Ruvalcaba nears end of Big Bear training

(Carson City welterweight Simon Ruvalcaba is in Big Bear training camp in Big Bear, Calif, where he will be preparing through July 2 for his fight on July 12 at Caesars Tahoe. Here is part six of his daily journal.)

Big Bear, Calif. -- Monday, June 30. Day eight.

Today was the beginning of another week of training. This is the fifth week of training camp for me. In case you thought this week and a half in Big Bear is all the training I'm doing, I trained for three weeks in Lake Tahoe and Carson City prior to arriving here. I will finish this week in Carson City and Virginia City with my trainer Bobby Lee before spending the final week in Tahoe.

I got back into Big Bear from Rialto around 11 this morning. (Female flyweight) Marilyn and I ran three on the bike trail. I spent the day relaxing. While writing yesterday's journal about me being an example (for young boxers), I realized something and went over to (fellow boxer) D.J. (Salcido's) to have a talk with him. I hope I reached him a little.

Today in the gym (trainer) Bob (Davison) worked on our fundamentals with us as a team. It was good work. I know tomorrow will be a hard day both in the workout and after. It will be my last day in the gym. It's going to be a little hard to leave, but I definitely plan on being here again.

Bob showed me and (fellow boxer) Anthony some of D.J.'s amateur fights. Bob has a gem in this kid. I know Bob will polish his gem until it's as sparkling as it can be. It'll be up to Dominic (D.J.) to shine. Training right and living right go hand in hand with being a boxer. If D.J. stays on the straight and narrow, I don't see how he can miss being champion of the world.

Having sparred Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker, I feel the same kind of vibes being in D.J.'s presence. When you are around him, you know that he's a special kid. I would just say to Dominic publicly that, when he decides that he really wants to be a fighter, don't hold back from his potential and don't back down from any fighter.

We also saw a TV segment on when Mia St. John came down to Bob's gym and sparred Marilyn. I also watched a segment on a show called "Life Strides" that documented Marilyn when she fought for the title. In the piece, she describes how boxing broke her shyness. I can relate.

I would say I was a loner in school. People knew me, but I really didn't have a crew. I always followed my older brother around (much like D.J.'s younger brother Adrian does) and hung out with his friends. By the time I got to high school, I don't think I had found my own identity. In fact, I believe boxing has become my identity. It's one of the few things I'm certain about in life.

Marilyn is a short, cute girl that you would never guess is a fighter. She can't be more than 5 feet tall. But what makes her a championship-caliber fighter is what she has inside of her: courage, determination and her biggest quality--heart. You would never be able to display Marilyn's heart in the Hall of Fame because it's too big. It would never fit in the building.

I knew she would bounce back from her emotional defeat and her split-decision loss when she fought for the title the first time. I knew when I called her. I expected for her to be a little depressed, but she was upbeat and took the decision in stride. Opportunity for her will knock again August 9, and I feel confident that this champion in life will become a champion in boxing. EE

Bob, Anthony and I talked boxing well into the night. Bob has a wealth of experience in the sport, and maybe he should someday write a book that shares his experience with fighters.

Well, I'm off to bed before I get up for my final full day here tomorrow. For some reason or another, my journey in life has brought me here. I'm grateful to the Man Upstairs for every moment of this experience.

(Note: In case anyone from the military recognizes me but the name is not familiar, I was listed and fought under my mother's maiden name of Pe-a. Simon Pe-a and Simon Ruvalcaba are the same guy.)

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