High school senior Jocelyn Camarillo, 17, ended 2021 on a high note and now she’s inspiring other Latinas to pursue their dreams. The teen from Indio, California in Coachella Valley won the championship title at the 2021 USA Boxing National Championship on December 11th, 2021 in Shreveport, Louisiana in the 48kg (105 pounds) weight class after three years of training, NBC Palm Springs reported. She reportedly wants to pursue a career in boxing and hopes that her success is a source of inspiration for young girls who are considering a being a part of a male-dominated sport like boxing.
“I’m just really glad that I was able to come out and win and represent the Coachella Valley well,” she told NBC. “I love sparring boys actually because I like getting the reaction like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s kicking that boy’s butt!'”
Jocelyn Camarillo won the USA Boxing National Championship at 17 years old (48kg), with only three years of boxing experience under her championship belt https://t.co/nbVfGTycIP
— NBC Palm Springs (@NBCPalmSprings) January 6, 2022
Her story is reminiscent of Marlen Esparza, the first American woman to qualify for the Olympics in women’s boxing the first year it became an event and she also started in the field when she was a teen. She went on to win the bronze medal in the women’s flyweight division at the 2012 Olympics in London. Nearly a decade later we are seeing another Latina dominate in a sport that’s historically been made up mostly of white men. According to Zippia, of the 3,616 boxers employed in the U.S., 32 percent are women and 63.1 percent are men, 60.7 percent are white and 16.9 percent are Latinx. For women like Esparza and Camarillo, their success takes years of dedication and training.
“I’m so glad to say my hard work is finally paying off. Growing up i could’ve never imagined boxing being such a huge part of my life, boxing only started as a curiosity for me. It wasn’t until i started competing, that I decided that I wanted more. Im excited to announce that on Saturday, December 11th I came home a USA National Champion,” Camarillo wrote in an Instagram caption. “But this couldn’t have happened without my parents, who have supported my dreams day in and day out. I am also extremely grateful for my coaches, team, and family who’ve helped me throughout this whole camp and who always support me. Thank you all for believing in me.”
Camarillo’s success is just another indicator of what is possible despite what naysayers might say and it’s all a result of the work she’s put into the sport. She and her father, Valente Camarillo, train at the Lee Espinoza Coachella Valley Boxing Club, NBC reported. In a video on Youtube posted by Support Local Boxers 760, she commented on what she’s learned since winning saying, “Just keep training and stay focused.” She added a message for fellow girls interested in boxing: “No matter what they say, that boxing is a male-dominated sport, it doesn’t matter, I think girls could kick ass just as well as guys do, probably even better.”