Jesselyn "JessZilla" Silva, at just 10 years old, is already breaking down barriers and dreaming big.
While many may only see boxing as a male-dominated sport, this little girl is proving that anyone can do anything if they're really dedicated. She and her father, Pedro, are profiled in an Op-Doc from The New York Times, in which they discuss the struggles, fears, and aspirations about Jesselyn's activity of choice.
"It takes a lot of courage to get in [the ring]," Pedro says. "A lot of people, they're just not built for that. I can say that I'm not built for boxing. She is, and she's a girl."
Pedro admits that he was and continues to be nervous whenever Jesselyn puts her gloves on, whether it's for a fight or just for sparring. Jesselyn, on the other hand, says she's "very brave in boxing but I'm very afraid to go on roller coasters."
The biggest obstacle Jesselyn faces — now that it seems people have gotten over the shock of her boxing — is that there aren't that many girls at the amateur level to fight. And the girls that are in the sport are either older or not as advanced as she is.
Pedro isn't sure how far Jesselyn will go in boxing, but knows that "you've got to do something that you love to do and you master it." That said, he tells her boxing isn't forever. Jesselyn, however, already knows she wants to become pro and is setting her sights high.
"The big goal is to go to 2024 Olympics and win gold," Jesselyn says, revealing the ultimate ambition written on her dream calendar. "I want to show everybody that's always doubted me that I can win a gold medal and represent my country. I want to win it more than Claressa Shields did. I want to at least win it three times. That's going to be my No. 1 goal for a very long time."