HOUSTON --Ruth Milli Diaz has a smile that will brighten you day, but meet her in the ring though and she can ruin your day.
Millie, a Stafford High School senior, will begin defense of her National Golden Gloves title this weekend in the Houston regionals.
What started as a hobby a way to interact with bilingual children and learn English is now much more.
Milli says, "I thought it was a sport for guys."
But now that Milli is a champion, she says, "I think a girl can do anything."
Willie Savannah, owner of Savannah's Boxing Club, says, "She's a mean little girl, too. I mean, small as she is, you wouldn't believe how mean she is."
Milli is not the shy little girl from El Salvador anymore. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Millie hoped to compete in the Olympics this summer. But with her 18th birthday later this month, she's too young.
Milli admits, "I'm disappointed."
A disappointment, but Milli stays as focused as ever. She plans to go into the medical field after high school and her hobby could turn into much more.
Savannah says, "If she gets right situation, she's going to turn pro."
Milli adds, 'Thought I was going to do it for a while and then stop. But I'm taking it serious."
She's serious in the ring, but outside it, she's all smiles.