Ranked fifth nationally, boxer and paratrooper, Spc. Leslie Rosas, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 307 Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, says she is not stopping at fifth.
“I really want to be number one. This year I want to be in the top three, by next year it’s going to be on. I need that spot. I want it. It’s going to be mine,” said Rosas.
Rosas — who fell in love with boxing as a child despite descent from her parents — is passionate about the sport.
Her father had hoped her brother would take up boxing, but he was not interested. She offered to take it up in his place, but her father turned her down.
“I told my dad I’ll do it, and he told me ‘no, females don’t box,’” said Rosas.
At fourteen she decided it was time to box despite what her father said.
Her mother also protested.
“My dad was like ‘it’s ok, let her do it she’s not going to like it, and she is going to quit,’” she explained.
Rosas did not quit.
During the 2017 All Army Boxing Championships at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Rosas won the 112-pound weight category, securing herself a place on the All Army Boxing Team.
Rosas went on to compete at the National Police Activities League Boxing Tournament in California, the 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier and Regional Open Championships in Tennessee and the 2017 USA National Boxing Championships in Utah.
Rosas does not plan to stop at a national ranking either.
“I have a lot of goals. There’s a lot of tournaments coming up, and I want to win all of them,” she said.
Rosas’ end-game is to reach the Olympics and go pro by the age of 24.
To meet those goals Rosas maintains a delicate balance between boxing training and Soldier training.
A signal support specialist, her job requires her to, at times, work odd hours, which she admits can sometimes have an adverse impact on her sport.
“There are going to be good nights, and there are going to be nights where you can’t do your workouts,” said Rosas. “You have to jump out of an airplane before a fight.”
When boxing and the Army can’t be balanced, Rosas puts her mission first.
“So, I have to put my (boxing) training aside, because I am a Soldier first,” explained Rosas.
Success has been hard-earned for Rosas, somedays she recalls taking just 10 minutes to grab a nap in her car before going into train.
Warrior Saints Boxing Gym in downtown Fayetteville is a crucial ingredient to her success.
“It’s amazing we’re a Family … my coach is Patrick Franklin, he is amazing. I call him my best friend. Having him in my corner is just the biggest blessing. I am ranked fifth because of him,” said Rosas.
In addition to Warrior Saints Boxing Gym and Finklin, Rosas feels the Army has also been integral to her success.
“The Army has really been a blessing for me, my career, my life. Because of the Army and their support, I was able to live my dream, and I am still able to live my dream. I am serving my country and am still able to do what I love to do. It’s been amazing. If you have a goal and a mission in mind just do it because it is going to be a great feeling,” said Rosas.