Andy Ruiz Jr.
Andrés Ponce Ruiz Jr. (born September 11, 1989), also known as Andy Ruiz Jr., is a Mexican-American professional boxer. In June 2019 he scored a major upset by defeating Anthony Joshua to win the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. In doing so, Ruiz became the first boxer of Mexican heritage to become a world heavyweight champion.
|Andy Ruiz Jr.|
|Real name||Andrés Ponce Ruiz Jr.|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Reach||74 in (188 cm)|
|Born||September 11, 1989|
Imperial, California, U.S.
|Wins by KO||22|
Ruiz was born in Imperial, California; his parents had immigrated to the US from Mexico. His father is a former construction worker who started his own business flipping houses. Ruiz had a passion for baseball before his father got him into boxing; he has noted that his first fight was at age seven in San Diego. Ruiz later worked for his father in construction for a time before deciding to become a full-time boxer and starting his amateur career in Mexico. His grandfather owned a boxing gym in Mexicali that was used by featherweight champion Jorge Páez. Ruiz has explained that his nickname, 'Destroyer', was acquired before he started boxing, because as a child, "I was always destroying stuff."
During his amateur career, Ruiz boxed to a 105–5 record under Cuban trainer Fernando Ferrer. His 105 wins include two Mexican National Junior Olympics gold medals and a title at the Ringside World Championships. Ruiz also represented Mexico in two 2008 Beijing Olympic Games qualification tournaments, losing to eventual Olympians Robert Alfonso of Cuba and Oscar Rivas of Colombia in the first and second qualifiers. Ruiz's parents were born in Mexico, making Ruiz eligible to represent Mexico.[a]
World Championships results
Pre-Olympic Tournament results
Mexican National Championships results
USA vs Mexico results
American Olympic Qualifications results
American Olympic Qualifications results
Ruiz had Freddie Roach in his corner and at the Wild Card Gym and sparred with former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Ruiz fought largely journeymen opposition earlier in his career but did knock out two amateur stars in 2006 US amateur champion Jonte Willis and 2008 Golden Gloves champion Tor Hamer.
A 19-year-old Ruiz made his professional debut on March 28, 2009, at the Plaza de Toros in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, in a four-round bout against Miguel Ramirez. Ruiz won the fight via a first-round KO. Ruiz fought again after three months at the same venue, this time knocking Ross Brantley down three times in round 1, winning the bout via TKO. Ruiz took an eight-month gap before he returned to the ring in February 2010, winning a four-round unanimous decision against Juan Luis Lopez Alcaraz. A month later, Ruiz made his American debut at the Gaylord Hotel in Texas, knocking out Luke Vaughn in round 1. Ruiz had his next three fights of 2010 also in the US, defeating Miles Kelly via knockout, Raymond Lopez via unanimous decision and Francisco Diaz via knockout. On February 5, 2011, Ruiz knocked out Kelsey Arnold in the third round and in the same month defeated Alvaro Morales via unanimous decision 59–55, 59–55, and 60–54. In April 2011, Ruiz defeated Angel Herrera via a six-round unanimous decision. In July, Ruiz fought at the Texas Station Casino, Las Vegas, defeating Villi Bloomfield via fourth-round TKO. He returned to the Casino on December 7 and defeated Elijah McCall (11–1–1, 10 KOs), son of former world champion Oliver McCall, by a TKO one second before round 3 ended. Kenny Bayless, the referee, stopped the fight after McCall stopped defending himself. Ruiz's hand speed was showcased in this fight.
On March 23, 2012, Ruiz fought his first eight-round fight, outpointing Homero Fonseca (80–72) on all three judges scorecards. In July, Ruiz fought Jonte Willis (8–3–1, 3 KOs) at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California. Willis entered with a record of 1–3–1 in his previous five fights, including a split decision loss three months prior to Denis Bakhtov (33–7). Ruiz floored Willis in round 5 from a short right hand before referee Wayne Hedgpeth stopped the bout in round 8, after a combination on unanswered punches. This was on the undercard of Donaire vs. Mathebula.
Moving up the ranks
On July 27, 2013 Ruiz traveled to Macau with Top Rank to fight at the Cotai Arena against undefeated 30 year old American Joe Hanks (21-0, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round fight. Ruiz dropped Hanks twice in round 4 with fast right hands, forcing the stoppage. Ruiz claimed the vacant WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title with this win. On November 24, Ruiz fought again the Cotai Arena, this time on the Pacquiao-Rios undercard, successfully defending his WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title and claiming the vacant NABF heavyweight title defeating Tor Hamer (21-2, 14 KOs). The fight was stopped after the third round when Hamer indicated he did not wish to continue. Over the 3 rounds, Ruiz landed 74 of 213 punches landed (35%) and Hamer landed 49 of his 131 thrown (37%) before he quit on his stool. This was the second time Hamer had retired on his stool following his previous loss to Vyacheslav Glazkov in December 2012. His promoter Lou DiBella announced Hamer had been released from his contract.
