caught up with prospect Renan Ruiz (4-1-1) (3 kos) in Brooklyn this week. Ruiz fights this Saturday, 4/18, at the Main Street Armory in Rochester, NY. The 5’6″ super-welterweight southpaw will go toe-to-toe with Brian Goldsby (2-1) in a 6 round fight.

You have a fight coming up Saturday in Rochester. Tell us about your training camp regimen and mindset going into that bout.

This is probably the best training camp I ever had. I’ve had many changes including my head trainer and assistant trainer. l am still the same cut person and it has simply just been a different mindset.

I am very comfortable and relaxed going into this fight. I got great work with great fighters and had a much stricter regimen than I usually would since the change.

What do you know about your opponent?

My opponent is very well conditioned and is a current MMA world champion with about 40 professional fights in that field. He is also 2-1 in boxing. I have my work cut out for me April 18th…although this is boxing and not MMA, he has been fighting as a professional for a very long time, so it’s nothing new to him.

What’s the single word you’d use to describe your mindset as you’re walking to the ring for a big fight?

“Fearless” would have to be the word.

It takes a lot out of a person to do what fighters do, and fear is definitely not an option. I like to embrace the pressure as I walk to the ring and use it to my advantage.

You recently signed a promotional contract. Tell us about that and your plan for the next year of your pro career.

Thanks to my manager, Bryant Pappas I was able to sign a contract with Pretty Girl Promotions and Mercedes Vazquez. They have been nothing but a great asset to my career and I look forward to what the future has in store for me and my team.

Right now my main focus is on coming back strong Saturday night so I can keep developing my career. I’m looking for bigger and better fights within the next year while I’m I’m young. I don’t want to be one of those fighters looking for their first shot in their late 30s.

Tell us about your upbringing and how you got into boxing.

I’ve been in boxing since I was 7 years old. In my hometown in Puerto Rico, boxing is part of the culture–not just a sport or hobby. So since I was a kid that was one of the things I always wanted to do.

How long did you spend in the amateurs, and what were the key lessons and skills you took away?

I was an amateur all the way up until my 20th birthday. I was 41-3, but after losing my last national tournament, I decided the 3 round amateur style was no longer for me. The best thing I probably took away from the amateurs was probably the experience from other professional fighters in the gym and all the different styles that now help me adjust in the ring.

How would you characterize your fighting style?

I would have to say boxer/puncher. I might be able to box at times and look good defensively but once I warm up, it’s no secret I like to stay in the pocket and trade punches on the inside. I believe every fight should end in a KO or a beating. I don’t believe in “playing it safe.”

Grim Reaper is a pretty bad ass name. How’d you get it?

Like many other nicknames and trust me–the Iist goes on–I got it while boxing in the amateurs and I liked it so I decided to stick with it as my fighting name.

What’s the most challenging moment you’ve faced in boxing?

The most challenging by far has been coming back from my setbacks mentally. After so much work put in, it really hurts to come up short, and let your team and people down even after a draw. I learned a lot from my setbacks and I learned who’s really there for me and who’s not. I think these experiences are gonna help me a lot in the future and later stages of my career.

Mayweather or Pacquiao?

Just like anybody else, I think Pacman has a chance–maybe a better chance than all the other recent opponents. But I think most likely Mayweather will win a decision if he is his usual self. I think he knows what’s in front of him and he will be ready for the threat Pacman can be.