By Karl Hegman
Houston’s own flyweight sensation Marlen Esparza added another title to her lengthy fistic resume as she captured the Gold Medal at the 2012 Women’s Continental Championships that were held in Ontario, Canada. The United States won an amazing 6 Gold Medals as they virtually trounced the competition from Canada and South America, and it was Esparza who stole the show yet once again with her superior ringmanship that left her opponents bedazzled and thoroughly defeated. Esparza whipped up on tough Argentine Pemela Benavidez 21-10 in her first bout out of the gate as she literally boxed and punched the ears off of the game but outclassed young lady hailing from the Pampas.
Next up for a painful fistic edification was Pan American Games Champion Mandy Bujold of Canada. Esparza was just too much fighter and too much boxer for the Canadian, and gave Bujold a good going over in a tough fight that Marlen won on points 16-14. Marlen put Brazilian Erica Matos behind the 8 ball in the finals as she dominated throughout and won by the score of 16-10. Esparza is the big favorite to represent the U.S. in the Olympic Games in London, and next up are the World Championships in China in May, and when she finishes in the top 8 in the flyweight division, she is off to London.
While there are some good fighters in the flyweight division in the U.S., they are no match for the amazing fighting machine from the Bayou City. Some media types have attempted to wax for dramatic effect on their hometown fighters, i.e. “Ring Leader”, “Her Dreams of Gold”, “Single mom fights for chance at Gold”, etc. Sorry to bring the bad news to these good media folks, but it simply won’t happen as the play is already over and it is time to turn out the lights for the fighters you wrote about. Better luck in four years for your hometown boxers as they can continue to mill away at local and national tournaments, get 8 to 5 jobs in the civilian sector, go back to college or as they begin their professional careers because they are not going to London to represent the United States in the flyweight division.
Esparza not only is the best female amateur fighter in the country, she is probably the best amateur fighter in the United States, period. Marlen was Houston’s Fighter Of The Year in 2010 and 2011, and is the best fighter in all of Houston, amateur or pro. We here at the CBZ wish great success to her as she continues her quest for boxing’s Holy Grail in the form of the 2012 Olympic Flyweight Gold Medal. Well done Champion!