Categories: BoxingSports News

Gabriel Ruelas: ‘We didn’t do dreams where I came from’


In his personal phrases, Gabriel Ruelas seems to be again on his boxing roots, his profession and the tragedy that successfully ended it

“I used to be 12 years previous after I began boxing and I began as a result of I used to be no good at listening in class and didn’t take heed to my dad and mom, both. They informed me I needed to get a job if I didn’t do effectively or graduate from highschool, so I assumed the one choice was to combat. My older brother, Juan, was a fighter, and he taught me greater than the fundamentals when it comes to preventing. He was ok to the place if I got here throughout youngsters in class or on the road, I’d be capable of beat them up actual fast.

I assumed, Wow, perhaps I can do one thing with this, after which Juan steered that Rafael and I’m going to the health club: the Goossen Gym (Ten Goose).

We didn’t know precisely the place it was. But round that point my brother and I have been promoting sweet door-to-door, so figured someday we’d come throughout it on our travels, which is strictly what occurred. One day I used to be working within the neighbourhood (North Hollywood, Los Angeles) and I noticed the health club my brother was speaking about.

The solely drawback was that I used to be fearful about my field of sweet as a result of somebody would possibly steal it if I left it exterior. I assumed perhaps it will be higher if I got here again one other day with out having to fret about my sweet. So, I went house, I informed my youthful brother Rafael, and he thought it was a good suggestion. I then went again the following day.

I didn’t inform Joe (Goossen) that my brother knew him. I simply informed him I needed to be a fighter. He was coaching Alonzo ‘Strongbow’ Gonzalez and in addition Frankie Duarte and another fighters. He actually paid no consideration to me. I went there and he was like, “What do you want?” His voice was very sturdy and highly effective. He was intimidating to me.

I used to be simply discouraged again then, so straight away, when he mentioned, “No, I don’t train kids,” I circled and began to go away. My brother Rafael would have stood there and informed Joe the the explanation why he ought to prepare him, however I wasn’t like that. If somebody mentioned “no” to me, that was it.
I used to be on my method out after which Alonzo mentioned, “Wait,” and Joe checked out him. He mentioned, “What are you doing?” Alonzo informed him to coach me as a result of he may see one thing in me.


“I know he’ll be a good fighter,” he mentioned, and I heard Joe mumble one thing to himself. Later on, I discovered he was saying to Alonzo, “Don’t be giving this kid false hope.”

He agreed to let me prepare on the health club however he mentioned I needed to be there at a sure time on daily basis and I needed to run each morning. I informed him I needed to go to highschool within the morning and Joe mentioned, “I don’t care. If you want to be a fighter, and you want to train here, you have to do what I say.”

He mentioned, “If you don’t listen to me or don’t do something I tell you to do, you’re out of here. I don’t train kids.” At that point, he was solely coaching professionals.

I began coaching with him anyway and he began to show me learn how to throw some punches. He mentioned, “Where did you learn that?” He didn’t suppose I may very well be so pure. I informed him I had an older brother – I didn’t inform him his title – and he had taught me a bit bit. He taught me the fundamentals. He mentioned, “Okay, we’ll start tomorrow.”

Joe began having me prepare with professionals and paid extra consideration to me. After a couple of months, perhaps 4 or 5, I mentioned to him, “Listen, I have a younger brother, can he come with me?” He was like, “Oh no, not another kid. I don’t train kids. I’m only training you because of Alonzo.” I mentioned, “He’s very good. He’s only two months younger than me. We’re practically twins.” By that point, I had acquired to know Joe fairly good and knew he’d say sure.

Before boxing, I used to be cautious to not choose fights with greater youngsters. But after studying the fundamentals and studying with Joe, I assumed, Wow, I can do something now. I felt safer and assured. I felt higher about myself. I assumed that no person can mess with me now. Nobody can inform me something.

I used to be form of like a troublemaker in school. I used to be very brief for my age – all the youngsters have been a lot, a lot taller.

I keep in mind asking a woman if she can be my girlfriend and she or he thought it was cute. She patted me like a bit canine and all my associates began laughing at me.

I’d choose fights in class as a result of I needed to point out folks I used to be good for one thing, you realize? My household thought I used to be no good. They simply thought I’d be good for work, nothing else. But you need to watch out what you say to youngsters as a result of they always remember it.

Even after I began preventing within the amateurs, I might come house and the very first thing I might hear from my sister or my brother was, “Did you lose?” That was all they anticipated of me. I’d say, “No, I won actually,” and the extra fights I received, the extra they began to imagine I’d win every time.
I actually preferred that feeling of approval. I used to be all the time on the lookout for approval. It was wonderful to be in a combat and see folks stand and applaud me. I had by no means earlier than skilled one thing like that in my life.

I assumed, If I’m solely good at boxing, I’m going to dedicate my life to it. That meant not entering into any extra fights in school and never being a troublemaker, as a result of Joe, from the start, put plenty of guidelines in place. He needed to self-discipline me.

I had no extra time to be out with my associates, my buddies, or simply messing about like youngsters do. I needed to develop up in a short time.

But it was the one good factor I had in my life, so I felt it was value it. I needed to point out everybody I used to be going to be the perfect I may.

I began preventing, acquired extra wins, and my household began to listen to that I used to be profitable greater than shedding. Eventually I made believers of them.

Where we come from, we didn’t even know what boxing was. We come from the outskirts, on the mountains, and we had no TV, no radio, nothing. We have been 4 hours north of Guadalajara (Mexico). I name it a village, some folks name it a ranch, however there have been solely about 100 folks there. We all knew one another. There have been no loos. The rest room was the mountains. The bathe was the river or the rain. It was very National Geographic. But it was stunning, too. When you don’t know any higher, it’s okay. You could make it work. Sometimes you don’t want every part. And whenever you’re used to having nothing, you realize you possibly can survive for the remainder of your life with out luxuries.

