Growing up in Houston, 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 three medals in the 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.