MEMOIRS OF A FIGHT WEEK

November 19, 2019

Simon Ruvalcaba

 

Having covered fights for most of the past 12 years or so, I’m often asked what it’s like covering big events or even what the media experience is like? In one of my recent articles I mentioned how much I notice now whether I’m a coach, judge or reporter that I didn’t notice in my zone out as a fighter. Much of the spectacle of an event you are blinded to. Fights in big fight cities have a take of their own and there’s added media events to cover such as fighter arrivals to the hotel and also Friday’s fight card that I covered Ray Beltran vs Paulus Moses did not have a post fight press conference so I got who I could get backstage or in the arena?  For the most part, however, the event featured just about what any Championship fight entitles?

In today’s age of Newspapers going out of business and the internet being free, much of journalistic work is a labor of love. I thought in my days as my fight career was ending that I was getting a foot in the door on the media side of things to ensure that I would be involved with boxing until the day that I die! I never have become a full time writer and always kept a day job. For almost 7 years I was a cable guy working Monday through Friday and then waking up at 5 A.M.  Saturday mornings to make the drive to Las Vegas or Los Angeles usually? About a 7 hour drive from where I lived in my hometown of South Lake Tahoe, California. I would arrive at the event, cover the fights, go back to the hotel and upload my work until late into the night/early morning. That a change from my fight days when after a fight would be ‘party time.’ As a reporter, when the event ends, your job starts, but the payoff is that you don’t have to go into strict training camp, diet or refrain from sex or any of that sort of life style that fighters tune out as they prepare for battle? After a nap I would check out on Sunday, drive back home and be at work on Monday as an average Joe once again after having usually been ringside for a major bout? It was for the most part a hobby as most writers do not have paid positions, something I came to find out quickly. Nonetheless, it is a life and culture that I wouldn’t want to be without in my life and provides an experience every event!

Tuesday morning was the kick off to Friday’s show in Reno, Nevada which happens to be where I live now so a long drive on fight day was not necessary and the often missed media events of the week I usually would not be a part of at the out of town events? Media workouts are not hard core for the fighters as you usually break a sweat and then do question and answer a few minutes. If you aren’t ready and cooling down on fight week, you aren’t going to be ready fight time? I spoke with Lets Get It On Promotion’s Tommy and Terry Lane in an interview you can watch here. It is always great to see the Lane’s who have worked hard over the years to establish and keep boxing alive in the region. They do the leg work and are associate promoters for Top Rank events in the area along with doing their own shows featuring the annual Rural Rumble events in Fallon, Nevada. Reno is considered their ‘turf’ when it comes to boxing events in the once hotbed Reno/Lake Tahoe area!

In town from Shakur Stevenson’s Colorado Springs training camp was 2016 U.S. Olympian Mikaela Mayer who travelled with ‘team Shakur’ to show support! I got a word with her on media day and if you know nothing about the young professional, you can watch her interview on this link.

Wednesday was the final press conference and I caught up afterwards with 2 time World Heavyweight title challenger Bryant Jennings whose trainer John David Jackson I would interview prior to Thursday’s weigh ins. The weigh ins are usually the first battle to win for a fighter and all but one fighter would make weight the first try, whom ended up returning and making weight within the 2 hour limit. You see a bit of the spectacle as you spot the ESPN crew doing their coverage and you get a glimpse in your head of what a thrill it would be if someday that is you up on that media stage!

Post fight I did get to speak with Shakur Stevenson whom I had covered when he was winning Jr. National Championships and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team here in Reno. Another fighter that has always been media friendly over the years is 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward, who co-manages Stevenson. I know Reno has a place in Ward’s heart and he spoke about that in my interview with him here.

There was other conversations from press row or backstage with the man of the night Ray Beltran after he won his first World Title. Also with local fighter Ricardo Lucio Galvan whose status as a ‘dreamer’ is getting many local headlines as the 2nd year business student at the University of Nevada, who has been in America since he was 7 months old, awaits the D.A.C.A. resolution to see if he will remain in this country or not? All in all it was yet another fight night in which I was doing what I love to do. The next day I return to my job as a car salesman but wishing that someday I am a full time writer or doing anything boxing related for a living. The same dream that a good handful of fight game lovers wish!


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