U.S. middleweight Claressa Shields won the Olympic gold medal Thursday, capping her swift rise to the top of women's boxing with a 19-12 victory over Russia's Nadezda Torlopova.

The 17-year-old Shields slugged her way past her 33-year-old opponent, showing off the free-spirited style and strength that made her unbeatable at the London Games.

Shields has been on the international boxing scene for less than two years, but the Flint, Mich., native is among its fastest-rising stars. She lost early in the world championships, yet still qualified for the Olympics.

The teen sensation has won over the London crowd with a combination of style, skill, and charisma. Shields is the youngest boxer to win an Olympic gold medal since 16-year-old John Fields of the U.S. won the featherweight title at the 1924 Olympics.