Thibeault wins gold, Cavanagh takes silver at women’s boxing worlds
Tammara Thibeault has been crowned the world champion of the 75kg weight class while Charlie Cavanagh will be bringing home 66kg silver from the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Both women fought in their finals on Friday.
This is Thibeault’s second world championship medal following the bronze she earned in 2019, the last time the women’s worlds were held.
Thibeault’s final opponent, Atheyna Bylon of Panama, was — like the Canadian — a quarterfinalist at Tokyo 2020. Thibeault won their meeting in the final of the Americas Continental Championship earlier this spring.
Neither boxer landed a lot of punches in the first round, but Thibeault was the better of the two women in the eyes of four of the five judges. The second round was another close one, but Thibeault again came out on top, edging out Bylon three judges to two. In the third three-minute round, Thibeault kept her opponent from cutting into her lead and came away with the 4-1 split decision victory.
Thibeault had steamrolled her way into the final. After receiving an opening round bye, her first bout was a 5-0 victory over American Naomi Graham. That was followed by another 5-0 win over Australian Caitlin Parker in the quarterfinals. Thibeault continued her domination in the semifinals with another unanimous victory, this time against Rady Gramane of Mozambique.
Cavanagh was facing a tough final opponent in Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli, who not only had the support of her home country fans in Istanbul, but came in as the reigning world and Olympic champion of what was formerly the 69kg weight class.
Cavanagh did her best to hang with her opponent, but towards the the end of the first round, the Canadian was given a standing eight-count. The five judges all deemed Surmeneli the winner of the round. The Turkish boxer similarly controlled the second round and the judges again awarded it to her decisively. After a third standing eight-count for Cavanagh, the referee stopped the bout with about 40 seconds to go in the third round.
Hailing from Saint John, New Brunswick, Cavanagh battled through the draw in her first appearance at the senior world championships. She opened with a 3-2 win over Rosie Eccles of Wales, followed by 3-2 victory against Stephanie Pineiro Aquino of Puerto Rico. She earned a dominant 5-0 win over Ivanusa Gomes Moreira of Cape Verde in the quarterfinals before coming out on top in another close bout in the semis, defeating Algerian Ichrak Chaib 3-2.
Cavanagh made history in 2018 when she became the first Canadian woman to be crowned youth world champion in boxing after taking the title in the 69kg division.