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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

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.

“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. “Being so young and force-fed boxing, sooner or later you want to be done. That’s probably why I didn’t watch it.

“People always used to talk to me about fights and who was out there, and I’d just say, ‘Sorry, I really don’t know. I don’t watch boxing.’ The thing is, I do love the sport, and loved being in the sport, but sitting down and watching it was too nerve-wracking for me.”

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About Boxing News

FAST AND FURIOUS – Why Fury needs another quick and impressive win RUIZ-JOSHUA II – The fighters make their early battle cries ahead of rematch EXCLUSIVES WITH – Otto Wallin, Bob Arum, Joseph Parker, John Ruiz MUCH, MUCH MORE – The verdict on KSI-Logan Paul and Dereck Chisora’s antics