Feature | Highlight 5 | Issue | Premium | Sep 06 2019

The Other Ruiz

Before Andy Ruiz came John Ruiz, a heavyweight dogged by a bad rep despite an illustrious ring record. Elliot Worsell catches up with the former WBA champion
Andy Ruiz
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

Shhh… Keep it quiet but John Ruiz wasn’t a big fan of boxing when calling it his job and has even less interest in it now he is almost 10 years retired and spends his time working in Florida’s Sheriff’s Department.

True to his ‘Quiet Man’ nickname, Ruiz discusses boxing only when pressed to do so and refuses to bring up the fact he was the former WBA heavyweight champion of the world unless he is recognised by someone aware of that kind of thing. If a big fight is happening, it is usually off his radar, and when friends try cajoling him to watch one, he is usually busy.

roy jones vs John Ruiz
John Ruiz meets Roy Jones at heavyweight Action Images/Reuters/Steve Marcus

“I grew up with the sport,” he told Boxing News. “It was nonstop. I would eat, sleep and drink boxing. My stepfather was brutal with that even if all I wanted to do was watch cartoons.


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