Pushing “Keys to Success” Freeway Rick Ross Sets His Sight on the Sweet Science
January 11, 2022
Anthony Saldana (139 articles)
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Pushing “Keys to Success” Freeway Rick Ross Sets His Sight on the Sweet Science

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Ricky Donnell Ross AKA “Freeway Rick Ross” was born on January 26th, 1960 just outside of Tyler Texas, and as a young child in the south,  Ricky witnessed racism and segregation first hand. “As a kid man I seen blacks only and whites only restrooms, I seen blacks only and whites only restaurants and segregated schools, I felt what is like to be different early on in my life” stated Ross in a recent interview with Supreme Boxing. It was in 1964 that in search of a better life for her two boys that his mother Annie Mae Mauldin would move them to South Central Los Angeles. Growing up Ross would quickly lose respect for the police “I watched the cops come in to the hood and harass people, I watched them break my brothers nose, he was my older brother and really wanted the best for me.” Stated Ross. Looking for a way out of the ghetto at the age of 12 Ricky would begin to play tennis. When this writer asked Ricky why tennis? He stated “I was too small for basketball and football so I went with tennis, I was pretty good, I played everyday at Manchester Park, and was able to stay away from the gangs.” Ross would eventually use his aunt’s address to enroll at Dorsey High School, where he became one of the best tennis players on a team that was ranked #1 in the country. Then came his a senior year and what should of been the best year of his life, but that was one of the worst years. A year that would not only change Ricky’s life but change society as we knew it. Ricky was in line for a tennis scholarship, but when it was discovered he couldn’t read or write, that opportunity disappeared. “I never learned how to read or write, so that killed the opportunity of me going to college to play tennis. I’m back in South Central, I’m 18 years old and I found myself not knowing what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.” 

Ross would eventually turn to selling Cocaine. In 1979 Ricky purchased $125 worth of coke and would sell $50 bags here and there. Those small quantities and the days of making $300 a day would turn into making 3 million dollars a day as Ricky’s life took a big turn when he was introduced to Oscar Danilo Blandón. Blandón offered Ross an incredible deal on cocaine. Blandón allegedly had a connection to the legendary Nicaraguan cartel boss Norwin Meneses and could offer Ross an amazing price on wholesale quantities of coke. By the time Ross was 20-years old, Ross was living the life of a superstar selling cocaine to the likes of Quincy Jones and Don Cornelius. Ross turned free base cocaine in to “Ready Rock”  which we know as “Crack” and had cook houses throughout Los Angeles and picked up the nickname “Freeway” for the real estate he had purchased along the 110 Freeway. 

On March 2, 1995, Ross was busted by federal agents in a Chevy Blazer packed with 100 kilos of cocaine. His partner and mentor Oscar Danilo Blandón, had become a full-time paid informant for the U.S. government and gave Ross up to the DEA. During his trial evidence was provided that had shown that between 1982 and 1989, Ross bought and sold hundreds metric tons of cocaine. DEA agents and Federal prosecutors would later testify that during his nearly 10 year run, “Freeway” Ricky Ross grossed $900 million. These same agents and lawyers claim that Ross personally profited a minimum of $300 million. After inflation adjusting, Ross grossed the equivalent of $2.5 billion dollars and personally profited $850 million dollars. Ross was convicted to life without the possibility of parole.

Now incarcerated Ross had nothing but time on his hands and would teach himself how to read and write. “I read three books over and over, Malcolm X’s autobiography, “As a Man Thinketh” and “The Richest Man in Babylon.” Malcolm X couldn’t read either when he went to prison. I started to see the similarities in our lives, and I started to think maybe I can do what he did. I took reading really seriously, I started with cue cards, I had less than a first grade reading level. Once I learned to read I started reading law books and would read over 300 book while I was locked up. In all honesty I can say reading saved my life.” Stated Ross who literally read his way to freedom. He entered prison illiterate, but came out educated. Teaching himself how to read, and write helped him research his case, which led him to work on getting his life sentence conviction overturned. Ross discovered his life sentence was handed down under the wrong circumstances, so he ended up being released after 20 years.

The street legend “Freeway” Ricky Ross turned philanthropist now has his eye on the “Sweet Science” and has enter the world of boxing as an adviser. Ross has signed five prize fighters to his company Team Freeway Boxing.  Including undefeated prospects Nafear Charles, VeShawn Champion, Erick Kedar Gianous, and Alvin Varmall Jr., who has one loss, along with former contender Anthony Peterson. After getting a second chance at life, the former drug trafficker, now author of two books, believes he has the right mindset to help young fighters reach their greatest potential in the ring. “I know that with my knowledge and marketing know how, I can be one of the biggest boxing advisors in the next few years.” Stated Ross who went on to say “I’m here to make sure boxers are treated properly, to give some of these fighters, no matter their record a second chance. Of course we’re going to be selective and bring in quality fighters with the long term goal of signing at least one fighter a month. Keeping our fighters fighting and getting them the shot the deserve. My life mission now is to be the best person I can be every day by giving back to society, for the second chance society gave me, Like everyone in boxing, working with world champs, top contenders, and blue-chip prospects is everyone’s game plan, and that’s great, as that is my goal too, but I also want to help the fighter that may have lost a fight and his promoter or manager kicked him to the curb. I know that if a good fighter that is a quality person gets kicked to the curb after a loss, I should be their first phone call.”

One fighter to keep your eyes locked on is the veteran Anthony Peterson (38-1-1) the 36-year olds Petersons only loss came eleven years ago by disqualification to Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. Although Peterson has been very inactive only fighting four times since 2015 with the help of Ross, Peterson looks to fast track his way into championship contention. “I’m hungry to show the world that I’m worthy of a big fight,” said Peterson. “I’m very grateful to Freeway Rick for helping me get back in the game. He’s given me great words of encouragement and I’m going to show him I still got a lot of fight left in me.” 

Anthony Peterson (38-1-1) looks to rejuvenate his career with the help of Ricky Ross

Ross has always been a boxing fan and in fact was picked up by Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he was released. Ross is friends with Tony Tubbs and Henry Tillman and remembers going to fights to watch the likes Duran, Leonard and Spinks. “Why get involved in boxing one might ask, I love the sport, and the respect and admiration I have for fighters is the reason why I like the boxing so much, and why I want to work with fighters,” said “Freeway”, who today is a national motivational speaker. “It takes so much to be a fighter, and even more to be great. I believe my life experience and the wisdom I’ve gained will help these young men become great. Society gave me a second chance and I thank society for that every day by doing little things that no one hears about,” concluded Freeway. “I don’t seek publicity for those things, I just want good results for people I help with those efforts, and that’s what I plan to do with the fighters I sign.”

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Anthony Saldana