Mancuso: Renan Ruiz Knows There is More to His Potential in the Ring

Renan Ruiz continues to prepare for his eight-round super welterweight fight next Thursday evening up in Rochester New York at the Main Street Armory.  The just turned 24-year old from Spanish Harlem is a part of another Pretty Girl Promotions card  opposing the rugged Arturo Crespin, (12-6)  a southpaw from Las Vegas , New Mexico.

As of now the fight is on as he continues to train at the reputed Mendez Boxing Gym in the Manhattan flatiron district. Until the weigh- in next week anything is possible with issues of weight and final clearance by strict procedures of the New York State Athletic Commission. Ruiz knows about a fight getting cancelled and the disappointment.

In his young career, there have been numerous opponents that have been scrapped, but he goes on and continues the quest because boxing is what he has been doing since he was seven-years old as a kid growing up in Puerto Rico in the city of Dorado.

“Not easy,” he said Thursday afternoon after another session of preparation with veteran trainer Jose “Lupin” Guzman.  “It’s discouraging, makes you question and second guess if you want to be a fighter but you know you have the talent and force yourself to do it. “

And this is a year where Ruiz anticipates fighting often.  At 7-1-1, and coming off an eight-round unanimous decision in December down in West Virginia, it was his goal to stay busy and fight often. That quest begins next week and with new management there is a plan to climb the ranks.

But, Ruiz, like any fighter knows there are obstacles and the  one aspect that stands out is the attitude to continue and make it happen. He stays positive and is patient that he can represent the people of Puerto Rico as a champion they can admire, and this upcoming fight is for the UBF, (Universal Boxing Federation) All America Middleweight title.

Though UBF may be considered more alphabet soup among the many title belts in boxing, it does mean something because a win for Ruiz is a step up. And regardless of the letters on the belt it is still a championship, and these days in boxing getting any title means opportunity for bigger and better fights.

He is asked about the dominance of champions that represent the sport from Puerto Rico. He has always admired Wilfredo Benitez for his defense and a fighter that motivated him by winning a title at 17-years old. He admired the knockout streak of Wilfredo Gomez, the unheralded and smallest fighter at the time, Ivan Calderon, and the styles of champions Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, the first four-division champion from Puerto Rico.

So, Ruiz knows something about boxing and what it means to the people of Puerto Rico. He hopes to one day be in that caliber of Hall of Fame fighters.

“To be elite,” he says. “A culture thing. It’s part of the culture, almost a responsibility. Puerto Rico you have to live up to that expectation of being an elite fighter.” In other words boxing and Puerto Rico have that connection, and there are loyal fans who are aware of the upcoming fighter as they sit next in throne to the current champions.

Ruiz is aware of that. Nobody has to tell him about how the pressure is to live up to expectations. At Mendez, the people who know boxing do tell him, that he has that potential to be a champion.  They watch him hitting the bags, the pads, and when he goes in the ring to spar.

“I have people that believe I have a high level of talent,” Ruiz says.  “Trainers, managers, sparring partners,  other world class fighters telling me, I have a lot of talent and see how far you take it.  That’s what keeps me going.”

Fighting a southpaw for the first time ,and when he gets in the ring next week it is the anniversary of Ruiz’ first pro fight four years ago,  So this will be significant in many ways and another win under his new management team, “Eight Count Media” is supposed to pave the way to television fights and more lucrative pay days in the ring.

That’s what every fighter strives for, the win and moving up the ladder. And despite the frustration of fights that did not happen, the promoter of pretty Girl Promotions, Mercedes Vasquez has kept Ruiz busy. He is a draw up in Rochester and will be again next week at the Main Street Armory.

“He’s dedicated and wants it and you can’t ask for anything more from a fighter,” said Vasquez this week as she put the finishing touches on another fight card up in her other hometown of Rochester, New York where there is a stable and hungry fan base for boxing. Vasquez, a business woman with ambition and love for boxing  is one of the few females with promotional ties to the sport.

Ruiz says about Vasquez, “She’s professional. She takes priority with her fighters. I’m taken care of when I fight on her card. She likes exciting fights and makes sure you have what you need during your fight and stay there.”

It is his first fight up in Rochester, but most of his fights have been through the assistance of Vasquez and he has seen the atmosphere there when working as a commentator for a local broadcast of previous shows.

And Ruiz has a strategy and talks like  fighter that knows what he is doing in the ring. The best champions in the sport have known what to do when they are in a fight or when to finish it off. This honest opinion about his ability should be taken seriously about his potential, with awareness that his full potential is still not there with eight pro fights under his wing.

“I go into 90 percent of my fights realistically at 30 percent,” he says.  “I’m nowhere at  my full potential.  I look to be intelligent and make the best decisions to keep me winning the fight. If I’m winning on points and i know I can dominant the fight, then i will dominate and do it for 40 minutes   if I see i got a guy and he’s dazed, or damaging to him, then i will press him a little more and take him out. “

He is a southpaw , because he says “it’s easier using my lead hand and can use the jab more effectively.”  His previous fights have depended on the right because he sprained his left hand that did not allow him to throw and spar properly.

And now Renan Ruiz is going to use that left next week. More so, there is a plan to fight bigger names in his weight class in the next few years and hopefully represent the people of Puerto Rico as possibly their next champion.

More about Mercedes Vasquez and the show “Throwdown at the Armory IV:

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Manc

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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