Her father wondered if it would be too much. Shouldn't she be hanging out with her girlfriends, playing hopscotch and double Dutch?
She wanted to be a boxer.
Seniesa's reputation grows, but family troubles and a lack of competition jab at her morale.
About This Story
Kurt Streeter met Seniesa Estrada and her father, Joe, in August 2002. Over the following 2 1/2 years, Streeter and photographer Anne Cusack spent hundreds of hours with them and with their family members, friends and acquaintances. Streeter interviewed and observed Seniesa and Joe extensively, together and individually. He also interviewed and observed their friends, their family members, Seniesa's teachers, her trainers and other boxers, their parents and their trainers.
Cusack photographed most of these subjects. Together, Streeter and Cusack watched and photographed Joe and Seniesa while they trained at boxing gyms in East Los Angeles. They watched Seniesa train outside the gyms and joined her and her father at boxing tournaments throughout Southern California and Arizona. Streeter stood ringside and observed Seniesa's tournament fights. In Arizona, he visited and interviewed her principal opponent and the opponent's family.
He used police reports, court documents and prison records, as well as witness accounts, to corroborate Joe Estrada's background. Streeter visited Estrada at his mother's house and later in his mobile home in her backyard. He frequently visited Seniesa, her mother and two of her brothers at their home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno. Streeter also observed Seniesa during class and on the playgrounds at her elementary and middle schools.
Quotations in this series are designated in two ways: Those heard by the writer are enclosed in double quotation marks. Those recalled by others in interviews are in single quotation marks.
Notes on Chapter One
Seniesa asks if girls box: From interviews with Seniesa and Joe in 2003 and 2004. Their words are as they remember them.
Watching TV in Joe's apartment, including Seniesa's request to learn how to box: From an interview with Seniesa and Joe in May 2004. Her words are as they recall them.
Joe's concerns and his false promise: From an interview with Joe in May 2004. His words are as he remembers them.
Seniesa's insistence that she be allowed to box: During an interview with Streeter in May 2004, she showed him her Muhammad Ali book and her poster. Her words and her father's response are as they recall them.
Seniesa and Joe try to find a trainer: From Seniesa and Joe. Streeter accompanied them to the gym that would not accept her and they described what happened. The words Joe spoke to the trainer and the trainer's response are as Joe and Seniesa remember them.