Marlen Esparza

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Marlen Esparza
Olympic Medal winners at ALMA Awards.jpg
Esparza (2nd from right) along with Jessica Steffens, Brenda Villa and Leonel Manzano at the 2012 ALMA Awards
Rated at Flyweight
112 lb (51 kg)[1]
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) [2]
Nationality American
Born (1989-07-29) July 29, 1989 (age 27)[1][2]
Houston, Texas, U.S.[2]

Marlen Esparza (born July 29, 1989)[1][2][3] is an American boxer. In May 2012, she qualified to compete at the 2012 Olympics, becoming the first American woman to qualify for the Olympics in the first year that women's boxing was an Olympic event. She won the bronze medal in the women's flyweight division at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Esparza graduated from Pasadena High School in Pasadena, Texas in 2007.[4] Esparza won a bronze medal at the 2006 Women's World Boxing Championship,[3] gold at the 2014 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships, and bronze at the 2016 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships.

Esparza has an endorsement deal with CoverGirl cosmetics.[5] She also appeared in a Spanish-language commercial for Coca-Cola,[6] and on a commercial for McDonald's. In addition, she contributes to animal rights group PETA and recently posed in an ad to urge the public to speak up for abused animals.[7]

Esparza was the subject of Soledad O'Brien's 2011 CNN documentary In Her Corner: Latino in America 2.[8] She was the subject of an extensive profile in the June 2012 issue of The Atlantic[5] which discusses in detail her childhood, education, and her intense commitment to competition and training.

Marlen Esparza was voted the Houston Fighter Of The Year (an award that encompasses both professional and amateur boxers) for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In December 2016 she signed a contract with Golden Boy Promotions and is scheduled to make her pro debut on ESPN's March 23, 2017 opening card of a multi-year deal with Golden Boy.


  1. ^ a b c Bearak, Barry (May 15, 2012). "U.S. Has Its First Female Olympic Boxer". New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d NBC Olympics: Marlen Esparza profile
  3. ^ a b Team USA: Marlen Esparza
  4. ^ Rich, Nathaniel (July 9, 2012). "Marlen Esparza: Going the Distance". Vogue. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Aleksander, Irina (June 2012). "American Sweetheart". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ Kallen, Jackie (May 24, 2012). "Jackie Kallen on Women's Olympic Boxing: Marlen Esparza". Boxing Insider. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Latino in America 2: In Her Corner – Educator and Parent Guide". CNN. September 22, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 

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