Claressa Shields Dominates Semifinal to Reach Gold Medal Match

American boxer hopes to defend Olympic gold won in London

The reigning champion of women's middleweight boxing in 2012 is one win away from another gold medal.

Claressa Shields, the top seed of the division and reigning London Olympic champion, defeated Kazakhstan's Dariga Shakimova, 40-36, in a unanimous decision on Friday. The win puts Shields in the gold medal match on Sunday, where she'll face the Netherlands' Nouchka Fontijin.

Fontijin defeated China's Li Qian by split decision in the second semifinal fight.

Shields was aggressive from the opening bell against Shakimova, dictating the pace of the fight. She used effective footwork, speed and a strong right hand to overpower the Kazakh fighter.

Shakimova struggled to land anything on Shields, while the American pounded her with a relentless attack. In the last round, the referree gave Shakimova a standing eight count after Shields connected with a vicious right hand.

The win clinches at least a silver medal for Shields, who beat Russia's Yaroslava Yakushina in the first round on Wednesday.

Shields would make history by retaining the title in her division, although she has already made history as the first ever women's middleweight gold medalist. 

The last fight of the day saw French fighter Estelle Mossely has defeated China's Junhua Lin to win the lightweight gold medal.

Mossely celebrated her 24th birthday in style, winning a split decision to take gold. Each fighter won a scorecard 39-37 and one was scored 38-38. The Puerto Rican judge, who scored it a tie, got to choose the winner and she picked Mossely.

She has plenty to celebrate on the biggest day of her career. French fighter Tony Yoka, her boyfriend, won his super heavyweight fight earlier in the day.

Yoka will meet England's Joe Joyce in the men's gold medal fight Sunday.

Along with Yoka-Joyce, the two other gold medal fights Sunday will see Uzbekistan's Shakhobidin Zoirov meet Russia's Misha Aloian in the men's 52 KG gold medal bout, and a showdown in the men's 64 KG final between Azerbaijan's Lorenzo Ollazo Sotomayor and Uzbekistan's Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

Mossely jumped into his arms for a big hug. He dropped her off outside the ring, and she took a victory lap with the French flag fluttering behind her like a cape.

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