Women participated in boxing in the Olympics for the first time, and Marlen Esparza will go down as the first female pugilist from the United State to win a match in the Games – and a medal.
Pretty heady stuff for a former Cover Girl model.
Esparza defeated Kartha Magliocco of Venezuela in the flyweight division, outpointing her, 24-16. She took the first round from Magliocco by an 8-4 score and then followed with a 6-4 second round.
The Venezuelan boxer was game, but struggled to keep pace as Esparza did damage with crisp jabs from the outside.
The American’s lead continued to grow with each passing round as Esparza left no doubt. At no point was she encouraged to sit on her lead, as her coaches continued to remind her of what she needed to correct rather than praise what was working. Esparza proved to be an A-student, following instructions to the letter and cruising to the medal round.
And so, she advanced to the semifinals to face the No. 1-seeded Cancan Ren of China. Sbe did not fair as well, losing 16-8.
The quarterfinal victory guaranteed Esparza medal in London. The format for women boxing grants each of the four semifinalists with a medal. The pair of semifinal winners will vie for gold and silver medals while the semifinal losers both earned bronze medals.
Not bad for a young lady who had made a career out of modeling. Esparza, 23, gained fame before the London Games as a model for Cover Girl, thanks in part to her pre-match ritual of applying a light base of makeup with some blush and mascara. So, she even goes into the ring looking like a model.
And People magazine added that she also “puts on perfume before a fight, [and] makes sure to exfoliate and hydrate her skin.”
Maybe all boxers should adopt at least the exfoliate part. After all, leather to face can really mess up your skin.