Cover girl boxer Mary Spencer loses Olympic qualifying match in China
STEVE RUSSELL/Torstar News Services
Boxer Mary Spencer
Canada's Olympic boxing hopes took a potentially crushing blow Monday as pugilist Mary Spencer lost her qualifying match in China.
Spencer, who's become the cover girl of women's boxing in this country, was outpointed 18-11 by Swede Anna Laurell in her sole Olympic qualifying match.
But Spencer could still make the trip to London this summer by taking one of two wild-card spots allotted to fighters from North, Central and South America, says Boxing Canada head Robert Crete.
"It is a blow for us because she was a good spokesperson and still is for boxing across Canada,' says Crete.
"She helped us with great visibility to increase female boxing visibility drastically and we feel she should still go to London."
Crete says the two spots designated for the Americas in the 75 Kg division are essentially up for grabs to a number of fighters from this hemisphere - none of whom advanced at the Chinese tournament.
And while Crete does not yet know what criteria the International Boxing Association will use to choose the Olympians, he feels Spencer has a good shot at landing one of those wild-card spots.
"Mary Spencer, as far as we're concerned should be one of the frontrunners in that process," Crete says.
"She has been three-time world champion and in the international federation ranking system she is ranked No. 1 at this time. To me that would automatically qualify her."
Crete says the association's ultimate decision will not be known until the Chinese competition ends May 20.
Spencer drew feature length attention from many media outlets when she signed a contract with cosmetics giant CoverGirl to represent the company in television and Print ads this summer.
-- Torstar News Services