Marlen Esparza Makes the US Olympic Women’s Boxing Team
Women’s boxing will make its debut at this summer’s Olympic Games in London, and the US now has its first official team member: 22-year-old Marlen Esparza of Houston, Texas, who secured the spot after beating the snot out of another chick at the women’s world boxing championships in China earlier this week.
Defying the stereotype that lady boxers have the heft of a pallet of bricks, Esparza is a badass of the tiniest proportions — she fell into the featherweight class, which mandates fighters not weigh more than 112 pounds.
Two other American women, Quanitta Underwood and Claressa Shields, were defeated in bouts at the Chinese tournament but may still make the US team if an international commission selects them.
Underwood, 28, is in the 132-pound lightweight category and one of America’s best-known amateur boxers. Since she says she suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, we’re guessing she honed her skills that way (and hopefully put him in the hospital at least once). Shields is only 17 but quickly gained cred when she bested better-known fighters at the United States Olympic trials earlier this year.
Hopefully, women’s wrestling is the next sport to get Olympic recognition. We’ve been holding tryouts at our house for years.