Esparza of US moves ahead at women's boxing worlds


QINHUANGDAO, China (AP) - Marlen Esparza of the United States is a step closer toward a place on the U.S. women's Olympic boxing team.

She reached the third round of the 112-pound class at the women's world boxing championships Sunday by defeating Pamela Paola Benavidez of Argentina 20-10. Esparza is within one bout of the flyweight quarterfinals.

The championships feature 10 divisions but the focus is on three: flyweight, lightweight (132 pounds) and middleweight (165). Those will be the only classes when women's boxing makes its Olympic debut in London.

Eight Olympic places are up for grabs in each of the three categories.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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