Mikaela Mayer, left, dropped a one-point decision to Korea's Kyong… (Feng Li / Getty Images )
Los Angeles boxer Mikaela Mayer, frustrated in her quest to make the U.S. Olympic team in the lightweight division, stepped up a few pounds to 141 to win a bronze medal as a light welterweight during the AIBA world championships in Qinhuangdao, China.
And she almost did better than that.
Mayer dropped a one-point decision to Korea's Kyong Ok Pak in Friday's semifinals, narrowly missing out on a berth in the gold-medal match. The fight with Pak was a see-saw affair in which Pak led by a point after one round. The score was tied halfway through the fight but the Korean led again, this time by three points, after three rounds.
A furious final-round rally from Mayer fell just short with Pak claiming a 26-25 win.
In the middleweight division, 17-year-old Olympic Trials champion Claressa Shields of Flint, Mich., won a trip to London without even having to step in the ring. Shields needed a top-two finish in the worlds to qualify for this summer's London Games and she got it when Great Britian's Savannah Marshall beat Russia's Nadezha Torlopova on Friday.
"They just invited the Olympic gold medalist to the Olympics," Shields said. "I'm so happy. It's been stressful. I've been praying to God: 'Please give me a chance. Give me a shot.'
"When I lost, it threw me off. I will not make the same mistake."
Shields will join flyweight Marlen Esparaza of Houston in London. Seattle's Queen Underwood, who beat Mayer in the finals of the Olympic Trials, could also go but after losing a one-point decision to Norway’s Ingrid Egner in a third-round bout at the worlds, she needs some help.
For Underwood to make the field in London she'll have to be granted a spot by the Olympic Tripartite Commission, which is expected to meet next month.
Boxer Andre Berto tests positive for performance-enhancing drug
Amir Khan is looking for a July opponent in Anaheim
Trainer Freddie Roach is ready to get in corner of USA Boxing
L.A. boxer Mikaela Mayer wins bronze in world championships