On December 20, 2014 Ruiz fought former WBO World heavyweight champion, 38 year old Siarhei Liakhovich (26-6, 16 KOs) at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona. Ruiz was taken to the 10 round distance, the first time in his career by Liakhovich, who trained hard for this fight and tried to win. The scorecards read 98–92, 96–94, and 99–91, all in favour of Ruiz who retained his titles. This was the last time Liakhovich fought. Ruiz revealed he fractured his right hand during the second round. In June 2015, Ruiz began training with well-known trainer Abel Sanchez, who's most notable boxer was Gennady Golovkin.
After a 9-month gap, Ruiz returned to the ring on September 2015 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California defeating Joell Godfrey via 8 round unanimous decision, all three judges scored it 80–72. Godfrey was a late replacement for Devin Vargas, who was unable to obtain a license from the California Athletic Commission. A month later, Ruiz fought veteran Raphael Zumbano Love (37-11-1, 30 KOs). Ruiz won on points after 8 rounds.
On May 14, 2016 Ruiz fought 45 year old, former world title challenger Ray Austin (29-6-4, 18 KOs) at the Sportsman's Lodge in California. Austin weighed 18 pounds more than Ruiz at the weight in. This was the first time in 14 professional fights that Ruiz was outweighed by his opponent. This was Ruiz's fourth successful defence of his NABF heavyweight title as Austin was down in round 1, injured his right hand and failed to come out of his corner for round 5. After this bout, Ruiz increased his record to 27 wins in as many fights.
Ruiz next fought on September 10, 2016 returning to the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in California to headline "Solo Boxeo Tecate” (UniMas) against 40 year old Franklin Lawrence (21-2-2, 16 KOs) for the NABF heavyweight title. Lawrence has won his last 9 fights inside the distance dating back to 2009 when he lost to veteran Oliver McCall. His only other loss came in his 5th professional fight against future WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne, which was stopped after Lawrence injured his arm in round 1. Ruiz made a successful 5th defence of his NABF title after 10 one-sided rounds. The judges scored the fight 100–90, 99–91, and 99–91. The win also set up a future WBO eliminator with bout with Hughie Fury.
It was announced after the Lawrence fight that Ruiz would fight Hughie Fury in the UK on October 29 at the Manchester Arena, on the undercard of the cancelled rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko. The winner would be the mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight title. Two weeks later, it was reported that Ruiz had withdrawn because he did not want the fight.
Ruiz vs. Parker
Ruiz was ordered to fight Joseph Parker in New Zealand for the WBO heavyweight title with the fight set to take place on December 10, 2016. This fight came about by Ruiz being one of the two top ranked contenders willing to fight for the vacant title. The title became vacant when former champion Tyson Fury vacated the title.
Discussions and negotiations began after Fury was expected to be stripped of his WBO belt over inactivity and testing positive for cocaine. With his sudden announcement that he would relinquish his various heavyweight world title belts due to his issues with various problems, it was unclear exactly how the WBO and WBA would go about filling the vacancies. But before Fury vacated, Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan announced in early October he had been negotiating an alternative WBO title fight against Ruiz, suggesting he had a chance of reaching a deal with Bob Arum. He pointed out that WBO rules stated that the two best-classified contenders' will challenge for the title. Arum told ESPN.com that he was in talks with the WBO about making it for the vacant title. He also said his experience dealing with Parker and his team has so far been a pleasure.
Ruiz failed to become the first heavyweight of Mexican ancestry to win a world title when Parker won the bout by a majority decision. The judges scored the fight 114–114, 115–113, and 115–113. Ruiz started off well being the aggressor but slowed down during mid rounds, only to take control again during the championship rounds. Both men showed great respect for each other throughout the contest, and Ruiz spoke of his unhappiness. "I think I got the win or at least a draw, I think I set the pace with my jab." Ruiz also stated he would like to have a rematch in the future. CompuBox stats showed that Parker landed 119 of 560 punches thrown (21%) and Ruiz landed 107 of his 416 thrown (26%). On a delayed HBO broadcast, the fight peaked at 585,000 viewers, with an average of 521,000 viewers.
