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Marlen Esparza

MAKERS Profile

Boxer

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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.