- 2015 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
- 2015 Outstanding Fighter Award
- 2015 Pan American Games- 2nd place
- 2014 Women’s Boxing World Championships- 1st place
- Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival- 1st place
- 2014 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
- 2013 U.S. Women’s National Championship-1st place
- Houston Fighter of the Year- 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials- 1st place
- 2012 Olympic Games, London – 3rd place; First ever Olympic Bronze medalist in Women’s Boxing
- 2011 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
- 2010 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
- 2009 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
- 2008 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
- 2008 Pan American Games- 1st place
- 2007 U.S. Women’s National Championship-1st place
- 2006 Women’s World Boxing Championship- 3rd place
- 2006 U.S. Women’s National Championship- 1st place
Marlen was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in a family that adored the sport of boxing. Her introduction to the ring came at age 11, when she started babysitting her younger brother while he worked out at a local gym. Marlen was soon begging her father and the gym’s trainer, Rudy Silva, to let her try the sport. They were hesitant, but soon gave in under one condition: She had to behave in school. Marlen kept her end of the bargain and by her senior year she was named class President and graduated with a 4.6 GPA. Although, she had won two Women’s Boxing U.S. National Championships (2006, 2007) and captured bronze at the 2006 World Championships, Marlen was ready to quit the sport and go to Rice University, where she had been previously accepted.
Marlen went on to win the 2009, 2010, and 2011 U.S. National Championships and qualified to the Olympic Games at the World Championships in China. This would clinch her spot in history as the first ever American female boxer to ever compete in an Olympic Games.
In the debut of women’s boxing at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Marlen Esparza brought home the bronze medal. Her original plan was to leave the sport after the Olympic Games, but after bringing home the bronze Marlen realized that she wasn’t quite finished with boxing.
Marlen has since moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and is now coached by USA Boxing’s, Pedro Roque. She has also kept her U.S. National Championship winning streak alive by taking the title in both 2013 and 2014. She is focused on Gold in the 2016 Rio Olympic Game.
All of that changed in 2009 when the International Olympic Committee announced that women’s boxing would debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Soon after this announcement, Nike, Coca-Cola, and CoverGirl signed Marlen to sponsorship deals. This was huge for Marlen because she was able to quit her job – she had been working as a dental assistant- and her focus on training became even more intense for the only title left for her to win.