Recently in San Antonio Texas, Tha Boxing Voice caught up with Olympic Bronze Medal winning flyweight Marlen Esparza; one of the only Americans to medal in Boxing this year, and part of a special group of women who were allowed to compete in boxing for the first time in Olympic history at the 2012 London Games. Esparza describes her experience as a “blessing” and expressed plans of competing in Rio De Jinero in 2016.
Esparza got her start in boxing at age eleven, the inspiration coming from spending time with her family watching the legendary Julio Caesar Chavez Sr. “I started boxing because when I was growing up Chavez was dominating…It took three years for my dad to get used to the idea, once I started I never stopped,” she explains.
When asked about what might be necessary to give women’s boxing the exposure that it is lacking she explains that as a country, America has to put the women in the lime light “Russia does it, Ukraine does it, Mexico does it, all of these countries who do appreciate women’s boxing and they’re big over there but the U.S. doesn’t…. since we don’t do it, it doesn’t catch on.” Further explaining that the American promoters need to take notice and give women the airtime. While she admits that not ALL women who box deserve to be on TV she says, “Find the good ones, put them on TV…and once American audience accepts it they’re good to go.”
Esparza expressed an interest in turning pro after the 2016 games, “When I do turn pro after Rio I will make sure that I’m on TV my first fight…if you are persistent someone will believe in you,” explaining that the best way to get noticed is to be annoying, and to brand yourself as a boxer. Esparza explains that she vigilantly follows boxing in all aspects, “I see who Al Haymon is picking up, who’s promotions are falling through,” saying that she pays close attention to social media and takes pointers from other on how not to act. “It’s really up to the athlete…I know boxing in and out…I don’t love it because its what I do but I pay attention to everything.”
With a knowledge and understanding of boxing that Esparza holds, it is hard to imagine that she won’t be successful in her career.