(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.)
– Seventeen-year-old Jajaira
Calif.) remembers her early days in the sport when she was the
only girl in her southern California boxing gym. At only eight
years old, her father was determined to get her involved in the
sport despite her protests and wide array of attempts to get out
of training. Fast-forward nearly a decade and that young girl
has made history as the first U.S. boxer ever to win Youth
Olympic Games gold, taking a unanimous decision at the
International Expo Centre in Nanjing, China on Tuesday
afternoon. Gonzalez dominated her final round bout with
winning every round on every single scorecard to claim a gold
medal in the first Youth Olympic Games to include women’s
“Hard work truly pays off and
winning doesn’t come easy. You’re not just going to be handed a
gold medal, you have to work for it,” Gonzalez said following
her big win.
The reigning junior world
champion and Youth Olympic Games qualifier gold medalist is
known for her aggressive style and overwhelming activity and
that came in handy in her championship bout against the taller
Irish boxer. “My opponent had a very long reach but that didn’t
stop from getting on the inside,” she said.
NBC Sports Network will show
highlights of Gonzalez’s gold medal performance during their
evening broadcast tonight from 7-9 p.m. ET.
Ginty not only won a junior world
title in 2013, taking the lightweight crown, but also claimed
the Outstanding Junior Boxer of the Tournament award. Yet,
Ginty’s resume was meaningless to Gonzalez and her mission to
win gold. She started her onslaught in the first round,
consistently trapping Ginty in the corner and landing
combinations. Ginty came out in the second looking to outbox the
hard-charging Gonzalez, but she wasn’t able to do so. Gonzalez
gave Ginty a standing eight count late in the second and
continued to pound away over the final four minutes as her
teammates chanted U-S-A in support.
As the new Youth Olympic Games
lightweight champion exited the ring, the Olympic TV announcers
hailed her phenomenal performance. “She was ferocious. She was
hungry and she showed no mercy to an opponent who was world
class but was made to look ordinary.”
Gonzalez entered the national
scene at a great time for women’s boxing, earning a berth on the
first-ever junior women’s team following the debut of the sport
at the 2012 Olympic Games. She’s dominated at the national and
international levels since that time, racking up hardware and
marking her own place in the history books. Surrounded by male
family members in her home gym, Gonzalez has been fortunate
enough to train with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen
Texas) and 2012 Olympian Queen
Wash.) at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. She has also
competed alongside fellow trailblazing teenager Claressa
Mich.). Gonzalez won her junior world title at the same event
that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist claimed her youth world
championship last year in Bulgaria.
The teenager is the lone female
member of an intense boxing squad that is producing phenomenal
results. Her father and older brothers, Joet and Jousce train
her and their young brother JonJairo and they expect greatness
from all the pugilists in the Gonzalez family. Joet competed in
the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and is now in the midst of a
promising professional career while Jousce won a silver medal at
the 2014 USA Boxing Elite National Championships and is an
Olympic hopeful in his own right.
Gonzalez credits growing up in
the male-driven boxing gym and sparring with brothers for making
her the tough competitor that she is today. Those family
sparring matches and intense training sessions have certainly
paid off for the Gonzalez family because baby sister is bringing
home the gold.
She will return to Los Angeles on
Friday evening to show off her shiny new gold medal to all the
men in her boxing family.
N.J.) and super heavyweight Darmani
Pa.) will compete in men’s final round action on Wednesday at
the International Expo Centre. Stevenson will face China’s LY
approximately 2:15 p.m. local time and Rock will battle
All of the Youth Olympic Games
boxing action can be viewed at www.olympic.tv.
To watch a live bout, select the boxing window and to view an
archived bout enter the athlete’s name in to the search box.
U.S. Gold Medal Bout Result
132 lbs/female: Jajaira
Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA dec.
Ciara Ginty, IRL, 3-0