Ruelas brothers set for California Hall of Fame induction!


Ruelas brothers set for California Hall of Fame induction!

Press Release: From the day back in the 1980s when these two Mexican immigrant teenage brothers knocked on the door of the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in the Valley hoping to sell some candy, to today, as they knock on the hallowed door of California's Boxing Hall of Fame, the “Candy Kids” Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas will add another sweet chapter to their real-life fairy tale when they receive induction into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

The Sportman's Lodge in Studio City will host the ceremony in which these two former world champions will join a cast of other supremely talented athletes and boxing legends, who distinguished themselves in the Golden State and beyond, in enshrinement.

Gabriel, at age 36, is the older of the two brothers who settled in nearby Arleta after moving to the United States from Yerbabuena, CL, Mexico. In a professional career which began with a first-round knockout of Raul Martines in Las Vegas in September, 1988 and spanned nearly fifteen years, Gabe won 49 of his 56 fights, including 25 by knockout.  Six years and a day after his first bout, Gabe pounded out a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Jesse James Leija to capture the WBC super featherweight title in Las Vegas in September 1994.  Gabe would successfully defend that title twice before losing to the great Azumah Nelson, retired in March, 2003 and continues to be involved in boxing, working with his promoter, Dan Goossen, as an executive in charge of Hispanic Media and Fighter Relations for Goossen Tutor Promotions.  He also is heavily involved in Hispanic Community Relations with Southern Wine & Spirits.

Younger sibling Rafael, 35, compiled an outstanding record of 53 wins and just four losses - including 42 knockouts - in more than 10 years as a professional boxer also under the guidance of Ten Goose Boxing.  Like Gabe, Raf won his pro debut in Las Vegas - a unanimous decision victory over Marcos Covarrubias in a scheduled four-rounder - in January 1989.  Although a year younger in age and ring experience, Rafael claimed his world title seven months before his big brother when he took the IBF lightweight title from Freddie Pendleton by unanimous decision in February 1994 at the old Great Western Forum in Inglewood.  He would make two successful defenses of his championship before being beaten by another boxing superstar - Oscar De La Hoya.  Rafael retired a winner after defeating Hicklet Lau in the place where he fought his first fight - Las Vegas - in August 1999.
“Gabriel and Rafael set the bar so high with, not only their accomplishments in the ring,” Goossen explained, “but as importantly their friendship, confidence and loyalty to the Goossens and our efforts on their behalf.  We were blessed by their integrity and honesty.  For that alone they deserve this prestigious honor.”