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.'