Ronald “The Thrill” Gavril, Floyd Mayweather poulain…
22 fights, 19 wins of which 15 were by knock out.
According to me, Ronald Gavril is only a few months away from his ultimate title: World Champion in boxing. The date is set, the training is in motion and he is definitely ready for it. When Ronald was only 15 and an amateur boxer in his hometown, Bacau Romania, he knocked his neighbor out for the count. He immediately knew what he wanted, a boxing career and to make it to the top!
With heros like Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and of course Mohammed Ali, he had a clear vision, but how could he do that from a God-forsaken village in the middle of Eastern Europe that at the time still suffered from the after-effects of communism. Not to mention, there were no professional boxing rings available and certainly no professional trainers like there are here in America. Dreaming of America and living in the USA was part of his plan to success, another ‘goal to achieve’.
Bacau, where Ronald was born, is a small village on the westside of Romania. Some say it is the one European country with the most beautiful women in the world. During the second World War, Romania was partly occupied by the Germans, who found the headquarters of the Romanian army on their path. I have been there four times, believe me, Romania is a beautiful country, and I can’t wait to go back to visit.
Growing up in a country that has the sour aftertaste of communism is not easy as a young teenager with a dream to become number 1 in the world. But step by step, in an amazing time span of only 8 years, he made it possible.
Ronald wants to be an example for youth. He realizes where he has been and where he came from in the past to get to this point and uses that experience to influence other young people.
His father still lives in Romania, and he tells me that his father is proud. They call regularly and he misses having a father figure in his life here in Las Vegas, especially at moments of success. He also misses him when things do not go well and he misses the typical hug. The distance between Romania and Las Vegas is huge. Mama Gavril now lives in Los Angeles and is a regular special guest during his fights.
Many young people, especially in his homeland, also dream of America and look at the success of Gavril. I can imagine how young people in his home country have posters hanging on their walls and watch YouTube videos continuously to see Ronald at work. He plays his role of sports ambassador well: friendly, modest, proud, and above all honorable to his compatriots.
Due to his perseverance, he has given young boys a reason to dream. He has already made a difference as a sportsman and media figure.
“I have a massive fanbase back home and I know what it means. Back in the days, I did not really had a local example. Knowing that I live that dream as well and that I can make the difference for a young man that would love to walk in my shoes. No doubt about it, I would love to play that role and be an example. Imagine the next world champion in 15-20 years, talking about me being his role model. That would be cool to read when I am older’.
In 2011, he officially became a pro boxer and moved to LA via a Romanian acquaintance to be left literally to his fate exactly one year later. In May 2012, his then manager suddenly did not pay his rent any more. At that moment he had two choices, back home or …. grab the cow by the horns, fix it and do not give up. Happiness by accident they say. His good friend, Chris Ganescu, saw the talent, believed like no other in Gavril and immediately relocated him with a one-way ticket straight to Las Vegas. Home of future boxing legends.
Floyd Mayweather became the champion in the MGM hotel in Las Vegas after his fight with Canelo Alvarez. He saw the skills of Gavril during a local fight weeks later and signed him immediately under Mayweather Productions in March 2013. Since Mayweather took him under his wings, everything gained momentum for Ronald and lead to unimaginable results. One victory after another became the trend. Ronald must – and will become World Champion! It’s just a matter of time when the next knockout will happen!
The support of Mayweather, the popularity of the friendly man and the boundless flow of support makes Ronald a full-fledged professional. He can focus on training and working towards the ultimate goal, the title!
We meet up today in the idyllic Tivoli Village Shopping center, a half hour drive from Las Vegas. I called my good friend and fellow chef Jay Bogsinske and asked him to help me cook Ronald’s favorite cheat meal tonight, Risotto with Swordfish and fresh Crab.
You will find this recipe later in my cookbook. The Hamptons is by far my favorite restaurant here in Las Vegas and Jay plays the role of host like no one else. I will always be thankful that Jay helped me out to cook this meal. Jay is called “one of the best” for a reason. Even though he calls me his culinary hero and the brother he never had, I consider him to be one of my role models.
Hamptons Restaurant and her six employees came to the rescue and became the ultimate tool for me to put my cooking interview with Ronald into motion. It is not every day that the next world champion of boxing walks into a restaurant and helps stir the pots. We welcome Ronald and his beautiful girlfriend, Elena, in the magnificent kitchen of the Hamptons where Jay and I almost immediately tie him an apron and put him to work.
The fans start to gather around the kitchen and soon come to take a look through the crack of the kitchen door. He is famous, that’s for sure.
I calmly let Jay and Ronald work on cooking the risotto. Jay teaches Ronald the techniques to grill swordfish and to pour it over with butter with a soup spoon, that way your fish does not dry out. Good to know.
I talk to Elena, his driving force. This 24/7supportive girl is in love with Ronald. Beautiful to see that. She really “cares” for him and I quickly get in a conversation with her about their eating habits, the strict diet and her daily life with Ronald. I immediately see the connection with the familiar quote: “Next to every successful businessman stands a strong woman”. Living the dream for him… In this case a world famous top athlete with a handsome lady next to him that really cares. It doesn’t get any better than that and in my humble opinion, that is what dreams are made off.
Elena makes breakfast for Ronald every morning which consists of organic products. Lunch and dinner are also super healthy and they stick to organic ingredients. Born and raised in Romania means that fast food is virtually non-existent. They had to live off the land, literally. Healthy diets from the day you were born.
A culinary day at the Gavril home:
Breakfast: 5 soup spoons organic gluten free oatmeal with chia seeds (no gmo)
Hot water and an orange
Lunch: six egg whites omelete plus an avocado
Dinner: chicken, fish or turkey with vegetables
Today the cheatmeal is the risotto seafood
If you can ever say thank you to three people in your life
Who is it and why?
# 1 Chris, my manager, is my best friend. For all he has done to get me to this point.
I would love to dedicate my world title boxing one day to him
# 2 Floyd: I dedicate every win I had and will have for the rest of my life because he changed my life. Without Floyd Mayweather as my partner I wouldn’t be here today talking to you Bart.
# 3 Elena: ha, the love of my life man… I would love to call her my wife one day because she keeps me alive and pushes me everyday. I would like to give her 3 babies and if possible, if you could cook on my wedding day and bring Jay to help you out, that would make her soo happy, and seeing her happy makes me happy .
Family: 3 brothers and 1 sister
Home: beautiful appartment here in Las Vegas
Pets: Elena, I like to cuddle her so she is my puppy
Car: VW Touareg
Value: $ 60,000
Hobbies: ping pong, tennis and horseback riding
Favorite song: Michael Jackson – Billy Jean because she is not my love, my love is Elena
Goal: build a house in my hometown Bacua in Romania and build an organic farm with animals and call it my home one day, to relax, raise our children and simply enjoy my family. That would be the perfect place for me to house my trophies
Next week I go on a road trip with Cassie Self and we will cook with actor Lee Montgomery.
Translation: Cassie Haley Self