Brothers Rafael and Gabriel Ruelas will be honored Saturday night during a boxing card at Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. Appropriately enough, it's being staged by Dan Goossen, the promoter who helped them become world champions in the 1990s.
Speaking with the brothers via telephone this week, the former stars from Sylmar via Mexico reflected on the ups and downs of their respective careers - the ups being very good, the downs being bad and very bad - and about how much pride they feel knowing that brothers winning world titles is uncommon.
They did it after having spent their early years in what Gabriel Ruelas referred to as nothing more than a village at the time - Yerbabuena, Jalisco, Mexico - adding more satisfaction.
As the story goes, Rafael and Gabriel moved to the San Fernando Valley at ages 7 and 8, respectively. At some point, a candy-selling Gabriel convinced trainer Joe Goossen - Dan's brother - to let him box. Three months later, Rafael joined the fun with the best yet to come.
Gabriel turned pro in September 1988, Rafael in January 1989. But Rafael was first to win a major title and did it in stirring fashion, getting up from two first-round knockdowns to take the lightweight championship from big-talking Freddie Pendleton in February 1994 at the Forum.
Rafael said he remembers how "disrespectful" Pendleton was before the fight.
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