Andrés Ponce Ruiz Jr. is an American professional boxer born on September 11, 1989, in California, USA. Ruiz is a former champion of a unified heavyweight who defeated Anthony Joshua and won the WBO, IBF, IBO, and WBA Super titles in 2019. Andy Ruiz Jr. is the first Mexican male boxer who became a heavyweight champion of the world. In June 2021, he ranked 4th best active heavyweight by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, ranked 6th by BoxRec, and 7th by The Ring Magazine. When he was young, baseball was his passion, but he later got into boxing due to his father’s influence.
Ruiz Jr. began his amateur boxing career under the tutelage of Cuban trainer Fernando Ferrer. He boasted a fantastic career record of 105-5 wins-losses, including two Mexican Junior Olympics gold medals and a Ringside World Championships title. Ruiz also participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He represented Mexico and qualified for two tournaments, though Ruiz lost in the first and second qualifiers. He eventually moved on to a professional boxing career, at one point working with Freddie Roach and sparring with former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
He debuted professionally at the age of 19, defeating Miguel Ramirez in March 2009. Ruiz went on to fight at the same venue three months later, defeating his opponent Ross Brantley via TKO. After taking an eight-month gap, he took another fight against Juan Luis Lopez Alcaraz before debuting in the US on March 12, 2010, defeating Luke Vaughn in one round. He continued his career in the US, eventually moving up ranks, beginning with a fight against Joe Hanks, whom he dominated and defeated in four rounds.
Ruiz has fought many through the years, including Tor Hamer, to whom he defended his WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title and obtained the WBC-NABF heavyweight title. He also fought against former WBO heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich (December 2014), Joell Godfrey (September 2015), veteran Raphael Zumbano Love (October 2015), Ray Austin (May 2016), Josh Gormley (July 2016), and Franklin Lawrence (September 2016). However, his most important fight was for the chance to obtain the WBO heavyweight title, which Tyson Fury vacated. He fought Joseph Parker for the title but was bested via majority decision.
But by 2018 to 2019, Ruiz continued his winning streak against Devin Vargas, Kevin Johnson, and Alexander Dimitrenko. His next fight was against Anthony Joshua for the unified WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. He successfully defeated Joshua via TKO in the seventh round. A rematch between the two was announced in September 2019, which would become Ruiz’s second loss. After losing his world titles, Ruiz’s comeback was against Chris Areola (May 1, 2021), which he won via unanimous decision.
- Total fights: 36
- Wins: 34
- Wins by knockout: 22
- Loses: 2