Niagara Falls native Mikiah Keps continues her chase for an a world championship today in Ulan-Ude, Russia.
Kreps, who is representing the United States in the International Boxing Association's Women's World Boxing Championships, is scheduled to take on France's Caroline Cruveillier in the semifinals of the bantamweight (119-pound) division at 6 p.m. local time — 6 a.m. in Niagara Falls.
Kreps, who is unseeded, opened the tournament with a 5-0 unanimous decision over Uzbekistan's Ferangiz Khoshimova on Oct. 4. She then topped second-seeded Karina Tazabekova (Russia) on Wednesday, and sixth-seeded Dina Zholaman (Kazakhstan) in Thursday's quarterfinals. Both of Kreps' final two bouts were 4-1 decisions.
With a win today, Kreps would advance into Sunday's finals, with the championship fight scheduled for 4 p.m. (4 a.m. EST).
It's been a big stretch for Kreps both inside and out of the ring. She was named Amateur Boxer of the Year by the Buffalo Veteran Boxers Ring 44 Hall of Fame at its annual awards dinner last weekend.
Kreps is hoping to use any momentum built in the world championships to bolster her chances at making Team USA for the 2020 Olympics. Win or lose in Russia, she's set to compete in a qualifier in November that would punch a ticket to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which start in December.
For anyone interested, Kreps' bouts in Russia will be streamed live at AIBA.org.