Marlen Esparza is a boxer competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

With most athletes, it's usually one or the other: Brains or brawn. Boxers tend to fall towards the latter. But Marlen Esparza isn't like most boxers. Despite good grades and solid attendance, Esparza was sent to an alternative school in 8th grade because she was a troublemaker in class, talking back to teachers and starting fights with her classmates. Her two younger brothers boxed, but her father, David, refused to let Marlen into the ring. One day she took younger brother David Jr. to the gym, and told his trainer Rudy Silva she wanted to learn how to box. Silva told her he didn't train girls. The next day she returned to the gym, and again was rebuffed. Finally, Silva gave in, on the condition that she stayed out of trouble and kept up her report cards. A year later she was re-admitted to public school. Two years later she was named class president of her high school, graduated in the top two percent of her class (of roughly 500 students) and was admitted to the prestige Rice University.

Esparza made history at the 2012 Women's World Championships in China by becoming the first American woman to make the team for the Olympic Games. Taking on Vietnam's teenage superstar Luu Thi Duyen in second round action, the American flyweight wasted little time before pressing the gas pedal to the floor. A 6-4 lead after round one and 14-7 edge at the halfway point left Esparza in the driver's seat. The second half saw more of the same, as she pushed ahead 19-11 with one round remaining. Esparza tacked on an additional nine points over the final two minutes to win a 28-13 final decision. By becoming the highest finishing flyweight from the Americas continental group, the 22-year-old clinched an Olympic berth. Though she would fall to eventual tournament winner Ren Cancan of China, Esparza accomplished her goal of making the Olympic team.

Marlen found out that women's boxing was added to the 2012 Olympics when her older sister, Delila, called. "I wasn't going to answer because I'm not a social butterfly; sometimes I don't feel like talking," Marlen said. She picked up, and when she heard the news, she thought her sister was lying. A quick check on the internet verified that Delila was indeed telling the truth.

Though she couldn't make Rice work with her hectic boxing schedule, Esparza didn't let go of her dream to get an education. She now takes online classes at Houston Community College and plans on becoming an anesthesiologist.

Always an athlete, Esparza competed in Volleyball, basketball, cross-country, track and swimming growing up. What does she think sets boxing apart: The competition and how difficult it is. Though she's most comfortable in the ring, Esparza enjoys running on the side; both to stay in shape and as a leisure activity.

Esparza was featured in a 2011 Soledad O'Brien piece Latino in America 2: In Her Corner. The documentary details Esparza's journey as a first generation Mexican-American and her rise to the top of her sport.


How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 27 years old
Birthday: July 29, 1989
Height: 5' 3"
Weight: 112 lbs.
Birthplace: Houston, TX
Hometown: Pasadena, TX
Current Residence: Houston, TX

Check out Marlen Esparza hot pics and sexy photos.



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