Marlen Esparza Signed by Golden Boy Promotions
Former U.S. Olympian Marlen Esparza signed a multi-year contract with Golden Boy Promotions stated Oscar De La Hoya the chairman of Golden Boy on Wednesday.
“Before she ever steps foot into the ring as a professional, Marlen Esparza has already established herself as a rising star,” De La Hoya said. “At Golden Boy Promotions, we pride ourselves on developing fighters and transforming them into the best of the best. We look forward to doing the same with Marlen.”
Esparza, 27, won a bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012 as a member of Team USA. She was one of three women to participate in the Olympic Games. But she was unable to make the American team in 2016.
Still, the flyweight from Houston, Texas remained one of the top female amateur boxers in the world in her weight class. She was seen sparring in Southern California recently.
“I recently told my fans that I was going pro, and I am happy to announce that it will be the world’s best promotional company – Golden Boy Promotions,” Esparza said. “I am excited to get back into the ring as soon as possible and start climbing the ladder towards winning a professional world title.”
With several recent amateur standouts like fellow American Claressa Shields, a two-time gold medalist and Ireland’s Katie Taylor, a gold medal winner in 2012 becoming pros, it was only a matter of time that others would join the pro ranks.
As an amateur, Esparza was able to garner various endorsement deals because of her Olympic status. She had contracts with Cover Girl, Coca Cola and McDonald’s.
The Texas flyweight has a lot of speed but will have to make the transition from the amateur style that depends more on a slapping mode. In the pros, it’s more about power with smaller gloves and there is no head gear. It may take time to adjust.
Golden Boy Promotions has been one of the few companies to showcase female boxing in the past 10 years. Some of those they’ve put on their fight cards were Melinda Cooper, Celina Salazar, Kaliesha West, Seniesa Estrada and Maricela Cornejo.
Esparza was expected to be introduced today at the Inglewood Forum for the Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Smith press conference.
(Photo by ESPN Mag)