Future is only ‘up’
She’s only 5 foot 3 inches.
For many, she might classified as a tiny, petite woman.
But for professional boxing — especially professional women’s boxing — she’s not so tiny.
“Most of the girls are about 5-feet,” said Sherry Cordova, mother of professional women’s boxer Chantel Cordova. “They’re stockier but they’re shorter.
“Chantel isn’t as short but she’s lanky; she’s not skinny, she’s built.”
Chantel Cordova, 26, currently is 12-4-1 in her division for professional women’s boxing, recently beating a popular rival at a competition in Altoona, Iowa, at the Boxing at the Meadows event on Nov. 15.
Cordova started boxing when she was 9 years old, playing with her older brothers who boxed and learned techniques to use during competitions.
But it wasn’t her father, Marvin Cordova, a former professional boxer, wrestler and coach, but her mother who encouraged her to compete.
“We did it without daddy’s permission,” Sherry Cordova said, laughing. “This was not his idea.”
But her mother saw talent, and she already was taking several boys to a competition in Ignacio, Colo., and suggested to her daughter that she should compete.
And she dominated the ring “from the get-go,” her mother said.
“My dad, Marvin Cordova, Sr., who is my trainer, didn’t think women should box. So, my mom (manager Sherry Cordova) was taking a few boxers out to Ignacio, Colorado, for an amateur show. She asked me if I wanted to weigh in and see if there were any females to box,” Chantel Cordova said in a previous interview.
“Just my luck, there was a female in my weight class. I was a bit nervous, but was anxious to get in the ring.
“With a two-round stoppage, I had a victory over the hometown boxer!
“My dad was out of town for work, but I called him and told him the news,” she added.
“Ever since, he has been in my corner, training and supporting me.”
The Cordova family grew up in La Junta and moved to Pueblo West about 10 years ago, but Chantel discovered her talent for professional boxing in 2006 after attending the U.s. national Women’s Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chantel Cordova’s storied amateur career includes being the U.S. national women’s champion in 2005 (defeating Stephanie Gonzalez by RSCO-2 in the 101-lb semifinal and Adri Harding by RSCO-2 in the final) and 2006 (defeating Colleen Loo 32-12 in the 101-lb final).
She also took second place at the 2005 Pan Am Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. losing to Nancy Fortin of Canada by a 20-8 score.
She also was a three-time Golden Gloves champion, including outstanding boxer of the tournament in 2004, won two Junior Olympic championships and three Silver Gloves titles. She was the first Colorado woman on the U.S. women’s national amateur team.
“When you go to other countries, you have to be the dominate one in the ring for all six rounds to make sure you win the fight,” Sherry Cordova said. “You cannot leave it up to the judges to decide who wins; you have to remain the dominate one the entire time.”
When she’s not fighting, Sherry Cordova said her daughter is really put together.
“She always makes sure her hair and make up is perfect,” she said. “People look at her and say, ‘No, you don’t fight; you’re not a boxer. You don’t have a mark on you.’ That’s because she doesn’t let anyone hit her face.”
And for the future?
“Where do we go in the future is only up,” her mother said.
“There are females who hold title belts in Mexico, Argentina, Germany and Korea that we are interested in getting matches with.”