Career from 2018–present
On December 19, 2017 Angel "Memo" Heredia, a well known strength and conditioning trainer, confirmed that he would be working alongside Ruiz. Ruiz was next to make a ring return on February 3, 2018 on the undercard of Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed WBO super middleweight championship title fight at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ruiz did not appear on the card and instead his return was pushed back to take place at the StubHub Center in Carson California on the undercard of Óscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg on March 10. In his absence from the ring, he explained, "I just wanted to take a break. I already have 30 fights. I wanted to be with the family, I started investing my money. I started building houses. But every boxers needs that little break and now I've got to come back harder." American boxer Devin Vargas (20-4, 8 KOs) was confirmed as his opponent in a scheduled 8 round bout. Ruiz knocked Vargas out in round 1. He landed a big right hand to the head of Vargas, dropping him. Referee Thomas Taylor called off the fight. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:38 of round 1. Ruiz showed good power and speed during the short fight. For the bout, Ruiz trained with Manny Robles. Ruiz received a $500,000 purse.
His next fight was scheduled to take place on July 7, 2018 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California against veteran journeyman Kevin Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs). The main goal for this bout was for Ruiz to get in some much needed rounds, having only completed less than a round in over a year. Johnson, who had previously only been stopped twice in his 9 losses, was known for his toughness having taken the likes of Kubrat Pulev, Dereck Chisora, Tyson Fury and Vitali Klitschko, the 12 round distance. Ruiz dominated Johnson over 10 rounds, winning via unanimous decision with the scores of 99–91, 97–93, and 97–93. Johnson did not do much apart from throw a strong jab from time to time. It was Ruiz who was busy and remained in control for majority of the bout. Ruiz admitted it was good to go the distance and called out some of the better heavyweights, namely Jarrell Miller.
Ruiz vs. Dimitrenko
On January 11, 2019, it was reported that Ruiz had signed a deal with powerful advisor Al Haymon, and would now be part of the Premier Boxing Champions stable, with his fights being aired on Showtime and FOX. It was said that Ruiz had bought out the remainder of his Top Rank promotional contract. On March 7, Ruiz's PBC debut was announced to take place on the Danny García vs. Adrián Granados undercard on April 20 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California against 36 year old German boxer Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 KOs) in a 10 round bout. The fight was televised on FOX and FOX Deportes. For the fight, Ruiz weighed 262 pounds and Dimitrenko came it at 259 pounds. Ruiz was guaranteed a $200,000 purse, whilst Dimitrenko was guaranteed $75,000. Using his quick hands and combinations, Ruiz was able to overcome Dimitrenko via TKO in round 5. The bout nearly came to an end in round 4, when Ruiz nearly knocked Dimitrenko down, however Dimitrenko managed to make it to the end of the round. Ruiz landed 68 punches overall, compared to Dimitrenko, who landed 21 punches. For his next fight, Ruiz wanted to fight Adam Kownacki.
Ruiz vs. Joshua
Prior to the Dimitrenko fight, Ruiz put his name forward to replace Jarrell Miller and challenge Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) for the unified WBA (Super)/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight titles on June 1, 2019, after Miller was denied a license by the New York Athletic Commission because he failed three different tests for PEDs. On April 22, Ruiz confirmed his team had a meeting scheduled with promoter Eddie Hearn, officially putting himself in the running. Ruiz became a frontrunner after it was reported Luis Ortiz's team had rejected two offers of career-high purses to fight Joshua. Terms were agreed within a week. On May 1, with one month to go before fight night, Joshua vs. Ruiz was confirmed and announced to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, broadcast exclusively on DAZN in the United States and on PPV Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom.
