After debuting back in February, Mace Ruegg has won his first three professional fights, beating a seasoned vet last weekend…!
Bournemouth’s Boxing starlet stamps his supremacy on Spanish soil. Mace ‘The Ace’ Ruegg boasts a 3-0 record following his victory over Venezuelan Sandro Hernandez. Despite the Bournemouth boy being 10 years younger than the hard-hitting Hernandez; he won by unanimous decision, taking all six rounds. When interviewed, Mace said, “It was quite a risky move for me to take, but I knew with my boxing ability I would be able to outclass him”.
This fight was expected to be Ruegg’s toughest test to date. Not only did the Venezuelan have 15 wins (ten by knockout), but Ruegg was also fighting above his weight category after “putting on some timber over lockdown”, as he joked. He relishes the opportunity to fight at his light division again, adding, “you wait till I get down to my normal weight! I should be even stronger and really impress people”.
On the night, Ruegg made up for the height disparity with his quick and elusive style. The up-and-coming star has moulded his fighting style on Naseem Hamed (AKA Prince Naseem). And it shows. The Ace emulates The Prince’s exceptional showmanship; occasionally putting his hands down, taunting the opponent to throw while he stands there dodging each punch.
Ruegg prides himself on his unpredictability, telling GlovesUpGlobal, “How do you train for someone like me? You’ve got your typical stand-still, jab boxers that you can prepare for. But if you’ve got someone who’s switch hitting, moving, ducking, diving… how do you build a game plan around that?”
An undeniable self-confidence that only the greats have. He simply loves the sport and won’t be playing it safe in the ring.
“I like people to leave the venue thinking, ‘I want to watch that lad again’. I love an exciting fight – win, lose, or draw! Just as long as I’m in an exciting fight I’m happy”.
BOXING IN HIS VEINS
The 20-year-old prodigy looks to continue the family’s fighting legacy. His father, Danny Ruegg, had his sceptics when he entered the professional scene without any amateur experience and only a handful of “fairground fights”. Mace admires his father’s journey, saying, “He started from nothing, so you have to tip your hat to him. Imagine if he had what I have; he would’ve gone a lot further”. Listening to his dad’s story throughout his childhood has made Mace a humble and grounded fighter, grateful for his circumstances.
Now Danny Ruegg gets to live vicariously through his son’s successes, coaching him through his professional boxing career. Mace gains inspiration from his father and aims to please him in every contest. “It’s the best thing [having my dad as his coach]. For me – win, lose or draw – seeing my dad with a big smile on his face is the best thing. That’s why I do this… for him”.
Still at the tender age of 20, Mace already has experience beyond his years, having competed in 200 fights. Danny made the bold decision not to put his son through the amateurs and instead throw him into real fights (without face guards) in the Queensbury Boxing League. Mace is grateful for his dad’s decision, saying, “I wouldn’t change it for the world. I say to myself, ‘What would’ve happened if I went through the amateurs?’ But like my dad says, it would’ve probably been the worst mistake I would’ve ever made, because going through what I’ve gone through has developed me into the boxer I am today”.
After amassing such an impressive track record in the Boxing League (where he was crowned national champion), Mace signed with MTK management and declared for the pros. The MTK team were quick to kickstart Ruegg’s professional career and able to arrange three contests this summer, a rarity that few boxers were fortunate to have. “It was nice for me to get three fights this year despite everything that has gone on. Not a lot of boxers can get out and fight at the moment, so I’m thankful that I have a really good team behind me”.
Mace has a background in various combat sports such as, Muay Thai and MMA. When asked why he chose to fight in the squared circle as opposed to the octagon, he replied, “I prefer to use my hands and I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps”. As his record shows, the transition has gone smoothly. Now, Ruegg is on the rise and will look to add to his impressive win streak, hopefully reaching his first goal of becoming British Champion in the near future.
AWAY FROM BOXING
Outside of the ring, Ruegg is a strong advocate for the Gloves Up Knives Down campaign, which encourages young children to join a boxing club rather than participate in street violence.
“The problem is rife,” Mace explained, “Not only in London but everywhere. You see all these 13 or 14-year-olds carrying knives. Boxing makes you feel happy; it does something for you”.
He is also passionate about the impact boxing has had on his life saying, “If I never had boxing, I wouldn’t be here now. I’d be in a jail cell because what would I do with myself? If I’m not fighting in the gym or the ring, I’d be out there scrapping. But that’s not what I want to do — I want to live a good life”.
Now, Mace is a mature family man with a girlfriend and daughter, as a result of boxing putting him on the right path.