Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Marlen Esparza


More From Marlen

In this video

Tagged as

Marlen Esparza on her early boxing career and how she became the first American woman to qualify for the Olympic Games in boxing.

Marlen's Biography

Three Words to Describe Herself: Determined, outgoing, and sometimes a crybaby.
Advice to Young Girls: “You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to do what you want to do.”
Ideal Interview Subject: Ellen DeGeneres
Most Influential Woman in Her Life: Her older sister

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Marlen Esparza knew she wanted to be in the boxing ring. With the support of her father and coach - along with her hard work - Esparza has managed to make a name for herself as a female boxer. In 2012, she became the first woman to qualify for the Olympics in the first year that women’s boxing was made an official event. Of her accomplishment, Esparza has said, “It’s a big step—not really just for boxing, but for women in general.” Outside of the Olympics, Esparza has won several other competitions, including the bronze medal in the 2006 World Championship and the gold in the 2008 Pan American Games. She has also found great success nationally after winning six consecutive National Championships. When she’s not in the ring, Esparza can be found on billboards and television commercials as one of the faces of CoverGirl cosmetics.

Related Videos

Violet Palmer
Violet Palmer
First Female Referee, NBA

Violet Palmer broke a major glass ceiling in sports in 1997 when she became the first woman to officiate in the NBA, as well as the first female official in any major U.S. professi...

Kathy Kusner
Kathy Kusner
First Licensed Female Jockey

Kathy Kusner is a pioneering jockey who became the first licensed female jockey in the U.S. Growing up, Kusner couldn't afford a horse of her own, but she worked in stables so ...

Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark
Olympic Snowboarder

Kelly Clark is a two-time Olympic medalist. She won the gold in 2002 and the bronze in 2010. A trailblazer in women's snowboarding, Clark has upped the game for her sport, push...

Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland
Ballet Dancer

Misty Copeland began her ballet career at age 13. Two years later, she had won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards, and began her studies at the Lauridsien Ballet Cent...