From the archives: Utah gymnasts use boxing to stay in shape


Wesley Ruff tries his hand at boxing

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The NCAA gymnastics championship was supposed to take place this week, but with no gymnastics going on, we did a deep dive into the tape archives and found a story from 2002 when Wesley Ruff tried boxing against the Utah gymnastics team. It was a knockout.

The Utah gymnastics team is in great shape, and one of the things they used to do to help stay in shape was box. They got hooked on the sport in the offseason and they continued to box during the regular season. They would pair off and one gymnast would throw punches while the other held the pads. They enjoyed it and it was something different than all the gymnastics training.

Wesley was invited to join the team on a Saturday morning. He held the pads for Shannon Bowles, but what he really wanted to do was glove up and throw some punches to see how tough these girls really were. They hooked him up with Theresa Kulikowski, one of the top gymnasts in the country at the time. But when it came to boxing, she was a little timid. She landed a couple of shots, but it wasn’t anything that he couldn’t handle.

His next opponent was Kim Allen, who was not afraid to go after a sportscaster. In fact, it looked like she had been waiting for a moment like this for a long time, because she had some built-up aggression that she was taking out on him. It was somewhere in there that he found out that not only did he have the “eye of the tiger”, but he also had the “jaw of glass”. Kim landed a solid shot that rocked him back on his heels and had him seeing stars and hearing lullabies.

“It really didn’t hurt too much. Probably because I didn’t feel anything for a while afterwards,” Wesley said.

After he picked up his marbles and nursed his bruised ego, he left. He said he would be back and that he wasn’t afraid. But he’s a little afraid, especially of Kim Allen.

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