Ruby Tyler won her bout in the women’s senior novice division at the 16th annual Ringside World Championship on Friday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Tyler, 27-year-old native of Sydney, Australia, hopes to take home the division title tomorrow. That’ll make it easier to explain to her parents what she’s been up to over the last year.
“They’ve seen my gloves, but I’ve told them it’s for fitness. And every time I have a fight, I say I’m going out for ice cream,” Tyler said with a laugh. “So if I bring the belt home, they’ll be happy. And I’ll put it on the wall and explain to them I’m a boxer.”
Tyler said she’s in the midst of finishing a degree, her second, in international securities law. She teaches Krav Maga — a form of martial arts — to kids, and stays with friends in San Diego a few months every year to train.
The martial arts led her to boxing, which led her to one of the largest amateur tournaments in the world. More than 1,300 boxers, ages 8-72, from 49 states and 11 countries, registered to compete.
Tyler is the only Australian, and she traveled from San Diego without her coach. She made arrangements with a replacement, but couldn’t make contact Friday evening.
So she walked up to a group from Wolverines Gym in San Antonio about 30 minutes before her bout and asked them to lend a hand.
“They were wearing team shirts, and I was like ‘I want to be part of that team.’ They’ve been really awesome,” Tyler said. “They cornered for me really well.”
The shirts that caught Tyler’s eye had ‘TEAM NO EXCUSES’ emblazoned on the front. James Clarke, who served in Tyler’s corner, said he was happy to help and will be in her corner again Saturday.
“It’s a blessing to be here, and it’s great to be able to give back and help other fighters that are up and coming,” Clarke said.
Tyler grew up playing basketball, but said her attention waned when she didn’t have the ball.
“I needed to switch to a sport where there were repercussions when I lose focus,” Tyler said.
Tyler isn’t sure where boxing and martial arts will ultimately take her, but the plan is to find out and enjoy the journey.
“I can work all my life, but I can’t compete all my life,” Tyler said. “I want to compete now, and in five years I’ll grow up.”
Tyler will soon head back to Sydney with a story — and maybe a title as well.
The Championship session begins Saturday at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Silverstein Eye Centers arena box office.