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Ruelas' Return Tops Card at Country Club

Boxing: Former IBF champion faces Arce in junior welterweight bout on Thursday night.

January 22, 1997|VINCE KOWALICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

RESEDA — Rafael Ruelas, former International Boxing Federation lightweight champion, will fight at the Reseda Country Club for the first time in nearly four years when he faces Javier Arce of Mexico in a 10-round junior welterweight fight Thursday night.

Ruelas, 25, whose record is 47-3 with 37 knockouts, will try for a fifth straight victory since losing consecutive fights in 1995 to Oscar De La Hoya and George Scott. Arce, 25, is 15-10 with 11 knockouts.

Ruelas, who grew up in Sylmar and resides in Studio City, was 18-1 at the Country Club after turning pro in January 1989. Ruelas last fought at the Country Club in February 1993, when he stopped Robert Rivera in the third round to defend his North American Boxing Federation lightweight title.

"There are a lot of memories there," Ruelas said. "And I like the idea of fighting close to home. I like to fight and then go home and rest at home, not in a hotel."

Ruelas won the IBF title in February 1994 with a 12-round victory over Freddie Pendleton. He made two successful defenses before being stopped in the second round by De La Hoya in Las Vegas in May 1995.

Ruelas is ranked fifth among super lightweights by the World Boxing Council and eighth among junior welterweights by the IBF. De La Hoya is the WBC super lightweight champion.

Also scheduled on the seven-bout card are heavyweights Lionel Butler (25-12-1, 20 knockouts) of Los Angeles and Marcos Gonzalez (17-7-1, 15 KOs) of Mexico, who will square off in a 12-round fight for the World Boxing Federation title. Butler is coming off a first-round knockout of Bomani Parker at Reseda in November.

In a matchup of former women kickboxers, Fredia Gibbs and Maria Recinos will meet in a four-round bout.

Gibbs is making her professional debut; Recinos is 0-1-1.

The remainder of the card: Fernando Zuniga (7-0, 6 KOs) of Lynwood vs. Calvin Combs (4-8, 1 KO), six-round heavyweight; Jimmy Buffo (1-0) of North Hollywood vs. Victor Sanders (pro debut) of Oklahoma, four-round heavyweight; Monroe Brooks (2-2, 1 KO) of Hawthorne vs. Dominic Sherman of Quartz Hill (0-1), four-round middleweight; Effi Schneider (5-1, 1 KO) of West Los Angeles vs. Richard Calvillo (1-6-1, 1 KO) of Downey, four-round super-lightweight.

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