Spanish boxer Miriam "La Reyna" Gutierrez, the European lightweight champion after defeating Sam Smith, spoke during an interview with EFE about the possibility of defending her title against Katie Taylor and her story of overcoming tough circumstances whereby she helps on different projects against the domestic violence.
She has become an idol at both the social and sporting levels in Spain.
Question (Q): How did that fight go? Did your opponent make you sweat a lot?
Answer (A): Sometimes you guide yourself a little with what's available on YouTube, to have some kind of orientation so you can face her or to know where you can hit her, but in the end, all of that varies a lot.
I don't ever like to always fight in the same way; I like to do a different thing every time I fight because they can observe you.
Well, that girl observed me in all the publications ... and so we had to change our strategy fast because she threw a jab in the second round and we had to change the whole strategy. I managed to find a way out and I didn't want to get tangled up with her.
Q: What did your coach "Jero" tell you at that point?
A: Listen (laughs), he's my biggest nightmare. That man is my nightmare. I love him a lot outside of the training (sessions). He is like my brother, really, but in (the training sessions) he is very demanding, although in the end he makes us reach to get where we are right now.
Let's see who does not pay attention to Jero Garcia during the rest break. He becomes very nervous ...
Q: You have a very close relationship with your coach Jero. Like you, he participated in a European championship but did not have your same luck. Was his experience helpful in the preparation?
A: Yes, of course. He tells you about the successes and the falls as well. We have to learn from the falls, because in the end this is what boxing is all about. A punch can make you go down at any moment, you can be very well prepared, but if you get hit in the right spot you are on the canvas and it doesn't matter ... If you go to the canvas the fight is over for you.
Q: How does it feel to get the belt after so many years dedicated to boxing?
A: I burst into tears I was so happy (laughs). It felt very nice for me and for the entire team who has been behind me, pushing me. For me, to get it, achieve it and hoist it means that I have achieved one of the main objectives I sought during this tournament.
Q: Minors cannot attend a boxing match and your two children could not be there. What was the moment like when you came home with the belt under your arm?
A: My son wanted to sleep with the belt and on the following day he stole it from me to take it to school (laughs). And my little girl, who was insanely happy, was looking at it. But it really makes me very furious because that's only in Madrid. In any other province you can watch a boxing match and there could be children there.
Q: Who would Miriam Gutierrez like to face?
A: I would like to fight against the greatest, which is Katie Taylor. I would like that very much because she is world class. She has been in London, Brazil and at the Olympics and now she's become a pro. She has a lot of titles and she is a world champion.
But if we are boxing against great boxers, the more we fall, the more we learn.
Q: Who is Miriam Gutierrez's idol inside the ring?
A: In women's competition is Katie Taylor. That is why I really want to fight her. And in men's boxing, (Vasyl) Lomachenko.
Q: A gardener, a boxer and a mother, how can Miriam Gutiérrez combine all of this?
A: Being very organized, being very disciplined ... My family also has a lot to do with this. In boxing, I have a team behind me, and at home and as a mother, I have a team behind me, which is my husband and children.
Q: Where did your nickname "Reyna" (Queen) come from?
A: It comes from my gentlemen, who are all my guys who are at the gym, all my friends, all my family who are outside (the gym). They respect me as much as I respect them, and they treat me like a queen. That is how I got the nickname ...
Q: There was a time you disappeared from the gym, putting aside your passion in what probably was the toughest episode of your life. What was that moment like?
A: One of the worst you can imagine because if a person is forced to quit what they like most, that's the worst.
Q: You were pregnant with your daughter Zaira. When did you realize how serious the situation was and say "I have to change things"?
A: When ... she was born and you realize that what you want is your daughter's happiness and your own happiness.
Q: What was that first step and your return to the tribe, as you say, like?
A: I started speaking about all of this - about the issue of the gender-based violence, about what all has happened in my life - ... because my daughter is becoming a teenager and starting to rebel.
Since I had never told her about all that happened to me, I think now it's time because she ... has to know all that her mother wanted for her, along with what was behind it all and why she kept silent.
Once I started talking about it, her point of view changed and her way of acting. She is starting to help me, to study hard, to take things much more seriously. She realized that in this life everything can change. The truth is that I hadn't told her anything so she didn't suffer, too.
Q: Now you give courses in which you tell your story. What motivated you to help others with your story?
A: I think right now there are many women and many men ... who are suffering from this ... (domestic violence) scourge which I got out of, and it cost me a lot ... But everyone can do it. (Young people these days) should have a lot more confidence, love themselves a little more ... What they have to do is support each other and they can achieve anything.