SAN ANTONIO - Christina “Bullitt” Ruiz is not only the first female professional boxer from San Antonio ever to win a world title in her hometown, but she also will be the first to proudly wear the badge of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office when she enters the ring Friday.
“Ever since I was younger, I’ve always wanted to be a police officer (and now) I’m pursuing my goal in life that I’ve always wanted to be an officer for the community,” Ruiz said.
For the first time this year, Ruiz has been training for months in preparation for Friday’s fight in Laredo, Texas, against Mandy Fuentes for the women’s National American Boxing Federation world title.
Professional boxers who train for high-profile fights such Ruiz’s match on Friday are typically required to put in a full-time commitment if they want to win the belt at the end of the night.
For Ruiz, balancing life in the ring and as a full-time detention officer at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center Annex downtown is like a well-oiled machine.
“When I first started here in (Bexar) County, I was working 2:45 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. So in the mornings, I got my runs, I got my training in, and then come straight to work,” Ruiz said. “And now, I come to work in the mornings and after work, I go run and then go straight to the gym.”
Ruiz said even though she was born a natural fighter, her love for boxing didn’t start until she was 7 years old when she saw women boxing each other on TV.
“My family would always have gatherings for boxing matches, and I saw Christy Martin boxing on (TV) and I asked my dad, ‘Dad, is that a girl boxing?’” Ruiz said. “And then he’s like, ‘Yes, girls can box, they can fight’ and then I said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s what I want to do.’”
Even at age 32, Ruiz still follows in her idol’s footsteps, crediting Martin for leading her into boxing shortly after graduating from John Jay High School.
In 2005, Ruiz turned pro at 21 after only fighting one year as an amateur, finishing her career with the record of 7-1.
Years later in her boxing debut, Ruiz went two rounds with fighter Brandi Hainey in Odessa, Texas, defeating her by way of a TKO.
“I started getting people from everywhere calling my trainer wanting to set up pro fights,” Ruiz said.
Less than 10 years after turning pro, Ruiz fought for two world titles but lost both out-of-state matches to unanimous decisions.
However, it wouldn’t take long for Ruiz to get another shot at the world title, but this time in front of her hometown crowd at the La Villita Maverick Plaza.
Ruiz went all 10 rounds winning the fight in a unanimous decision, holding the IFBA Bantamweight title in hand and becoming the first female professional boxer from San Antonio to win a world title at home.
Despite the glory of winning her first world title in San Antonio, Ruiz was met by adversity first after she contemplated hanging up the gloves in 2011 when she seriously injured boxing fighter Emily Klinefelter.
“I ended up fighting her and ended up beating her in her hometown in Iowa, and she was 9-0. I ended up knocking her out and putting her in a coma,” Ruiz said. “That was really bad for me and my boxing career, and how I felt as a human. At that moment, I wanted to quit boxing and hang up my gloves.”
Ruiz said she spent a year out of boxing because of that incident, but with the endless support from her family and other boxers, she returned to ring with unfinished business in mind and much more to prove in her boxing legacy.
Ruiz sets her eyes on her fifth world title match against the same fighter who has demanded a rematch for years after stealing the belt from her on July 13, 2013: Fuentes.
Ruiz (9-9-3) takes on Fuentes (8-8-5) for the women’s NABF world title in Laredo Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the Laredo Energy Arena.
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