Ricardo Lucio-Galvan is the first in his family to attend college, and says he’s proud to pave the way and has big plans for his future starting with his first pro boxing match.
He was just 10 years old when he began boxing, but Galvan says it was never meant to be a lifelong pursuit.
"I used to play soccer before, and the kids would push me around and kick me - and I wouldn't do anything to defend myself, so my dad told me, ‘we're gonna put you in boxing for three months, just so you can learn to defend yourself,’" remembers Ricardo.
Within three months, the young boxer won his first trophy and he was hooked. Now a college sophomore, Galvan is still soft spoken and easy going, but nobody pushes him around anymore.
"No, not at all,” laughs Ricardo. “I've earned my respect. I respect everyone and everyone respects me."
Boxing coach and trainer, Robert Stovall agrees. "He has the talent, he has the skill and he definitely has the heart - the drive, he has it all."
Ricardo credits his parents, and a mentor who passed away years ago, for supporting him since his early days at the Boys & Girls Club.
In addition to boxing, Galvan is studying business administration at UNR, and says his parents couldn't be prouder. "School is always first, that's what they tell me, education is gonna get you far."
What many of Galvan’s classmates don't know, is Ricardo is a Dreamer, he was brought illegally to the U.S. as an infant and is now protected by DACA, also know as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a controversial program that's future is in doubt.
"I have a lot of faith that Congress will pass something that will keep us protected. We're just regular human beings trying to do stuff for the better of the United States."
In the meantime, Ricardo is working on his degree and domination in the ring.
“In the next two years we'll be in the top ten," says Coach Stovall.
Ricardo’s smile fills his face. "I wanna become a world champion."
On November 17th, Ricardo Lucio-Galvan will make his pro boxing debut here in Reno. The fight is one of many happening at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. For info and tickets, click link here: http://bit.ly/2yJWe8d