Local boxer says he's a "Dreamer" in more ways than one

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Ricardo Lucio-Galvan is a constant fixture at Elite Boxing in Reno, where he's been training for his first professional fight. But he also spends a lot of his time at the University of Nevada, where as a sophomore, he is working on getting a degree in Business Administration.

"I want to put up some businesses locally and eventually one day put up my own gym. Help the younger generations," says Lucio-Galvan.

The 20-year-old wants to be a mentor to young people, just like others were to him when he was a kid. A decade ago, he showed up at the Boys and Girls Club on East Ninth Street and had no idea how his life would be changed.

"I was 10 years old, and I was playing soccer and other guys would push me around and kick me and I wasn't doing anything back to defend myself. My dad told me 'I'm only going to put you in boxing for three months so you can learn how to defend yourself.' In those three months, I had my first amateur fight, I won. I won my first little trophy and I just fell in love with boxing," says Lucio-Galvan.

Terri Strickland used to run the club and has watched Ricardo grow up.

"He wanted to be a better person and he is," says Strickland. "And that's why his family brought him here."

Lucio-Galvan was born in Mexico. He came over when he was seven months old and is now protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The Trump Administration recently said it wants to end the program, making its future -- and Lucio-Galvan's-- uncertain. The boxer is now fighting to show that dreamers have an important place in this country.

"We're regular human beings trying to do good things trying to benefit the US. We're dreamers just trying to succeed," he says.

Now with his boxing debut happening in his hometown, he will have the support he has grown up with right there.

"He is a great role model," says Strickland. "He has got the biggest heart. He's got everything behind him that he needs to succeed and this is just another step for him.

Ricardo Lucio-Galvan will make his professional boxing debut Friday night, November 17, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.