Feature | May 30 2019

Andy Ruiz Jr – The underdog’s tale

Two friends of Andy Ruiz Jr died because of boxing and Anthony Joshua's challenger insists he's willing to do the same
andy ruiz
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

ANDY RUIZ JR is still every inch the underdog he’s always been. You don’t have to squint to imagine him as the chubby yet energetic six-year-old who was bundled off to the boxing gym by his father.

He was boomeranged around the ring for two weeks before he started to find his feet. At the age of seven he had his first amateur fight. Because he weighed significantly more than any kids of the same age, the young Mexican American had to take on a 12-year-old. It was no surprise when he lost.

Twenty-two years later he challenges the unbeaten Anthony Joshua for the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles inside New York’s Madison Square Garden. No one expects him to win this one, either. In fact, the notion that he will is preposterous. That’s the way Ruiz likes it.