Cuban-born boxer Yarisel Ramirez is on her way to Tokyo as a member of Team USA. The fighter was added to the roster recently to compete for a medal at the 2021 Olympics.
Earlier in the month, she received the good news from Matt Johnson, USA Boxing High-Performance Director, who joked with her at first, making it seem like Ramirez didn’t make the cut.
“We’ve been getting some updates from Tokyo,” Johnson said. “Yarisel, we got a little bit of an update. Sorry [that] I have to tell you in front of everybody here, but… you’re going to be qualifying.” The rest of Johnson’s announcement was drowned out by cheers from her fellow athletes as Ramirez jumped in excitement and hugged everyone around her in celebration.
The addition of Ramirez made her the 10th member of the USA’s official boxing squad going to Tokyo. According to the Associated Press, USA Boxing will have two more boxers in this year’s Games than they did at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“Yarisel has been in this final training camp working extremely hard, waiting for this opportunity if her name were to be called,” Mike McAtee, USA Boxing’s executive director, told AP. “During this whole process, Yarisel has shown nothing but maturity, determination, and the drive to fulfill her Olympic dreams.”
Ramirez’s first fight in Tokyo will take place on July 24. Until then, here are five things you should know about the rising boxing star.
Tale of the Tape
Ramirez was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, on December 11, 1999, and now calls Las Vegas her home. At 125 lbs., she fights in the featherweight division. Ramirez trains at Barry’s Boxing Las Vegas Center Gym. Her father, Rafael Ramirez, is her coach.
In 2014, Ramirez placed second at the USA Boxing Junior National Championships. The following year, she placed first at the same competition and the USA Boxing Youth National Championships and the National Junior Golden Gloves. She also earned a silver medal at the 2015 Junior World Championships and finished third at the Pan American Games in 2019.
From the Start
Ramirez began her amateur boxing career in 2014. According to boxrec.com, her record after 40 amateur fights stands at 28 wins and 12 losses. Her longest winning streak was ten straight wins from July 2015 to December 2016.
Words of Wisdom
The boxing star loves a good, inspirational quote to live by — often sharing words of wisdom on social media. In the past, she has quoted everyone from disability rights advocate Helen Keller to NFL football coach Vince Lombardi.
All in the Family
Ramirez has a little brother, Donk Rafael Ramirez, who is also a boxer. Keep a roster spot open for the 2032 Olympics, perhaps, especially if he’s getting tips from his big sister.