At 19, Ariel has overcome a tragedy and has been crowned national champion. This is his story.
"The excellence of a leader is measured by his ability to transform his problems into opportunities", Peter Drucker.
For many years, the Latino community in the USA has represented the value of being Latino. Unfortunately, it has not always been very positive. In part, because most people who come from South America or Mexico have very few resources and support to start a new life in another country.
This has caused many Latino communities in the USA to have internal conflicts and a very difficult life to cope with. In this context, there are leaders within the community who put pride in high for all Latinos. Such is the case of Ariel Arismendez.
The National Boxing Champion
Ariel Arismendez, from a Mexican family, was born in Arizona to become a star and a great role model for many Mexicans. Well, with only 19 years of age, she became an amateur boxing champion in the United States.
The young Latina holds 50 won fights, 8 by knockout, and only 5 losses. In 2015, she was ranked as the third best female boxer in the world and the first in the United States.
On this occasion, the female boxing star shared with Más Vale Saber some of her experiences throughout her career.
I share with you the interview I had with this extraordinary person.
Exclusive Interview With Ariel Arismendez
Better Know (MVS): When did you start boxing?
Ariel Arismendez (AA): Since I was 11 years old, I started training. I am currently 19 years old, so I have been in this sport for several years.
MVS: Would you like to train young girls or boys in the future?
AA: For the moment I would like to focus on my career. But later, yes, I would love to.
MVS: Do you consider that there is sufficient economic support in the United States for the sport of boxing, in the same way that it happens for example in Mexico?
AA: I know that professional boxing is much more popular in Mexico. The box here in the USA is just beginning to be of general interest, but the ratings are rising. However, the women's box is still not as well paid compared to the men's box.
MVS: I understand that there is a difference between men's and women's boxing. Could you explain a little what it is?
AA: There are some technical differences when it comes to rounds. They fight 3 minute rounds and we 2 minute rounds. However, I like to work or train with men, because when I fight at their level it is easier to compete against women.
MVS: What is your biggest fear and what is your biggest inspiration?
AA: My sisters. Losing them has made me stronger and I always take them as an example to inspire me in each fight. I feel like it's a shared dream. And I would like to continue inspiring other people as well.
MVS: How does it feel to be successful, both as a woman and as a Latina?
AA: For me, success is synonymous with having a goal. By following it, we can do everything possible to succeed and thus support the community around us.
MVS: What advice would you give to other girls in the Latino community?
AA: I consider that the most important thing in life is that, having a dream, and not letting go. Regardless of where you come from, you have to do everything possible, work hard on it until it becomes a reality.
What It Means To Be A Professional Boxer
The talk with Ariel Arismendez left me wondering what it really means to be a professional boxer.
It means breaking prejudices
According to statistics from BBC World, Hispanics under the age of 17 in the USA represent 23% and are more than 12 million students. These young people are three times more likely than their white peers to drop out of school without getting their high school degree.
This has caused the Latino community to be seen as “poorly educated”, and in some cases “problematic”. But what happens when all these borders are overcome and from this community a star like Ariel is born?
Means Overcoming Fears
It's strange to think that a boxer has some kind of fear. That, despite her marked musculature, her tangent wounds and her inner strength, there would be a drop of weakness that defines her. But for Ariel, her injuries have been the same that carry her further and further.
Recently, the Latina boxer suffered the misfortune of losing her father and sisters. A family tragedy that may seem like a fiction. Well, his father committed suicide, shortly after killing his two daughters, Ariel's little sisters.
However, we experience these kinds of tragedies throughout the entire USA. Families broken due to lack of help or financial support. It especially happens in Latin American families, whose goals have been forced in a different environment.
Previously, he considered boxers to be violent people, without fear of anything. But Ariel Arismendez shows us that fear is always present. That opportunities are not always there to succeed. But the important thing is to take that fear and make it part of our strength.
It Means To Follow A Dream And Share It
Now I understand the definition of a boxer. He is not someone who just steps into the ring to fight. But someone who represents the possibility of following a goal. That despite all adverse situations, there is the opportunity to fight for a dream and to train very hard for it. Their titles and trophies prove it.
As a Latina, I wonder, what excuse are we going to have for not studying, for not following our dreams, or for being afraid of going further if a woman like Ariel could stand out within her complicated environment. There are no excuses, there are only opportunities to knock out problems and life itself.
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