This year, for the first time, women’s boxing is an Olympic event, and many regard 27-year-old Quanitta Underwood as America’s best hope for a medal.
She is a five-time national champion, a lickety-split puncher ranked fourth in the world in the lightweight division (123 to 132 pounds), one of the three weight classes to be contested in the London Olympics this summer.
Quanitta Underwood was 10, her sister Hazzauna, 12. The walls of the house were thin, and the girls could hear every move their father made. Hear him sit up, hear him get out of bed, hear him walking their way. Quanitta pinched her eyes shut when her father entered the room, but she could imagine the presence of his familiar silhouette. She felt his weight sink into the bed while his hands traveled beneath the covers. As Quanitta feigned sleep, her father groped her sister and often rolled on top. Azzad Underwood was a forceful man, not so much in size as in manner. He was a welder by trade but gave way to few men in self-importance. He could be charming. He had been president of the parents association at the girls’ school and was among the most active members at a local Church of God in Christ. Both girls loved him and trusted him, but young as they were, they realized their father was doing something on the wrong side of normal, far from Jesus.
Queen survived. She made it it.
Hazzauna l will be ringside Sunday when her sister, Queen, has her first bout in Olympic women’s boxing. How both sisters found their way to London is the latest chapter of their unlikely story. When a July 20 Seattle Times story explained that Hazzauna, 30, couldn’t afford to travel to the Olympics, readers began sending money and support. She says she received about two dozen donations worth several thousand dollars.
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Here is Queen & Hazzauna’s Message of HOPE!!!
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