Queensland woman leads Aust Diamonds to the quarter-finals at Commonwealth Games and is believed to be the first female boxer to achieve a gold medal at an International Boxing Association tournament
Tatiana Calderon, the 23-year-old Brazilian-born Australian, is one of the most successful women on the women’s boxing stage – and one of just two Australians at the Commonwealth Games. The Liverpool, Queensland-born Calderon won a gold medal at the International Boxing Association women’s under 52kg division in India, a platform on which she hopes to challenge for Commonwealth Games and Olympic gold medals.
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Calderon is believed to be the first female boxer from outside of the United States to win a gold medal at an international boxing tournament. She achieved the feat at India’s Tejaswini Sawant Memorial Oriental Games.
Tatiana Calderon, right, with coach Raelene McCulloch. Photograph: Puji Green/AAP
Her 2016 debut in India came hot on the heels of a schoolgirl boxing champion at the Hopman Cup tennis competition, defeating Maria Sharapova and Li Na to clinch a place in the all-Australian final. The University of South Queensland (USQ) graduate flew to India four weeks before the Commonwealth Games to prepare for her international debut.
Calderon won three bouts – including a third-round knockout of England’s Natasha Jonas, who took silver – to reach the semi-finals, where she was defeated in the final by Ainy Thomas of Jamaica.
With just two other female boxers, including her coach Raelene McCulloch, Calderon’s win at the Sudirman Cup created headlines around the world.
“I can’t believe it, I didn’t even realise I was winning,” Calderon told the Irish Examiner before the Sudirman Cup. “If someone is going to say my name and say I beat Maria Sharapova, I’ll accept it because I know it’s one of the best females around, but I don’t know who my opponent is. It’s too surreal.”
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Calderon is known for her strength and dedication and dedicated herself to the sport after leaving the UK in 2010.
Awaiting her in the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games are holders of Australian champion titles across weight divisions with a few notable exceptions.
Australians Serafima Cavazos and Ameena Richard have won world titles, but only Cavazos qualifies for the Australian Games squad as she is only 22. Glenn McNeill, representing Queensland, is ranked fifth among Australian men.