On June 1, Ruiz defeated Joshua by technical knockout in the seventh round, capturing the unified WBA (Super)/IBF/WBO/IBO titles. At the time of stoppage Ruiz Jr. was leading the fight 57–56 on two scorecards and Joshua was leading 57–56 on the other. It is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|34 fights||33 wins||1 loss|
|34||Win||33–1||Anthony Joshua||TKO||7 (12), 1:33||Jun 1, 2019||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Won WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles|
|33||Win||32–1||Alexander Dimitrenko||RTD||5 (10), 3:00||Apr 20, 2019||Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California, U.S.|
|32||Win||31–1||Kevin Johnson||UD||10||Jul 7, 2018||Save Mart Center, Fresno, California, U.S.|
|31||Win||30–1||Devin Vargas||KO||1 (8), 1:38||Mar 10, 2018||StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S.|
|30||Loss||29–1||Joseph Parker||MD||12||Dec 10, 2016||Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand||For vacant WBO heavyweight title|
|29||Win||29–0||Franklin Lawrence||UD||10||Sep 10, 2016||Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California, U.S.||Retained NABF heavyweight title|
|28||Win||28–0||Josh Gormley||TKO||3 (10), 1:42||Jul 16, 2016||Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|27||Win||27–0||Ray Austin||RTD||4 (8), 3:00||May 14, 2016||Sportsmen's Lodge, Studio City, California, U.S.||Retained NABF heavyweight title|
|26||Win||26–0||Raphael Zumbano Love||UD||8||Oct 24, 2015||CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.|
|25||Win||25–0||Joell Godfrey||UD||8||Sep 26, 2015||Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California, U.S.||Retained NABF heavyweight title|
|24||Win||24–0||Siarhei Liakhovich||UD||10||Dec 20, 2014||Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.||Retained WBO Inter-Continental and NABF heavyweight titles|
|23||Win||23–0||Kenny Lemos||TKO||1 (8), 2:18||Oct 25, 2014||Selland Arena, Fresno, California, U.S.|
|22||Win||22–0||Manuel Quezada||TKO||2 (10), 2:00||May 17, 2014||Selland Arena, Fresno, California, U.S.||Retained WBO Inter-Continental and NABF heavyweight titles|
|21||Win||21–0||Tor Hamer||RTD||3 (10), 3:00||Nov 23, 2013||Cotai Arena, Macau, SAR||Retained WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title;|
Won vacant NABF heavyweight title
|20||Win||20–0||Joe Hanks||TKO||4 (10), 1:41||Jul 27, 2013||Cotai Arena, Macau, SAR||Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|19||Win||19–0||Carl Davis||TKO||1 (8), 0:35||Jun 8, 2013||The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|18||Win||18–0||Matthew Greer||KO||1 (8), 2:53||Mar 16, 2013||Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S.|
|17||Win||17–0||Elijah McCall||TKO||3 (8), 2:59||Dec 7, 2012||Texas Station, North Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|16||Win||16–0||Maurenzo Smith||KO||1 (8), 2:11||Sep 13, 2012||The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|15||Win||15–0||Jonte Willis||TKO||8 (8), 0:54||Jul 7, 2012||Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||Homero Fonseca||UD||8||Mar 23, 2012||Casino Del Sol, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.|
|13||Win||13–0||Theron Johnson||UD||6||Dec 17, 2011||WinStar World Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Ken Frank||TKO||2 (6), 1:53||Sep 17, 2011||BlueWater Resort & Casino, Parker, Arizona, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Villi Bloomfield||TKO||4 (4), 2:04||Jul 15, 2011||Texas Station, North Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Angel Herrera||UD||6||Apr 23, 2011||WinStar World Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Alvaro Morales||UD||6||Feb 26, 2011||Pearl Concert Theater, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Kelsey Arnold||KO||3 (6), 2:19||Feb 5, 2011||Maywood Center, Maywood, California, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Francisco Diaz||KO||2 (4), 1:08||Dec 4, 2010||Honda Center, Anaheim, California, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Raymond Lopez||UD||4||Nov 20, 2010||WinStar World Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Miles Kelly||TKO||1 (4), 1:06||Oct 16, 2010||Silverton Las Vegas, Enterprise, Nevada, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Luke Vaughn||KO||1 (4), 1:55||Mar 12, 2010||Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center, Grapevine, Texas, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Juan Luis Lopez Alcaraz||UD||4||Feb 12, 2010||Gimnasio Municipal, Mexicali, Mexico|
|2||Win||2–0||Ross Brantley||TKO||1 (6), 1:37||Jun 26, 2009||Plaza de toros Calafia, Mexicali, Mexico|
|1||Win||1–0||Miguel Ramirez||KO||1 (4), 0:34||Mar 28, 2009||Bullring by the Sea, Tijuana, Mexico|
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- "DiBella Drops Hamer For Quitting on The Stool, Again". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
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- "Andy Ruiz To Face Liakhovich on December 20 in Phoenix". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Andy Ruiz Tops Siarhei Liakhovich In Lumbering Affair". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Andy Ruiz Fractured Right Hand With Liakhovich". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
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- Songalia, Ryan (June 2, 2019). "Andy Ruiz Proves that Round is also a Shape in Heavyweight Boxing". The Ring. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byTyson Fury
| WBO Inter-Continental
July 27, 2013 – May 2015
Title next held byAndrey Fedosov
Title last held byÉric Molina
| NABF heavyweight champion
Nov 23, 2013 – December 2016
Title next held byÓscar Rivas
|Minor world boxing titles|
| IBO heavyweight champion
June 1, 2019 – present
|Major world boxing titles|
| WBA heavyweight champion
June 1, 2019 – present
| IBF heavyweight champion|
June 1, 2019 – present
| WBO heavyweight champion|
June 1, 2019 – present