Seattle's Queen Underwood lost to Britain's Natasha Jonas in a first-round lightweight boxing match in London.

Share story

Seattle boxer Queen Underwood lost her opening-round Olympic match Sunday in London. She lost the lightweight bout by a 21-13 score to Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas.

Underwood, the first U.S. women’s boxer to compete in the Olympics, led 4-3 after the first round, but the taller Jonas thrilled the crowd at the ExCel Centre by rallying for the victory.

Underwood was behind only 7-6 after two rounds.

“Then I just decided to go after her,” she said.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

That proved a mistake. Jonas hit her with the staccato energy of a flamenco dancer. The decibels spiked in the pro-British crowd.

Jonas let out a primal yell after she won, raising her fists in the air amid the din of the home crowd.

Underwood, 28, has spoken often of the importance of women boxers in the Olympics.

Underwood’s mother surprised her by showing up in the crowd, further adding to her bittersweet feelings. She raised her gloves to her forehead and took a long walk around the ring after the final bell before hearing the decision.

“I gave away like half my life to this, and this doesn’t feel like the reward,” said Underwood, who survived years of sexual abuse by her father to chase her Olympic dream. “Just being here doesn’t feel like enough. I hope people can look at my journey as a champion inside and outside the ring.”

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.