I’m keeping up with my Houston area homeboys and homegirls who are involved in the London Games, and one of the people I’m most interested in seeing is 23 year old boxer Marlen Esparza from Pasadena.
She a trailblazer in her own right in terms of not only being part of the first ever USA women’s Olympic boxing team, but being the first Latina athlete to have a Cover Girl endorsement. She’s also appearing in commercials for McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and other brands.
She was not only interviewed for a recent Vogue magazine article, but was also one of the people featured in CNN’s most recent episode of Latino In America.
And yeah, did I mention that Marlen is all that in the boxing ring as well? She’s a five time national champion with a 69–2 record and has been ranked number one in her weight class since she was 16. The 97% of her fights she has won is higher than the 93% winning percentage of Muhammad Ali (88-9) and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.(84–6) and the 89% Mike Tyson compiled with his 48–6 amateur record.
The birthday girl (July 29) is ready for the first ever women’s Olympic boxing tournament to start. She will compete in the 51kg flyweight classification and had to gain six pounds to do so.
She did secure one of the tournament byes and went straight to the quarterfinal round. She will await the winner of the match between Brazil’s Erica Matos and Venezuela’s Karlha Maglioccio and hopefully being a historic run to the first ever women’s flyweight Olympic gold medal.