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Local boxer has golden moment in ring at Pearl!

October 14, 2004

After about a year inside the squared circle, Tyler Ricks stepped out of the ring a champion.

The Northeast Lauderdale student won the Magnolia State Golden Gloves championship in the intermediate division 90-pound weight class on Oct. 2 in Pearl. The tournament included boxers from Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana.

“When I started I wanted to be a champion,” Ricks said. “I didn’t think I would come this far this quick, but I have gotten used to boxing.”

The 13-year-old pugilist started boxing about a year ago under the tutelage of Larry Kern, who is the owner/proprietor of Camp Kern — a 20-acre, state-of-the-art training camp.

Ricks is undersized for a boxer. He stands at 4-foot-10 and weighs in at 87 pounds, but he more than makes up for his size with his determination in the ring.

“I believe he is born to box,” Kern said. “He has a lot of heart and natural ability. He is a real intelligent kid, and he picks up on things with me only having me tell him one time. He trains extremely hard.”

Ricks’ heart and endurance was put to its biggest test over the weekend of Oct. 2-3.

The young boxer fought on back-to-back days for the first time in his career at Pearl. After winning the Golden Gloves on Oct. 2, Ricks stepped into the ring for a second bout the following day.

Ricks lost the decision against a National Champion, but he said fighting a second bout the day after his first one was a good experience.

“It wasn’t that hard,” said Ricks, who has a 9-9 record. “I was sort of tired, but once we started fighting, I didn’t think about the night before.”