LONDON -- Marlen Esparza, a 110-pounder from Houston, will become the first U.S. female to win an Olympic boxing medal, assuring herself of at least bronze Monday with a quarterfinal victory.
Esparza, fighting in the first-ever women's Olympic boxing competition, beat Venezuela's Karlha Magliocco. The score was 24-16, and Esparza won three of the four rounds decisively, losing only the fourth and final round, 5-4.
The heavily partisan Venezuelan crowd booed the posted scores after each round, and Esparza, a National Golden Gloves champion at age 17 and now ready to retire at 23 and go to school, said afterward, "That helped me. It kind of got me mad."
She also said that although she was happy about assuring herself of a medal, "in the U.S., if it’s not a gold, it’s not good enough."