Sweet Science is linked to the past
like arm over shoulder
A. J. Liebling
-I hardly met my father. He left home when I was barely a kid.
-How old were you?
-I do not remember. I only have an image of my father. I see him telling me: 'Come on, pick up we're leaving'. I decided to stay with my mother, so he did not care about me and my brother.
– What did you do?
-As happens with most boxers, we were humble. My mother was a saleswoman of El Corte Inglés. It could not be for me, and I was spending my time as a bandit. Until one day…
– This I remember. He was twelve years old. We had a good time doing the hooligan in the street. My mother had sent me for some pizzas for dinner and on the way we were stopped by two policemen and they put us in the police station.
– My mother came to pick me up. I expected the anger but he did not say anything! What he did the next day was to sign up for a gym. Look, that changed my life. Many of my friends from the neighborhood, at that time, are in jail or trafficking. And I, on the other hand …
At twelve years old, Rubén Valcárcel (35) entered Esport Rogent, the gymnasium of Xavi Moya, icon of boxing in our country. He says he felt happy, full, from the first moment.
Now we are talking in the cafeteria of a premiere gym in the city. Valcárcel works in several of them. Teach boxing to the upper classes of the city. He has founded a brand, Royal Boxing Club, whose presence is spreading throughout Barcelona.
He has won the hearts of many.
They ask for advice. They invite you to their homes.
You are greeted by all who enter the place.
Rubén Valcárcel asks how they are doing in their lives. He worries about his shoulders, his change of job, his move …
"I did not see you for days," he tells one.
-Xavi Moya replaced the father figure, the one I did not have. I went to the gym every day, from five in the afternoon to ten at night. Until Xavi did not close, I did not leave.
What was he doing?
-I was a heavy one. In the evenings I helped him assemble and dismantle chairs.
– And you did not fight?
"There was no fighting for the kids my age. There were only exhibitions. The contact was limited, the KO was not sought.
-Now there is more protection in general. For example, the helmet is mandatory.
– What do you feel in the ring?
-Who has not climbed one can not understand it. In my first fight I was a little scared. I guess it's normal. One is tanned to blows. Boxing makes you a shaper.
-And is not afraid?
– Since I was little I already knew that I wanted to fight. When you jump into the ring you have already visualized what is coming. You prepare to fit punches.
He liked boxing so much that he earned the respect of his mentor, Xavi Moya. Rubén Valcárcel says that he absorbed his way of teaching. He was fourteen years old and already replaced him in some classes.
-How many students did you have?
– Sometimes more than twenty. I did personal trainer courses, I specialized in muscle building techniques. And I also trained as a personal trainer.
-And meanwhile, he boxed …
-True. I played 25 bouts in medium and super middleweight. He was a boxing professional: not everything is going to be sad stories in this sport. Look, I went from being a neighborhood kid, with all the numbers to end up being a boss, to work in the best clubs in Barcelona.
-And boxing, did you never suffer serious injuries?
-I fought with Russians and Georgians. But the toughest blows were given to me by my coach. Once, Xavi Moya fit me a hand. I did not feel anything, so we kept fighting. But when I finished the routines and went back to the box office, I was a little bird. I did not remember my code number, I went blank in the locker room. And then some friends passed by and they said: 'What are you doing?' 'I'm waiting for my girlfriend,' I replied. My girlfriend was in Costa Rica … The neurologist diagnosed a mental gap. I was admitted for three days. And nothing, I am perfectly.
-You train doctors, executives, lawyers … What do you think they find in boxing?
– From the outset, I will tell you that there are no differences between neighborhoods here. You do not have to classify a boxer for his status. There are types sacrificed on all sides, just as there are arrogant and unpleasant ones. What I will tell you is that nobody gets hurt. I practiced it with my girlfriend!
-And in the physical there is gain?
– You ask me if you lose weight? How funny! ?What do you think…? I have received fathers who could not even tie their shoes. And now they catch the pens on the fly!