Has there ever been something that you are so passionate about that you could eat, sleep, and breathe it? For me it’s boxing. I started boxing in December of 2011 at my Uncle’s gym. Now I box for another gym called Rockwall Elite. I have always been good at sports, but nothing ever kept my interest until I started boxing. There is just something about the feeling I get when I step into the ring and go to work.
December 2013 was the first year for me to compete in the State Silver Gloves Tournament. I had heard so much about the whole tournament and wanted to participate in it when I first started boxing 2 years ago. The only problem was that I was too inexperienced. I was still a novice fighter. I ended up getting 12 fights and I was able to compete the following year. I lost the VERY FIRST NIGHT! It was terrible and I felt like a failure. Then it came to me that there was still next year and I would come back and win! I fought for the rest of the year and went to many tournaments and I got better. I trained harder than I had ever trained before. I was determined to win. After a whole year of training I came back to the 2014 State Silver Gloves. I was nervous at first but I talked to my friends that were also at the tournament and I asked them if they just go in there for fun and they said “Ya, I just go in there and have fun. Everyone wants to win because you feel good, but if you lose, oh well it is all about the experience”. I finally got that through my head and won the first night. I fought tall lanky kid. I thought I was going to have a hard time with him because I’m really short and I have a hard time with people taller than me, but I pulled through and gave him a standing 8 count in the first round. We fought through the last 2 rounds and I ended up winning. The second night I fought a kid my height and he was a counter puncher, but I beat him too. On the final night, I fought a kid that just rushed in and threw punches. By then I was tired from fighting 2 days in a row before this, so it was a hard fight for me, but I also beat him. When they raised my hand to announce I was the winner, I literally almost collapsed. My legs were hurting so bad that my coach had to carry me to the boxing doctor. The doctor checked me out and said I was just tired and that I needed to rehydrate. I had won the State Silver Gloves and advanced to regionals!
After winning state I went to go eat at my favorite restaurant Snuffers. The very next day I got back to training. That Wednesday I had got a stomach ache during my school ACP exams. I just thought it was what I had eaten earlier that morning but it kept hurting so I went to the nurse’s office and threw up and I couldn’t stop. My mom picked me up and we went home. After about 5 hours of throwing up and lying in bed, my mom decided to take me to a local clinic. At the clinic the doctor checked me out and said that they were going to send me to the ER at Doctors Hospital. Once I was in a room the doctor gave me morphine for the pain and a purple dye to drink so I could have a CAT scan done. After the CAT scan was done the doctor came back about an hour later to tell me I had appendicitis and I would need to be transferred by ambulance to Children’s Hospital to have an appendectomy. I was really scared and nervous. As soon as I got to Children’s Hospital the nurses welcomed me and they put me in the biggest room on the floor! It was awesome they had Xbox and a TV so while I was waiting to see when I would have my surgery I played games. Later on during the night the doctor came in and said I would have my surgery at 12:26 the next day. So I went to sleep and got some rest. I woke up and got ready for my surgery. When I went down stairs to the waiting room for surgery, the nurses told me that the operation was moved back because there were more serious operations to attend to. I ended up having the surgery at 1:45. The last thing I remember after going into the operating room was that they gave me the sleeping gas and four nurses standing around me. One of them said “OMG I love your hair!” The other nurses giggled and I smirked a little bit and said thanks. The next thing you know I was in a different room with my mom and dad sitting next to me, laughing because I was not making any sense. The next day I was released from the hospital around noon and went straight home to rest. My girlfriend came to visit me and hang out, which made me feel better. Two weeks had gone by without me training at all and there was only two more weeks until Regional Silver Gloves. I was overweight and out of shape for the tournament but I wasn't going to let that stop me from going to regional and doing my best. So once my regular doctor released me to box again, I went back to the gym and gave it everything I had so I could get back in shape and lose the weight. Regional's were in Littlerock, Arkansas so we left the morning of January 15th, which happened to be my baby sister’s 1st birthday. Honestly, I don’t remember much of the drive because I was asleep most of the time. When we got there all we did was hangout until bed time so I could wake up for weigh-ins at six in the morning. I didn’t fight the first day but I did fight the second day and it was for the championship. The kid I was fighting was not very intimidating and with all my hard work, I was confident that I would win. The kid was just a little bit taller than I was and had a longer reach but that didn’t matter. In the first round the first thing he did was throw a hard right hand and caught me in the face. My grandpa, who is also my coach, thought it was over when that happened. He knows sometimes I have anger issues and he thought I would lose my composure and start swinging wild. But I kept cool and used that anger in a smart way. I ended up giving the kid a standing 8 count in the first 30 seconds of the first round. From there I knew I had it. In the end I won and became the Regional Silver Gloves Champion and now I was on my way to Nationals.
After I won Regionals I went back home the next day and started training again. I only had two weeks to get ready for Nationals. Money was a little tight because of Christmas, my surgery, and just having traveled to Little Rock. So my mom made me a boxing resume and we turned to our friends and family with small local businesses for sponsorship. I am so blessed that there are so many people that are willing to help me reach my goal of one day going to the Olympics and becoming a professional fighter. However, I also felt the pressure to win and not let these people down. The weeks went by fast and I was finally on my way to Kansas City, MO. The car ride wasn't bad because I was asleep again. When we got there, it was the same routine, hangout until bedtime for weigh-ins the next morning. At the weigh-ins I sat with everyone from my region, region 6. There were 8 regions total and each region’s kids sat with each other. Again I did not fight the first night, but I was scheduled to fight the second day in the semi-finals. My opponent was tall and lanky and he had whooped his opponent the day before. I was really nervous. When I got in the ring I had a plan for him but unfortunately I was not able to get into my rhythm to execute my plan. In the first round I lunged with a looping left hook after rolling under one of his punches. When I swung both of my feet came off the canvas. All he did was step to the side and barely tap my chest. But it was just enough for me to lose my balance and I fall flat on my back like I had been clothes lined. The ref gave me a standing 8 count even though it was just a slip. She thought he had caught me good and wanted to make sure I was OK to continue. From that point on I was never really able to get into my rhythm. I ended up losing in the semi-finals and ranked 3rd like I had let down all my family, friends, and supporters. But everyone has still stood by me and supports me win or lose. My goal is to go back next year and win the whole thing. Even though I lost in the end, the experience was great and I want to go back so bad. It also taught me that I never really lose. I either win or I learn! Silver Gloves is the second biggest tournament of the year. It is a breeding ground for J.O. boxers (Junior Olympics). My dream is to go to the Olympics and be on the USA Boxing Team. With hard work and the support from my family and friends, I know that one day my dream will come true.
-As written by Jaycob Ramos 13yrs old 106lbs
Jaycob Ramos with his Great Grandfather Mr. Jesse Montoya