In the traditional sport of Boxing, it’s not often that people praise women boxers, and the few that are out there are often overlooked or not credited as they should be.
Many young females are joining and succeeding in this sport. Gabriela Lopez from Muscatine, Iowa is one of them. She won the 2014 Ringside World Champion in the weight division of 123 lbs novice earlier this month and back in April she won the Iowa Golden Gloves.
Gabriela was born in Muscatine, Iowa. At the age of 6 she moved to Clinton, Iowa. During her young life she went to 4 different elementary schools, 2 different middle schools, and 2 different high schools. Gabriela overcame many obstacles in life. She had to deal with her mom’s blindness and bulling in school for her ethnicity and financial standing. In spite of all the personal struggles she knows that her many brothers and sisters look up to her and somehow that motivates her.
In the summer of 2013 Gabriela moved back to Muscatine and being athletic person as she is, it was only natural that she wanted to stay active and stay in shape. When her cousins told her about the Muscatine County Boxing Club, Gabriela was excited to go and join them for the work out.
After two weeks of intense training, one of her coaches asked Gabriela to spar. After her sparring session, not only did her coach see that Gabriela had a natural talent, but Gabriela felt it as well.
Gabriela continued training and 2 months later she was up for her first amateur fight. When Gabriela found out she was fighting someone from Clinton, Iowa, the town where she was raised, she was surprised to hear that there was a boxing gym there as well.
When she took her first fight she had no idea what she was getting into, and she was very nervous. Gabriela went into that ring and fought like a true champion.
“The feeling of winning my first fight was amazing, I actually cried! Tears of joy of course,” Gabriela told about her experience.
After that she continued competing and training. The one thing that kept her going was the fact that she wanted people to see her differently. She is well aware of the fact that there aren’t many female boxers out there, and she wanted to be part of the few that can say, “Yes, I’m a female boxer, and I challenge my mind and body everyday!”
Gabriela loves boxing and she doesn’t expect anything out of it. She does it to have fun, yet be a part of something serious. Gabriela says without her amazing coaches Leo Villegas, Tomas Plaza, and Santos Saucedo she doesn’t think she would have made it as far as she has.
“They welcomed me with open arms, and treated me like family. They all pushed me past my limit and helped me to get to where I am now,” she said. Gabriela remains humble, giving herself plenty of opportunity to grow indefinitely in the world of boxing.
In a time when the world needs role models, Gabriela doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk.
Gabriela Lopez the 2014 Ringside World Champion and Iowa Golden Gloves Champion is a true role model not only for young female athletes, but for all boxers young and old.
Photos by Tar Macias
For more images of this photo shoot please visit our Facebook page Hola America Sports
or follow us on Instagram at HOLAAMERICA or Twitter @HATVwithNatalie