The Pueblo West View

Boxer is modern day Beauty and the Beast

A pretty face in the ring is a role typically reserved for the card girls in between rounds. Chantel Cordova is eye candy in the ring, but you’ll only see her arms raised after she knocks out an opponent.

At the age of nine, Cordova discovered the joy of punching people in the face. Her father and current manager, Marvin Cordova Sr., has always been in his daughter’s corner – except when she first got started.

While her father was out of town, her mother, Sherry, headed to an amateur boxing show in Ignacio, and took little Cordova along with her. While at the show, Cordova got the opportunity to weigh-in and fight a girl from Ignacio. Cordova recalled that every time she landed a punch the little girl’s braid swung.

“My dad didn’t really want me to fight back then,” Cordova said.

“In my first fight I wound up getting a second-round stoppage and I started fighting ever since.”

First knockout. Road to glory begins. If only it worked that way.

Climbing the ranks as a female boxer and staying focused regardless of the distraction became a staple for the 27 year old. Despite having the unforgettable nickname “One Gorgeous Babe” bestowed upon her by her grandfather, Cordova had to overcome a copious amount of obstacles whether in her Everlast or Cleto Reyes gloves or traditional clothes.

Inside the ring, her passion for fighting was nearly snatched from away with a three-fight losing streak that made One Gorgeous Babe feel like an ugly duckling.

“If I lose one more fight, I’ll quit,” Cordova told her family.

During her plight in the box, her brother would soon end up in one. Marvin Cordova Jr. went to jail in 2013 and is currently serving an eight-year sentence.

Life delivered devastating blows to her psyche and life unlike anything she had comeback from in the ring. Advice given to her from her parents allowed her to riposte from the haymakers of life. During the most flustering times, Cordova relied on some of the best advice Sherry and Marvin Sr. gave her.

Never give up on your faith.

“I’ve had issues outside of the ring but I just don’t let it affect me,” Cordova said. “You have to put it in God’s hands. When you have that faith, God makes it possible.”

Cordova’s family and faith have pushed her further than any sparing session ever could. Sherry and Marvin Sr. pushed her to better herself in the ring when she punishes her opponents and they pushed her to be an outgoing mother figure to her son.

Working full time as a boxer, training and traveling to various locations around the U.S. for fights have yet to impede her duties as a mom. Her six-year-old son is the center of her universe and no matter how busy life gets, Cordova always makes time for her child.

Providing that life for her son is a daunting task. It definitely does not come from the money she makes from boxing. Among the myriad of other task Cordova deals with during any given week, she is also an orthodontist assistant. As quick as she’ll knock your teeth out, she’ll help put them back.

Both bring joy to her life, but dental work is something she wishes to pursue well after she hangs up her gloves.

“I want to be a dentist,” Cordova said. “I’m going back to school for it soon. That’s the ultimate goal.”

The frame and stature of One Gorgeous Babe aren’t intimidating at first sight. Her work ethic at whatever she gets her hands on, however, is something to be feared. She believes that no matter the circumstances of someone pursing a dream, that it can be achieved with a great mindset.

“Never give up,” Cordova said. “Always work for what you want and never give up.”

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