One time I used to be very chilly and I informed my dad (Rafael) this. I used to be crying and he mentioned, “What do you want me to do?” Most youngsters suppose their father must be put in jail for one thing like that. At the very least they’d anticipate them to cowl their baby with one thing. But we didn’t reside like that. It was very hardcore. It’s not that my dad was horrible, it was simply an all-round lack of training.


I used to be eight years previous after I moved to California however I keep in mind a lot of these first eight years. Over there the youngsters develop up very quick. My mum, for instance, had her first child when she was 14. They don’t have any choice however to have youngsters, the women. There aren’t any hobbies, no pursuits, no sports groups, nothing. You’re by no means a child. I by no means performed like a child. I by no means performed with motion figures or toys or vehicles or something like that.

When finally I turned somebody, it felt good, and profitable my WBC super-featherweight title (September 1994) was probably the greatest nights of my life. It was my second world title shot after I misplaced my first one towards Azumah Nelson (February 1993). I assumed I beat him in Mexico, however that was an important studying expertise for me. After I misplaced to Azumah, Azumah fought Jesse James Leija and Leija beat Azumah. Leija was additionally undefeated after I boxed him for the title and, as a result of he had overwhelmed Azumah, they thought for certain he was going to beat me.

It was such an important combat. Leija fought an important combat, however I made him miss so many punches. He threw superb photographs however he simply couldn’t hit me. He had not been knocked down or something in his profession and I knocked him down twice. I felt I beat him decisively with out the knockdowns, however they simply sealed the victory. It was the perfect efficiency of my profession, little doubt. Nobody may beat me that day.

We didn’t do goals the place I got here from. One was greater than sufficient and large enough for me. So, for me, it’s unbelievable that my brother and I got here from that little village with no data of sport or something and we each received world championships (Rafael received the IBF light-weight title in February 1994).

Loads of youngsters in Mexico know every part. They learn about sports, they learn about politics, they learn about different international locations and different cultures. We, although, knew nothing. We have been like wild animals. We have been underdeveloped. My mum had so many youngsters that after we have been born she had no milk in her breasts. My dad didn’t have the cash to purchase a cow, so purchased a goat as an alternative.

I keep in mind this man then coming to purchase the goat from my dad as a result of my dad later wanted the cash. It went for one thing like 50 pesos. My brother and I have been operating after him crying, begging him to not take it. Those reminiscences are value greater than 1,000,000 {dollars} to me.

Gabriel Ruelas: ‘We didn't do dreams where I came from’ 1

Another reminiscence that by no means leaves me is the night time I defended my world title towards Jimmy Garcia in 1996.


During one of many rounds we shared I keep in mind considering he shouldn’t be within the ring with me anymore. He was only a punching bag for me. I used to be hitting him over and over and my arms had even began to harm. That was one thing I’d by no means felt in any of my different fights. I’d by no means had hand issues. I’d by no means had hand issues within the health club or within the ring. But I hit Jimmy so usually and so laborious that my arms have been in ache. They’d gone form of numb. I by no means in 1,000,000 years thought I’d be within the ring someday fearful about hurting a man, however I used to be. It occurred that night time. I felt I used to be profitable decisively however I couldn’t knock him out and the combat wouldn’t finish until I did so. I assumed, Okay, I assume I’ll simply must preserve beating him up, and that was a horrible factor to suppose.

I used to be fearful as a result of a few of the photographs I hit him with have been sickening. I replay them in my thoughts even now they usually appeared to occur in sluggish movement on the time. He simply wouldn’t go down. I needed he would go down each time I landed a punch on him.

After Jimmy handed away, I went by means of that combat so many instances in my thoughts and all the time put blame on myself. Maybe I shouldn’t have hit him with this shot or that shot. Maybe I shouldn’t have had such dangerous intentions earlier than the combat and in the course of the combat. We have been taught to throw hurtful photographs within the health club and to throw hurtful mixtures, to the pinnacle and to the physique, and I used all of that to harm Jimmy Garcia. My intention going into the combat was to harm him and make him stop in order that I may defend my title.

Honestly, after that, I assumed I’d by no means combat once more. I assumed that was it. But after days, weeks and months, and going by means of on a regular basis life, you see the requirements your loved ones wants and also you realise you’re caught with this. I had no alternative however to combat. I needed to combat as a result of it was my job. You can’t simply stop your job when one thing dangerous occurs. It was what I selected to be. It was what I had devoted my entire life to. I needed to proceed.

I knew I used to be a distinct particular person, although. I used to be now preventing with myself and earlier than and through each combat I used to be looking for one thing, some feeling, that I used to have and would by no means have once more.

I used to go in there and wish to beat these guys up so dangerous. I’d wish to damage them. Often, to encourage myself, I’d have a look at movies of Mike Tyson and watch his fast knockouts time and again. He’d undergo guys and I’d consider him earlier than fights. I needed to harm guys the way in which he damage them.

But that fully stopped after Jimmy Garcia. It didn’t work for me anymore. I used to be too cautious. I used to be cautious of touchdown punches. That’s one thing you possibly can’t do on this enterprise as a result of you possibly can find yourself getting damage your self.

Truthfully, that’s why I needed to combat on: to get damage. I felt accountable, I felt it was my fault, and I felt I must be punished for what I did. I may solely discover peace by me getting damage. I do know that sounds loopy, however I needed to get damage within the ring simply as Jimmy had been damage. I wanted to be punished for what I had performed. I might idiot all people in coaching and look good however, when the combat got here, it was time for what I needed: I needed to get damage.


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