The moment Virginia Fuchs had waited for so much of boxing career finally arrived Wednesday night. If her celebration leap hits YouTube, she just might earn herself a WNBA tryout.
On her sixth try, Fuchs scored a split-decision victory over longtime rival, and reigning world amateur flyweight champion, Marlen Esparza in the winner’s bracket final at the U.S. Olympic Women’s Boxing Team Trials at Cook Convention Center.
“I thought, ‘Finally! I did it! I did it!’” said Fuchs, who earned herself a spot in Saturday night’s championship round at the Cannon Center — and the next two days off.
Reigning Olympic middleweight gold medalist Claressa Shields and top-seeded lightweight Mikaela Mayer scored unanimous decisions Wednesday night and moved into Saturday’s finals.
“There are no scrub fights here. These are the best girls in the nation, and it’s been three tough days,” said Fuchs, a former LSU cross-country runner who lives in Kemah, Texas. “Now I can let my body fully recover.”
Fuchs came out fast against Houston-based Esparza and established her space. And after a couple of inside flurries by Esparza early in the second round, Fuchs reset the boundaries by countering with her jab and keeping her cushion in the ring, and on two of the three judges’ scorecards.