.
Jones overcome a strong first round by Underwood to win the final two rounds in emphatic fashion, after which Underwood said that merely competing in the Olympic Games wasn’t enough for her.
“I gave away half my life for this,” said Underwood, a child-abuse victim. “Being here doesn’t feel like enough of a reward. History doesn’t mean anything to me. The gold medal meant more. It’s a big moment for up-and-coming boxers. But for me to set goals for myself, being a part of history wasn’t enough. I don’t look at being an Olympian as great. I see bringing home a medal as great.”
Underwood won the first round 4-3 after landing a flurry of blows, including three lefts to Jones’ head. Jones came back to take the second round 4-2 and easily took the third round as Underwood tired.
Underwood continually went for a the knockout blow, but Jones kept fending her off while scoring repeated jabs.
“I hope the people who supported me can look at my journey as a champion instead of the outcome of the win or lose,” said Underwood.