17-year-old amateur boxing champion Seniesa Estrada talks to her father and coach, Joe Estrada, about how she got started in the sport.
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Joe Estrada (JE): Yeah, and she said, 'Hey dad, do girls box? And I'm like, 'Uh yes.' A few minutes later she says, 'Can I box?' And I'm like, 'Sure baby, you can box.' 'Alright, will you take me to the gym?' I says, 'Yeah.' A month went by (SE: Maybe even like two months or more) And she just brings it up again. 'Hey dad, can you take me to the gym? You told me you were gonna take me to the gym.' And I'm like, 'Oh yeah baby, don't worry, I'll take you to the gym next week.' I remember you just kept bringing it up.
SE: I didn't know how hard it was either. I just thought I was gonna go to a gym and get in the ring and fight, cause that's what I wanted to do.
JE: She went in the ring with this little boy and got hit in the stomach really hard. She looked at the little kid like, 'I'm gonna get you,' and she just went right at him. (SE: I was just swinging.) No technique in her punches. (SE: No technique. I was just swinging.) She just wailed away and it was like, 'Wow, I just saw that.' And it's like, the coach said, 'Stop, stop.' They stopped the fight. The little boy was crying, and that's the moment where I said my little girl's a fighter. She was meant to do this.
SE: How does it feel when you see me in the ring?
JE: Well it hasn't changed from the first time I saw you in the ring, it's kinda hard. The first time I watched you get hit, I really wanted to jump into that ring (both laugh) (SE: Yeah) It's like if they're hitting me. You'll see me moving and trying to slip every punch that's being thrown at you (SE laughs) I'm actually moving around, so, it's hard but it's just so amazing to watch you. How is it for you? What do you feel like when you're in the ring?
SE: It's a feeling that's hard to describe. Before I'm fighting, I feel so many different emotions. It's crazy. But once I'm in the ring, I really don't feel anything. I mean, cause I'm so comfortable in there. It's what I'm meant to do and I wanna keep fighting.
JE: Cool. That's good.
SE: What I admire about you is, how you changed over the years and, just the person you've become.
JE: I'm not who I used to be, you know.
SE: Yeah he's came a long way from being into gangs. And then, all of a sudden, me wanting to box, and then it just all changed.
JE: I totally completely stopped doing all the drugs and everything that I used to do before. Because, at that split second when you made that decision, it's over, I mean, I'm gonna stand right behind her, and just be a good father to her. I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of you now and I'll always be. I love you. (SE: Love you too.)