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Ruiz finds success at Cal PAL boxing tourney

October 29, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Heading into the California Police Activities League's 2001 Boxing Tournament in El Centro this weekend, 14-year-old Louis Ruiz of El Centro didn't want his mom to be at his first amateur fight.

It's not that Ruiz didn't really want his mom, Elvia, to be present, he just figured should things go awry it would be best if she didn't watch.

A few minutes after his 13-14-year-old heavyweight match with Palm Springs' Javier Dominguez on Sunday, Ruiz was on the phone with his mom.

The first two words from his mouth were simple, but spoke volumes about what had just transpired.

"I won," Ruiz said to his mother.

He didn't just win, he was impressive, winning by TKO when the referee stopped the fight in the third round.

"I was just really happy after I won that fight. I kind of expected to win because I had been training real hard for it," said Ruiz, originally from Los Angeles. "Then I was on the phone with my mom and I kind of started laughing because she was saying how proud of me she was and how happy she was.


"I told her that I didn't want her to come to this fight, but if I won, she had to go to my next fight. Now, because I won, she has to watch me."

While Ruiz's mom wasn't in attendance his dad and brother, Alan, were. Alan, who has been training alongside Louis in the El Centro PAL program as a boxer, served as his brother's cornerman.

A couple days before the fight, as Louis Ruiz talked about his nervousness about his first bout, what he didn't realize was Alan was just as nervous for his brother.

"Going into this I was pretty nervous about his fight. And during it, I think I was even more nervous than him," said Alan, 17. "While he was fighting I was yelling at him, trying to tell him what to do, but he couldn't hear me. That was kind of frustrating … I almost lost my voice out there."

While Louis couldn't hear what Alan was telling him, it might have been what he said before the fight that played a part in the victory.

"He just told me to make a mean face to try to intimidate him, and I think it worked," said Louis. "I could see that the guy was a little scared. He wouldn't even look at me. So I think that gave me a little more power."

With the win Ruiz earned a spot in the PAL national tournament Nov. 12-17 in Kansas City, Mo.

"Now I have to start training and running more to get in better shape for the nationals. I'm kind of nervous about that because I know it's going to be harder than this," added Louis.

Also earning trips to the nationals were Brawley PAL boxers Carlos Romero, who won his senior 132-pound fight, junior division fighter Emanuel Diaz (70 pounds) and Ralph Espinoza in the open division at 139 pounds.

Heading to the nationals from El Centro PAL are Mark Girdner, who won the 106-pound intermediate division against Jonathan Borjon of Imperial, and Omar Arevalos, who took the novice 132-pound division.

Said El Centro PAL coach/trainer Manny Talancon of the event: "We had a really good turnout of boxers from all over California. This tournament is usually held in Long Beach, but we stepped up and held it down here. And we had some of the PAL chief executives here who were really impressed with this. So we're going to try to get more boxing events held here.

"Our kids worked really hard for this and had a lot of success in the tournament. They all worked hard and now they just have to get ready for nationals."

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