Rafael Ruelas

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Rafael Ruelas (born April 26, 1971 in Yerbabuena, Jalisco) is a former professional boxer from Mexico, best known for his knockout loss to Oscar de la Hoya.

Shortly after a TKO in 10 over Jorge Páez in 1992, Ruelas earned a shot at IBF Lightweight Title Freddie Pendleton, overcoming an early knockdown and winning by unanimous decision.

Ruelas was only able to successfully defend his title prior to being challenged by the rapidly rising star de la Hoya. De la Hoya defeated Ruelas, knocking him down twice and ending the fight in the 2nd round.

Ruelas never recaptured his lost glory, winning fights over limited competition, including a decision over journeyman Livingstone Bramble, to set up a fight with the hard punching Kostya Tszyu in 1998. Tszyu battered Ruelas and won via TKO 9, and Ruelas's career ended shortly afterward.

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Preceded by
Freddie Pendleton
IBF Lightweight boxing champion
19 February 1994–6 May 1995
Succeeded by
Oscar De La Hoya