Meet the Flyweights Boxing for Rio at the Olympic Trials in Memphis

Oct. 07, 2015, 5:57 p.m. (ET)


Meet the Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing Flyweights

The flyweight division, which is a minimum of 107 pounds and a maximum of 112 pounds, is the smallest Olympic weight division in women’s boxing. The weight class is contested in both Pan American Games and Olympic competition as well as world championships and national events.

Great Britain’s Nicola Adams took gold in the 2012 Olympic Games in the flyweight division with the United States’ Marlen Esparza winning bronze in the inaugural Olympics for women’s boxing.

2016 Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing Flyweight Competitors

1. Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas (USA Boxing National Championships)*

2. Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas (USA Boxing National Championships)

3. Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)

4. Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)

5. Alex Love, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)
6. Jamie Mitchell, Las Vegas, Nev. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
7. Giovanna Camacho, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
8. Melanie Costa, Norton, Mass. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
*2012 Olympic bronze medalist

The tournament next the athletes’ names denotes the tournament in which they qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials for Women’s Boxing.

Flyweight Fun Facts

  • Four of the 2016 Olympic Trials for Women’s Boxing flyweight competitors are competing in their second Olympic Trials event in Memphis. The returning participants are Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas), Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) and Alex Love (Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • The weight class also boasts three former or current USA Boxing national champions with Esparza claiming the flyweight title nine times, Cruz winning at the higher bantamweight division and Love previously having won gold at the lower light flyweight class.
  • Three of the flyweight competitors currently call Colorado Springs, Colo., home with military members Love and Giovanna Camacho training at one of the nation’s largest Army base - Fort Carson and Marlen Esparza living at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. In addition, two of the flyweight athletes hail from the state of Massachusetts (Melanie Costa and Amanda Pavone). The top two flyweights in the tournament (Marlen Esparza and Virginia Fuchs) both have roots in the Houston area.
  • The oldest flyweight competitor is Christina Cruz at 32-years-old and the youngest boxer in the division is 22-year-old Melanie Costa (Norton, Mass.).
  • The flyweights’ occupations outside of boxing range from Costa’s work as an insurance agency receptionist and police matron to Amanda Pavone’s (Burlington, Mass.) culinary skills as a chef and Camacho’s dedication to her country as a medical officer in the U.S. Army.
  • Two of the flyweights hold a place in women’s boxing history with Marlen Esparza winning the first-ever Olympic medal in women’s boxing and Christina Cruz being the first American female to compete in the Pan American Games.
  • Former light flyweight national champion Alex Love is the USA Boxing’s athlete representative on the USOC Athlete Advisory Council where she gives a voice to all of USA Boxing’s athletes.
  • Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza has enjoyed endorsement deals with major brands such as Cover Girl, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Nike and Deloitte and has been featured in publications such as Vogue magazine.

    Click here for the Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing flyweight athlete bios.