Rubio, a freshman at Cleveland High School, defeated Nakil Harmon by decision in the “Swinging in September” boxing event sponsored by the Pearl Boxing Club on Sept. 8 at Pearl High School in Pearl.
The win pushed Rubio’s overall record to 9-1. Rubio, at 114 pounds, earned “Outstanding Boxer” of the evening.
The three round fight was a tough one as Harmon had a height and reach advantage on Rubio. Rubio used his quickness and was able to duck under Harmon’s arms and attack the body. Harmon tried to wrap him up several times during the fight, but Rubio’s relentless attack had Harmon hitting the mat twice. The fight was also named “Fight of the Night.”
Rubio trains and competes with the Pearl Boxing Club.
Pearl Boxing Club head coach Bombay Higginbottom said Rubio has plenty of potential that has gotten noticed by everyone that has watched him fight.
“I believe that J.J. is going to be one of the best boxers that has come along in a while,” Higginbottom said. “He’s a determined boxer, and he wants it for himself. He’s not being forced to do this. Nobody is pulling his coat collar except for the fans. Every time they see him fight, everybody has fallen in love with him. A lot of people are asking when is J.J. fighting again. He is starting to get a nice little fan base.”
Higginbottom said Rubio’s training and toughness has been his keys to success in his young boxing career.
“He puts a lot of pressure on his opponents which has made him win a lot of fights,” Higginbottom said. “He comes down here two to three times a week, and he’s really progressed well because he’s trained on his own without anybody pushing him.
“He’s got determination,” Higginbottom continued. “He might lose the first round, but we’ll go out and talk to him in the corner. Then, he’ll go out and stop the guy. He normally starts off slow but by the second and third rounds his conditioning kicks in.”
According to Higginbottom, Rubio has his sights set on accomplishing some great things in boxing.
“Our goal in four years is to make the 2016 Olympics, and he’s on the right path,” Higginbottom added.
Rubio's next fight is scheduled to be in Baker, La. on Sept. 29.