Jesselyn “JessZilla” Silva is a 10 year-old girl from Bergenfield, New Jersey, who is just like any other kid. She goes to school. She’s in the fifth grade. She worries about her family and friends. Does homework. She also likes video games, even though she “doesn’t have time” for them. All normal “kid” things, except there’s one very important distinction about this young lady: She’ll KNOCK YOU OUT.
In this Op-Doc from the New York Times, we see Jesselyn Silva, a 10-year-old boxer, train, and discuss fighting for her dreams literally and figuratively.
Her work ethic is out of this world, pushing through a headache during her training session just to perfect her skills. She keeps a dream calendar, with goals that she wants to reach. One of them is going to the 2024 Olympics and winning gold. She says that she “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, maybe like 100 ‘evers,’ thinks anything is too difficult for me.” Right before challenging “any girls that want to fight me that are on my level,” and then she goes on to say “I need some sparring and I need some fights so I can get my higher level. Know what I mean?”
Her father is supportive, but is understandably nervous for his daughter.
This is the face he makes when she says “I already know that I’m going to become professional.” Although he’s apprehensive to see his little girl get hit, he still understands, loves and supports his daughter’s desire to be the best, even if it makes his stomach turn. He supports her wanting to become pro, and win gold at “three Olympics.” That’s the type of love dreams are made of.
This video where she spars with a boy should be set to the song “anything you can do, I can do better.”
Her social media following has already begun, with people being inspired by her grit and skill and sending positive messages as well.
Here she is last year on CBS Sports speaking to boxer Laila Ali and other sportscasters, like a seasoned professional.
Credit: CBS Sports / Youtube
She is mature beyond her years. I guess punching boys will do that to you. 🥊 💃
We can’t wait to see her at the Olympics!
You can’t be a real boxer without an epic shadow-boxer profile photo, good things she’s got one. She’s ready. Keep up the good work!