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Bruseles, Ruiz And Calderon All Step Into Ring This Month, Paraguayan Golfer Sets New Standard

By Gabrielle Paese

October 29, 2004
Copyright © 2004 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.

Felix "Tito" Trinidad does not as yet know his next rival, but his countrymates can provide plenty of boxing action while the Trinidads and Don King negotiate.

Henry Bruseles, John Ruiz and Ivan Calderon are all up next with Bruseles taking on Colombian Ener Julio in a fight card set for this weekend at San Juan’s Pedrin Zorrilla arena.

"I’m ready to go and I’m ready for whatever he comes at me with," said the junior welterweight (140 pounds) Bruseles (21-1, 13 KO), who knocked out Wilfredo "Papin" Negron in the seventh round on Feb. 6 in the first of the San Juan Boxing

Nights series. "I’m in the best shape of my life for this fight."

Bruseles, who has been training under Evangelista Cotto, has put in 98 rounds of sparring to get ready for Julio, a rival he’s not taking lightly.

"He’s a former world champion and I know he’s going to be very aggressive. I’m going to be ready for whatever he throws and I have seen him fight so I know how to dodge his punches."

Meanwhile, Julio’s career has seen as many ups as it has downs. At 31, Julio is 24-7-1 with 17 KO and is coming from losing his last three fights. The Colombian won the WBO 140-pound belt on July 22, 2000 after defeating Randall Bailey in Miami in a controversial 12-round split decision. Julio lost the title in 2001 after a routine eye exam revealed he had cataracts.

He subsequently lost his next fight by unanimous decision to Marcus "Chop Chop" Corley on Jan. 19, 2002, also in Miami.

Also on this card, former Olympian Ruben Fuchu (15-1-1, 9 KO) takes on Edwin Vazquez (19-8-2, 8 KO) in a 10-rounder at welterweight.

At super middleweight, Tyrone Jackson (8-31-2, 5 KO), of Tyler, Texas, will fight Jose Vazquez (12-1-7 KO) for a six-rounder. Welterweights Jose Correa (1-0) and Angel Ocasio (0-1) will fight four rounds while former Olympic hopeful Carlos Valcarcel (1-0, 1 KO), who turned pro earlier this year, will take on Ivan Cordero (0-1) at four rounds at super flyweight.

The San Juan Boxing Nights card is the final effort of the year from Peter and Ivan Rivera’s Best Boxing Promotions and will be televised on Univision and Telefutura.

Following Bruseles will be heavyweight John Ruiz on Nov. 13 versus Andrew Golota at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The two traded barbs this week during a conference call with the boxing media.

"This is a perfect fight for me," said Ruiz. "Like you’ve seen in a lot of other fights, he [Golota] just ends up quitting.  What better opponent to have than someone who is going to end up quitting on me as soon as I put the pressure on."

Ruiz said he has worked hard to learn to think like a champion.

"There have been many fights in my career that I didn’t have the strength and the heart to go out there and fight.  I never really had the mentality to think that I am the best out there and to reassure myself. It’s the mind of a champion," said Ruiz. "I always had the mind of a worker, to go out there and work and keep working and I know good things will come out of it.  This time I am working on my strength and I am working on my weakness, which is my mentality.  Now I have to go out there and know that I can beat anybody in the world and stay champion forever."

Finally, WBO minimum weight champ Ivan Calderon will take on Nicaragua’s Carlos Fajardo on Nov. 27 in Las Vegas in what will be his third title defense of the year.

Paraguay’s Granada sets new golf standard at Rio Mar

Her game wasn’t as consistent as that of Sweden’s Karin Sjodin, but Paraguay’s Julieta Granada gave golf fans at the Westin Rio Mar a glimpse of an exciting future for the sport. Just 17 years old, Granada shot a 9-under-par 63 on the third day of golf at the Women’s World Amateur Team Golf Championships, blowing out all previous WWATC records and setting a new standard for Rio Mar’s tough 5,854-yard Greg Norman-designed River course. Granada, hit nine birdies, a never-before accomplished feat in the event’s 20-year history. The previous lowest tournament scores were 65s, set in Chile and France in 1998 and 1994.

While the tournament is a team event, and doesn’t recognize individual scores, Granada tied with Sjodin through the four rounds as the lowest scorers. Sjodin and her Swedish teammates won the Espirito Santo trophy by beating out Canada and the United States on the final day.

Granada, meanwhile, won over the hearts of the fans with her majestic round, in which she held it steady despite a near four-hour rain delay between the third and fourth holes.

"When she was three, she used to follow me around on the course. Now I follow her," said her mom, Rosa Granada, who said her own best career score was a 76. "Her game keeps improving."

While both the women’s tournament, which wrapped up last weekend and the mens’ tournament, which finishes on Sunday, are chock-full of promising golfers from all over the world, Granada’s presence is worth of note for her significance as a young Latin woman breaking new ground.

She was the U.S. Girls Junior champion and is a student at the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida.

This past June, the Asuncion native broke 18- and 54-hole records to win the Rolex Girls Junior Championships. She was also named American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year in October.

She has not yet signed an NCAA letter of intent and said she hasn’t picked out a college but would like to study international business communication.

Puerto Rican golfing legend, Chi Chi Rodriguez, was on hand to congratulate the Granada.

"I admire her because she’s short like me but she can really hit the ball. Anyone who can shoot a 63 on that course deserves my respect," said Rodriguez, who at 5-7 towers over Granada. "She looks like she’s a girl with a mission and I like that."

Gabrielle Paese is a sports reporter in San Juan. She was the 2000 recipient of the Overseas Press Club's Rafael Pont Flores Award for excellence in sports reporting. Comments or suggestions? Contact Gabrielle at

Her Column, Puerto Rico Sports Beat, appears weekly in the Puerto Rico Herald.

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