Hard Work Pays Off - Mayra Ruiz, Team USA

My first fight was on October 17, 2015. I was 13 years old. My opponent and I were scheduled to fight at 112 pounds. I was underweight but my coach and I accepted the fight. I was excited to make my amateur boxing debut. I was recovering from an injury, so I was really excited and ready to put on a show. Three days before the fight was scheduled to take place, my opponent canceled. I was exhausted and sad. To my excitement, they had another boxer for me to fight. Unfortunately, they wanted to fight at 101 pounds, meaning I had to lose weight. I had never cut weight before but was eager to fight, so we accepted. I went from 109 pounds to 101 pounds. I felt very strong after my first weight cutting, but I was also very hungry most of the time. Immediately after my weigh-in, I ate and kept myself well hydrated. I was ready to put on a show. All I had to do was wait for the fight to start.

My fight was the first match, so my coach had to wrap me up early. While wrapping my hands, we reviewed the game plan. The objective was to move around during the first round and from there start to press more. But as soon as the bell rang, I got nervous and completely forgot what my coach had just told me. My opponent threw good punches during the first round and I had a standing eight count. I went to my corner confused. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, but my coach told me that I was fine. He told me to maintain my current rhythm. I gave everything I had in the second round and the referee almost stopped the fight. I knew I did a good job. The fight ended by decision, so everything depended on the judges. It felt like an eternity for them to make a decision, but as they raised my hand in victory, I began to cry. I was so happy that all the training had paid off. I felt relief and peace. And I could not wait to fight again.

Since that first fight, l have had a total of 24 fights. l still feel nervous and excited before every fight. Each time I get a win and the referee raises my hand, l still experience that feeling I felt after my first fight, that feeling of relief and peace that all those hours at the gym paid off.

Nothing compares to being in the ring to fight, to be able to prove yourself, to experience that feeling of freedom, and to be full of adrenaline while at the same time being in a state of peacefulness. It is wonderful.






HER FIRST FIGHT: Stories To Encourage & Inspire is Revolheart's blog series chronicling women and girls' first bouts in the ring. We did it and so can you. Spark another gal's fight, share your first fight story! Email us at info@revolheart.com. Let's All Fight! 

1 comment

  • Jorge RUIZ

    Very proud of you, my warrior girl.

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