Champion boxer Ricky Quiles spoke to members of the Boxing Club on Monday about the positive impact boxing has had on his life. Quiles shared about his successes over his personal struggles with abusive parents and substance addiction.
Club president Charles Connon ’18, who has been training with Quiles for 10 years, said he invited Quiles to campus in the hopes that Quiles’ story would inspire others.
“He’s done a lot in his life, and he’s faced a lot of challenges,” Connon said. “The way that he overcomes all of his setbacks no matter what they are is very inspiring. I think if more students heard his story, it would really help them out.”
Quiles described growing up as the oldest sibling in a household with absent and abusive parents. He said that the conflict at home affected his schoolwork and self-confidence, which eventually led him to drug and alcohol abuse.
“I always felt very shameful about it–shameful about my father, shameful that my mother and father didn’t come to my school activities and never participated in my life,” Quiles said. “I was finding [within] myself a lack of love, a lack of attention.”
However, Quiles explained that his talent for boxing provided a respite from his problems.
“Boxing saved my life,” Quiles said. “Boxing saved my life. It gave me the opportunity to train and gave me a focus and made me feel some self-worth, some love.”
Audience members said Quiles’ story encouraged them to work towards overcoming their own problems.
“It was really like a rags-to-riches sort of situation,” club treasurer Trevor Le ’19 said. “It was also very inspiring, and he was really humble, which I admired a lot.”
Connon said that he hopes to bring Quiles back on campus in the future to speak to a larger audience.