March 2022 - THE SPORTS CONNECTION: Boxing’s Golden Girl Stephanie Jaramillo
By AMarie Castillo :: Sports Writer
When Stephanie was five years old, she watched professional boxer Mike Tyson train on TV and fell in love at first sight with training and the sport of boxing. She turned to her dad and said, “I want to be a boxer.” Her dad responded, “Girls cannot be boxers.” She told her dad, “Then I’ll be a boy.” Her dad laughed and told her she couldn’t be a boy. She continued to push her parents to be a boxer. Her dad said when women start boxing he will find her a gym. After seeing a woman’s fighting card at a Mike Tyson fight, it was time to find her a boxing gym. Stephanie continued to train and became a professional boxer. At twenty-six, she retired from professional boxing, became a boxing promoter, and then transitioned into acting in movies with her first role as a boxer. She continues to thrive in boxing and acting as she approaches the age of forty this May.
What were you surprised about when you started boxing?
When I was 14, my dad promised me he would find me a boxing gym to become a boxer. We went to four or five gyms in Albuquerque. They would not take me because I was a girl. I would cry, but by the 6th gym, they told us about Abraham’s Gym. Owned by a female boxer, Abraham's only trained women boxers. We went to the gym, and two and half months later, I had my first boxing match. I fought the Arizona Champion, but they would only let me do one thirty-second round since she was way more advanced than me. I knocked her out in twenty-three seconds, and from there, I got a sponsor and started paving the way for women in the golden gloves and Olympics for women boxers.
How was it transitioning from Boxing to Acting?
The two are so similar and give me butterflies. Oscar De La Hoya told me, "If you lose the butterflies, then it’s time to be done. The butterflies still haven’t left me.
What is the best advice you can give your younger self?
DON’T EVER DIET! Create a healthy lifestyle for yourself. In the last seven months, I became vegan, and it was the best decision I have ever made. I’m not saying being vegan is for everyone. For me, it turned my health around. I grew up eating meat constantly, and for me, personally, it wasn’t good. I was unhealthy and used to constantly diet when I was training. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun in life.
What do you think about living in New Mexico?
Proud to be from the South Valley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico is the best state! There is no place like it, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.