At 21 years old, pro boxer Kenia Enriquez already lays claim to a major title – she’s the current flyweight champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO). But as a native of Tijuana, she had pretty much nobody like her to help her on the winner’s path.
“In my family, we eat, breathe and sleep boxing,” Enriquez told Fusion. But in her family, pretty much all of the other boxers were men. The same went for the boxing community, in general, in her hometown. So now, with a platform – though not a ton of financial resources – she’s putting herself out there as a role model for the city’s next crop of athletes like her.
This past February, Enriquez promoted Tijuana’s first all-female amateur boxing tournament. “The idea for this tournament came from the realization that there are actually a lot of little girls boxing today,” she said. “In my time, when I was growing up, there were only five of us amateurs.”
On top of that, there were only a few places to box. While many gyms allow both men and women to train together, in Tijuana, she said, only three gyms do so. That’s forced up-and-coming girls into a close community with each other – which helps to explain the success of why Enriquez’s first promoted tournament proved so successful.
“It’s not just about women throwing punches, it’s about artistic quality,” she’s quick to point out. “The truth is, I think women fight better than men.”
Check out the video for a look inside the tournament.