Young boxers mill in Metro Area

Seen debuting on the 2012 'March Mayhem' card inside Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center, Mike Archuleta (then ten years old) attempts to move in after slipping his opponent's punch. Now 14, Archuleta recently resumed his amateur career, fighting for the fledgling local Ring of Champions Boxing Club at an event up in Denver.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum


Proud to represent Ignacio and the recently opened Ring of Champions Boxing Club, two young fighters did coaches Anthony Archuleta, Ernie Trujillo and Leon Valdez proud enough with their efforts in the ring at the Denver Police Brotherhood Youth Boxing amateur card Friday, July 15.

“They both fought hard!” Archuleta reported. “Let’s be honest, this is not football or wrestling. Although both are tough … this is a sport where if you let up too much – and your opponent is ready for a battle – it’s over. Lights out!”

Ruger Valdez, 17, made his ring debut against 16-year-old Denverite Miguel Gonzalez, himself in his fourth recorded bout, but lost by technical knockout with fewer than 30 seconds left in the third round.

“Ruger was able to hurt Gonzalez a couple times with uppercuts and the straight right,” said Archuleta. “But unfortunately Ruger gassed out a little too soon. He didn’t quit though … and that’s what matters! The heart in Ruger Valdez was unbelievable … he just kept on coming forward.”

And also at the USA Boxing-sanctioned event held at the Regis F. Groff Campus, part of Denver Public Schools’ so-called East Quad of Far Northeast Denver, 14-year-old Mike Archuleta clashed with Gunnison’s Jim Luke Barber. Owning a two-pound weight advantage (162-160) but surrendering five inches of height (5’7” to 6’0”) as well as some four years of progression, Archuleta lost by decision following three rounds.

“He had the power to really do some damage,” Coach Archuleta said. “Just fell short trying to land the big shots. Sometimes looking for that one-punch knockout can be bad for business. His game plan … was to establish the jab and to work the body a bit more.”

“Although he gave up some reach, age and experience, I thought he did great.”

For Mike, it was his first bout since he was ten, while Barber was inside the ropes for a fifth time.

Coach Archuleta also said that ROCBC will be heading back to the big city this month for an event in Thornton, “where we hope to bring home some wins.”

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