Jajaira Gonzalez is best known as the sister of professional boxer Joet Gonzalez. Moreover, she is the girlfriend of fellow boxer Shakur Stevenson. In a rather strange turn of events, Joet and Shakur are arch-enemies who carry extreme dislike for each other.
During her teenage years, Jajaira was one of the most promising young boxers. She won two national championships and as many world junior titles. In addition, she became the first American boxer of either gender to bag a medal at the Youth Olympics after she successfully won gold in Nanjing, China.
Jajaira's relationship with her boyfriend Shakur Stevenson
Shakur Stevenson with his girlfriend Jajaira Gonzalez.
Shakur Stevenson is dating his GF Jajaira Gonzalez since 2016. Just like Jajaira, Shakur was an extremely promising boxer who was already making rounds in the youth scene.
The couple first met when both of them were 16 during the Junior World Team Open in Reno. The fact that both came from struggling families with dreams of a brighter future is one of the major reasons they eventually ended up in each other's arms.
Both the duo had anything but a normal childhood. Their schedule as aspiring boxers used to take them all around the globe. Most notably, in 2015, the teens traveled to China to Bulgaria to the headquarters of USA Boxing located in Colorado Springs, all within a short space of time.
Check out: Shakur Stevenson Asked If He Real Dates Joet Gonzalez Sister
Recalling their early time together, Shakur stated:
Me and her won every tournament from juniors to youth, everything.
It was, however, only after Jajaira's devastating defeat to Mikaela Mayer during the trials for Women's Olympics that the pair began talking. The boxer revealed,
That's when me and her started clicking. She started venting to me and somehow she ended up crying. I was hugging on her and stuff and then me and her just started texting a lot, started talking every day and we just went from there.
When Shakur was asked what his GF was venting about, Stevenson initially preferred not to speak before stating when someone trains their entire life to achieve the one specific goal, and it all comes crashing down; there's not a worse feeling in the world.
Jajaira Gonzalez joined the Army in February 2016
Following her crushing defeat at the Olympics trial, Gonzalez enlisted in the army on February 2016. Her salary helped reduce the financial load on her family. Meanwhile, she never stopped herself from pursuing her passion as she continued to box for the Army team.
By May 2016, the couple was dating despite neither of them being able to comprehend the feeling of romantic interest they carried for one another. Shakur, who was in a completely unfamiliar territory, said, "I never had a girlfriend. Never been in love."
Jajaira Gonzalez played boxing for the Army team.
Source: Jajaira Instagram
When Jajaira went away for basic training and did not carry a phone, she would write letters for him. Stevenson, upon reading the letters, could not describe the precise feeling, but he just knew he loved her and missed her as much.
Shakur, meanwhile, could relate to his girlfriend Jajaira's distraught feeling of losing out on her dreams after he fell short of winning the gold at the Rio Olympics.
Gonzalez's father was not best pleased after finding out about her dating endeavors
Jajaira Gonzalez training with her father Jose Gonzalez.
Source: The New York Times
Jajaira Gonzalez's father Jose learned her daughter was in a relationship with Shakur through social media. As expected, he did not take this lightly, especially after strictly adopting no dating philosophy for his daughter till the age of 27 (boys till 24), as a means to keep them focused on their boxing careers.
She said he was a friend. Maybe she was afraid to get me mad... But she lied to me.
While her father eventually made peace with her boyfriend, the same can't be said for her brother Joet, who couldn't even stand the man. Speaking of Stevenson, Joet said:
I never liked him since the amateurs. Fake-ass handshake... Loud, obnoxious, disrespectful... The way he dresses, half his ass showing. That ain't no style. I mean, you think that looks cute? Come on, man, pick up your pants.
Shakur, meanwhile, felt Joet was just jealous of his talent and hype since his youth days. One could argue he behaved like the bigger man here.
Jajaira's family blamed Stevenson for her daughter's misfortune in her career
The Gonzalez Family.
Back in 2018, Jajaira was knocked out in the first fight itself only a year after her success in the national championship. She subsequently quit the army, as well. Jose could not contain his emotions as he tearfully said, "I lost her. She changed."
Jajaira's brother Joet did not hold back either. He left no shortage of effort to put the blame on his nemesis.
She was the top dog. Then she got with (Shakur), and she lost her focus. Boxing wasn't the priority anymore.
Meanwhile, Shakur had a different perspective of the whole thing. He encouraged her to get trained by her dad because he believed he's the man who made her and turned her into a champion.