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A Second-Chance Return To The Ring…Quiles Scored The Biggest Win Of His Career

A Second-Chance Return To The Ring

By Sharon Robb

December 4, 2003
Copyright © 2003
South Florida Sun-Sentinel. All rights reserved.

HOLLYWOOD · Disillusioned by broken promises from promoters and managers in California and Florida, Ricky Quiles quit boxing in the prime of his career.

Then 26, the Puerto Rican boxer from Davie said he needed time to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Instead, he took a wrong turn.

"I turned to alcohol and drugs " Quiles said. "I was very depressed. I made some bad decisions, bad judgments. I was in a downward spiral. I was so damaged and hurt I didn't even want to watch boxing.

"I needed to hit rock bottom to realize what I had and what I lost. I missed boxing. I was still a good boxer and still had the talent. I just needed a second chance."

At 29, Quiles quit his full-time construction job, returned to the sport and rebuilt his career. At 33, Quiles has kicked his alcohol and drug addiction and is back in the ring full steam. He said he is a few fights away from a title fight and big payday.

"I am clean and sober and very happy," Quiles said. "I learned a lot. ... A lot of hard lessons."

Quiles (33-6-3, 8 KOs) makes his debut Friday night with Warrior's Boxing on the Backyard Brawl Series VI pro card featuring five-time world champion Hector Camacho in the main event and two title fights, including one featuring Miami's Robert "Preacher Man" Daniels, on the seven-bout card.

Quiles, who makes his debut at lightweight for the first time, fights former world champion Eloy Rojas of Venezuela (38-2-2, 27 KOs). Rojas is coming off two years of inactivity. The bout is considered "a take it to the next level fight" Quiles said. "I am going down to the lightweight division. I feel more confident at this weight. This is where I belonged all along. I feel like I have grown up."

Among his wins is an impressive NABO title defense against Vince Phillips in 2000, and among his losses is a controversial one to Cuban defector Diobelys Hurtado and an NABF title fight to Terrance Cauthen.

Trained by Trainer of the Year Buddy McGirt in Vero Beach, and Benny Collins, Isiah Clark and Jimmy Flowers at Warrior's Gym in Hollywood, the 5-foot-8, 142-pound Quiles said he is in the best shape of his life. The father of three, Ashley, 17, Ricky Jr., 13, and Julian, 8, said his wife Maryann, a strength-training coach, has played a big role since his return. She has helped with his training, nutrition and mental preparation.

Quiles grew up in Lorain, Ohio, where his parents moved from Puerto Rico for a better life. He started boxing at age 6 when he stumbled on a boxing gym around the corner from his house. A year later, he won his first amateur fight. A wrestler and gymnast in high school, he went on to win the Silver Gloves Tournament in Cleveland and two Golden Gloves titles. After losing to Charles Murray at the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, he turned pro at 19 with an 80-6 amateur record.

"I always knew I was going to box, I fell in love with the sport and knew it was going to be in my future ... my passion," Quiles said. "Unfortunately, I just got with the wrong people and made a lot of mistakes. They made promises and commitments to me that never came true.

"What brought me back? The desire to be champion of the world made me want to come back. It's my dream and I hope my destiny. I always knew I never gave boxing a chance. I had more in me. Win, lose or draw, at least I now have the opportunity to get there. I would love to fight for the world title in 2004. ... If it doesn't come then 2005."

Quiles Scored The Biggest Win Of His Career

By Sharon Robb

December 6, 2003
Copyright © 2003
South Florida Sun-Sentinel. All rights reserved.

COCONUT CREEK· In the most action-packed fight of the series' strongest card to date, Puerto Rican lightweight Ricky Quiles of Davie (34-6-3, 8 KOs) scored the biggest win of his career with a 10-round majority decision over former two-time featherweight champion Eloy Rojas of Venezuelain front of a crowd of 1,500 on Friday night at the Backyard Brawl Series VI at the Seminole Tribe of Florida Casino.

After a flurry of punches and a bloody nose in the fourth and fifth rounds, a straight right to the chin staggered Rojas in the sixth round and Quiles controlled the rest of the slugfest. Judges Bill Ray had it 95-95, Michael Pernick 98-92 and Mark

Streisand 97-93.

"I won this fight, one more fight and I am ready," Quiles said referring to a major title fight.

The five-bout pro card featured three former champions.

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