Andy Ruiz Jr.
A true heavyweight’s improbable triumph
Most modern boxers look like statues of Greek gods—and then there’s Andy Ruiz Jr., said Adam Kilgore in The Washington Post. The roly-poly Ruiz shocked the world earlier this month when he became heavyweight champion, jumping for joy in Madison Square Garden after knocking out the undefeated, chiseled favorite, Anthony Joshua. Ruiz freely concedes he carries “extra flab.” His muscles are undefined and his belly jiggles, making his Cinderella story seem even more improbable. “A lot of people can relate to me,” says Ruiz, 29. “It doesn’t matter how you look, as long as you train hard and that drive is in you to follow your dreams.” At 6-foot-2 and 268 pounds, Ruiz has always been the “chubby, nice kid.” He was bullied growing up in Imperial, Calif., 12 miles from the Mexican border, but earned respect by training as a boxer and qualifying for the Mexican Olympic team in 2008. A last-minute addition to the Joshua fight after the original contender was ousted for a positive drug test, Ruiz is the first-ever Mexican heavyweight champ. He says he now wants to “get in really good shape” and look more like the man he beat. But asked what he’ll stop eating on this new regimen, Ruiz says, “A favorite food? I have too many.” ■