Vogue usually doesn't devote much of its coverage to boxing. But history will be made in London this summer when the Olympics feature women's boxing for the first time, and Vogue has published a compelling profile on Marlen Esparza.
Esparza started boxing when she was 11 in her hometown of Pasadena, Texas. Now 23, Esparza might be the best bet to win gold for the U.S.
The Vogue profile notes that she doesn't necessarily look the part: "A track-and-field athlete, perhaps, or a runner, but at five feet three and 112 pounds she is neither brawny nor particularly fierce-looking."
But there's no arguing that she looks stunning in that red dress for her Vogue shoot, nor with her 69–2 record.
Her in-ring success prompted top-tier companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola and CoverGirl to sign Esparza to sponsorship deals. That allowed Esparza to quit her day job as a dental assistant to focus on training full time, and staying focused has required sacrifice and dedication.
"It's miserable, actually," she tells Vogue.
"It's torture. I get mad. I don't date. I haven't gone out in a long time. It's just depressing. Thank God I don't have Facebook, because if I did, I'd be jealous of everybody. I don't want to know what I'm missing."