Global Boxing Organization light heavyweight champion Ryan Bourland was given three months to prepare for a Feb. 10 fight against Jose Hernandez at Cache Creek Casino Resort. Nonetheless, the Vallejo boxer says he is up for the task of defending his title.
“We got the notice about two months ago,” he said. “I’ve been at it two months straight.”
Bourland, nicknamed “Rhino,” hosted a Media Day on Saturday where he invited people to watch him train at his Benicia studio for his fight against Hernandez. Bourland runs a business called Team Rhino Boxing, which operates out of the space of Pro-Faction Martial Arts in the Industrial Park, where he provides boxing instruction lessons to youth and adults. When he is not teaching, he is preparing for his own fights, where he has maintained a healthy career with the Global Boxing Organization, having only lost one fight out of 14 in the last four years. During this time, he delivered five knockouts.
Bourland, 29, began boxing at the age of 11 after having gotten in trouble in school numerous times.
“My parents thought it would be good for me to get into a boxing gym and get some aggression out,” he said. “I ended up really liking it.”
He took a short break from boxing during his teen years but got back into the ring and has been at it ever since. Bourland enjoys the large amount of effort one has to put in if they want to become a successful fighter.
“You can go as far as you wanna go if you work hard,” he said. “It’s all about as much work as you put in. You can come from nothing and have everything if you put the work in.”
For Bourland, the greatest accomplishment has been coming as far as he has in his career, especially winning the light heavyweight belt. For someone who had difficulty in school in his younger years, he is proud to have become a role model for others.
“I got in a lot of trouble growing up, and now it seems like there’s a lot of kids looking up to me,” he said. “I remember when I was getting in trouble, nobody would be around me. I’m proud to change my direction in life.”
Now Bourland is busy training for his fight against Hernandez, another light heavyweight boxer with a record of 18 wins— nine of them resulting in knockouts—, three losses and one draw. Nonetheless, Bourland says he is ready to take on Hernandez.
“This is my 16th fight,” he said. “It’s a tough opponent, so we were gonna have to cross each other’s paths sooner or later and now is the time. It’s a step up for me, and we’re ready for it.”
Bourland and Hernandez will be sharing a bill with the main fight between Alan Sanchez and Cleotis Pendarvis and four other bouts. The first fight will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Cache Creek Casino Resort, located at 14455 Highway 16 in Brooks. Tickets are priced at $95 and $125, and can be purchased at cachecreek.com/entertainment. This event is for ages 21 and older and will not be televised or streamed. No cameras will be allowed. For more information on Bourland or Team Rhino Boxing, visit rhinoboxing.com.