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Marlen Esparza trains hard to represent U.S.

FitSugar

Updated: June 22, 2012, 2:27 PM ET
By Susi May, FitSugar

Marlen Esparza was only 11 when she first stepped into a boxing gym, and it took her days to convince trainer Rudy Silva to allow her to participate in his group workouts. After watching her throw some sloppy but passionate punches at a bag and seeing what Rudy describes as a "spark," he allowed her to join his sessions with advanced boys.

But that spark doesn't mean Rudy welcomed her with open arms. "I tried to push her really, really hard," recalled Rudy during ...

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