HOUSTON - Houston boxer Marlen Esparza has won her first fight at the Olympic Games in London and is guaranteed at least a bronze medal, but she is aiming for far more than that.
Fighting in the flyweight division, Esparza received a first-round bye.
On Monday, she defeated Venezuela's Karhla Magliocco to move into the medal rounds.
I feel good," Esparza said in a telephone interview with FOX 26 Sports from England. "It's definitely more weight off of my shoulders.
"It's definitely a lot of relief because I know I will be on the podium. That's what you try to get to when you get here, is the podium. I want a gold medal. Gold is always the goal. Never really thought about any other medal."
On Wednesday Esparza will fight China's Ren Cancan, the favorite to win the gold medal in the flyweight division.
Esparza lost to Cancan in May.
"My next fight is definitely the hardest fight," Esparza said. "My next fight is definitely the fight. So I'm a little bit more worried about that right now. So I have to put a lot of concentration into the next one."
Esparza's trainer, Rudy Silva, is on the same page as his boxer when it comes to what the two really want out of the Olympic games and that is a lot more than a bronze medal.
"That's a really, really good feeling," said Silva. "I don't want to say anything bad about it, because it feels really good knowing if the tournament was to end today that we're going home with a bronze medal, but we actually didn't come out here for bronze. We came out here for a gold. That's what we're focusing on."