BOXING: Latino In America 2: Olympic Hopeful

BOXING: Latino In America 2: Olympic Hopeful

Women compete in the last male-only Olympic sport, boxing. This September Soledad O’Brien follows one Olympic hopeful.

Reporter’s Notebook: The changing face of women’s boxing

By Soledad O’Brien, CNN

The top four boxers who medaled at the National Championships in late June have a rare distinction this year: Women’s boxing has been added to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Marlen Esparza six-time USA Boxing Champ with CNN's Soledad O'Brien

The traditionally male sport of boxing was the only summer sport at the Olympics without a female counterpart. The last great domain of men in sports is about to crumble, and a bunch of Latinas, flyweight boxers who tip the scales at no more than 112 pounds, are leading the way

The principal figure in this sport’s revolution is Marlen Esparza, a 22-year-old Texan of Mexican descent who was already a five-time national champion in the flyweight division coming into this year’s tournament.

Eight women will compete in each of three weight classes at the Olympic trials. They are the winners of the top national tournaments. So far, half the flyweights are Latinas. The other weight classes are dominated by African-American boxers. All the competitors will be chosen by October 8, after the year’s last major national fight, the Police Athletic League championships.

The trials are scheduled for February 2012. Only one woman in each weight class at the trials will make Team USA and win the chance to compete internationally.           click here to read complete story

In Her Corner: Latino in America” which airs at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, September 25.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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