(Carson City welterweight Simon Ruvalcaba is in Big Bear training camp in Big Bear, Calif, where he is preparing through July 2 for his fight on July 12 at Caesars Tahoe. Here is part two of his daily journal.)
June 24: Day two.
Boxing "Kronk style" started out today with a run up "The Summit." The Summit is the ski resort here in Big Bear. I've run up mountains before in Lake Tahoe, but this one today really wore me out. When you get to the top, you can see all of Big Bear. The view ranks up there with Tahoe. After the run we had down time until the gymwork at 6 p.m.
Yesterday Dominick (D.J.) and Marilyn Salcido came up. They are brother and sister fighters. Marilyn is about to get a second shot at a title in August, and D.J. is an 18-year-old who is about to turn pro. (Trainer) Bob Davison has told me stories of how D.J. and (junior welterweight prospect) Francisco "Panchito" Bojado have gone at it pretty good in the gym.
When I thought of Big Bear before, I thought it was the kind of secluded town that has one supermarket, one gas station, one restaurant, etc. But in driving around, you can see it is a good size little town.
Bob asked me if I'm homesick yet, but I'm definitely not. In fact I feel right at home here. Don't get me wrong, it will be nice to go back home, but the atmosphere here is like home to me.
We trained from about 6 p.m. till 9 in the evening. We're at Bob's Kronk gym the rest of the week. A lot of people think that you need a big building to have a gym. Bob's place is small, but it has everything you need.
I came up training out of a garage in Lake Tahoe. Compared to big gyms, give me an isolated gym any day. I feel like more of a gladiator when I train in isolation. I had nicknamed Juan Torres' garage "The Pit," because over there I really felt like a warrior training for a fight.
Today I started doing my thing while Bob worked on weights with his fighters. Bob told me not to break too much of a sweat because we were getting ready to work. Maria Duron was in town and she and Marilyn sparred.
After some drills, the highlight of this day was a round-robin sparring session between me, D.J., Anthony, and a pretty good amateur fighter named Ross. It was some good work, and allowed for us to work with three different styles.
The thing I like about Bob right off the bat is that he's defensive-minded. I feel defense in boxing has become a lost art, and Bob goes old school with a lot of angular movements that he teaches. It was good gym work today and I felt immediately accepted by the other fighters. For a guy working on his confidence, it feels good to hear others in your profession telling you that you are a good fighter.
I came back to hear messages on my cell phone, telling me they have my opponent for July 12. His name is Carlos Leon. He's a fighter with a 1-3 record from Mexico, but is now training out of Reno.
Several of us went to Shane Mosley's house, where Max (welterweight prospect Jose Celaya's trainer) has the Fight Fax record book. This book has every fighter profile that exists. For some reason there is no profile on Leon, but he is on (welterweight prospect) Larry Mosley's record and, more personally, Leon's victory was against a stablemate and good friend of mine, Eric Majors.
I know exactly who Carlos Leon is and will be willing to accept a fight. He hits hard, but he can be outboxed. On top of that, he is trained by Manuel Arce, a guy that worked with me briefly in the amateurs. I know his style and feel comfortable fighting against him. I'm 3-0 (as an amateur and pro) against Arce's fighters. This will be a distance fight that I should win by a comfortable decision.
Mosley's house is something that, as a fighter trying to make it, I hope to one day have something similar to. Celaya and Ryan Davis leave early tomorrow, so we wished them luck as we left the house.
I don't honestly think I have ever met a fighter that was rude. The boxing world is small and it seems just about every time we fighters get along great with each other. As long as we're not fighting each other, of course.