Jocelyn Camarillo is 17 years old from Indio, CA and on December 11th, 2021 she was crowned champion at the USA Boxing National Championships held in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“I’m just really glad that I was able to come out and win and represent the Coachella Valley well.”
Jocelyn fought in the 48kg weight class, where she had to win two matches to win the belt. Once Jocelyn reached the final, she admits that she was nervous before the match. However, she says that she kept her mind sharp and relied on her countless hours of training to bring home the belt.
Her father and trainer, Valente Camarillo, knew she was a champion before she even stepped into the ring for the final match.
“I had a good feeling about it as soon as this fight started. She looked ready, she was jumping around, and the other girl looked a little nervous. So, I kind of knew that we were gonna leave national champions and I talked to her before and I told her, and she did what she had to do and we came out on top.”
Winning a national championship at 17 years old is impressive already, but to do it with only three years of training? An incredibly rare accomplishment.
“I’ve always been into sports”, Jocelyn explains, “but I wanted to try something new, it was like three years ago, my first fight and I had won. It was just an amazing feeling and that’s when I knew this is definitely for me.”
Her Dad, Valente was reluctant at first, but once he saw the joy boxing gave his daughter, he was compelled to support her.
“I was kind of scared. I was like, ‘my baby’s gonna go out there and compete!’ but she went in there ready to fight and she liked it. She came out with a smile and came out with a victory so I knew that we got something.”
Jocelyn trains out of Lee Espinoza’s boxing gym at the Coachella Valley boxing gym. Espinoza started training Jocelyn three years ago and simultaneously was teaching Valente how to be a trainer for Jocelyn.
“He started kind of teaching me how to do the moves. I started picking up things and quickly learning, and putting in hard work and here we are.”
Jocelyn’s dad is now her main trainer, and together they won a National Championship.
“It’s really amazing, our bond has grown stronger from this.” Jocelyn says, “literally without him this would have never happened.”
Being able to train and spend time with his daughter is something Valente and the Camarillo family enjoy the most.
“We get victories together, we get to lose together so I mean, it is what it is and we do it together.”
Jocelyn is a senior at Shadow Hills high school and her career aspirations are to continue boxing, go to college, and be an example for young women and girls who want to try a sport like boxing.
“I’m happy that I was able to prove for the Coachella and for my gym that girls can do it. If girls want to join a sport that might be considered a male-dominant sport. I love sparring boys actually, because I like getting the reaction like ‘oh my gosh, she’s kicking that boy’s butt!’ so that just goes to show again that girls can kick butt just as much as guys can.”