EL PASO, Texas – Jennifer Han knows nothing in life comes easy. Nothing in the ring does, either.
As the IBF World Featherweight champion, she knows there is someone, somewhere, trying to out-train her to take that title away.
Tonight, Calista Silgado, the sixth-ranked contender in the world, will try to dethrone Han at Southwest University Park.
Han is confident, however, that her training will pay off in the form of a title defense. After all, she went all out ahead of this fight.
“I trained with champions, former champs, national champs, some of the most intense sparring ever,” said Han, El Paso’s first and only world boxing champion.
Han has had to put aside plenty of distractions while training for her fight with Silgado. Most notably, she didn’t even know she was going to fight Silgado until one week ago. Her previously scheduled opponent, Lilian Martinez, had a visa issue that kept her out of the fight. Not to mention, as a world champion, Han had countless obligations to the media.
Han’s discipline and focus is an inspiration to other fighters.
“Being next to that greatness, its like iron sharpens iron situation,” said Austin Trout, a fighter himself and one of Han’s sparring partners. “She’s trained with that discipline since she’s been a little girl, so I think that her focus is the biggest drive for her.”
Even her brother, a light middleweight boxer, is inspired by Han’s intensity.
“Winning the world championship, to continue that drive and drive even harder, she’s kind of an inspiration to me to keep pushing myself,” said Abie Han. “To say, ‘Okay, I can do it.’ I can’t believe her work ethic, it’s ridiculous.”
Jennifer Han, noted for her unwavering belief in her fighting skills, says in the end, it’s her training that gives her so much confidence.
“I don’t just come here and just hit the bags and that’s it. No. We do drills, we do conditioning,we practice on the mitts, we practice on the shield,” said Han. “I spar. I do lots of boxing defensive drills. I am so ready for this fight.”