Two-time world heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz returned home today to right a wrong, making a donation to replace boxing equipment recently stolen from the South Boston Boxing Club (SBBC).
“The main reason I came here today is my brother (Eddie, a coach at the South Boston Boxing Club) told me what happened at this gym and how everything had been taken,” Ruiz explained why he made the donation and visited the gym. “I also love coming here and every time I have a chance to come to Boston, I try and take advantage. I was taken back by what happened here. I couldn’t understand how anybody could do that to kids. I really can’t put how I felt into words. It’s time to move forward, though. I wanted to do what I could to help the gym and the kids. Hopefully, everything will go back to normal here. They love coming here and, hopefully, I’ll be able to come back, too.
“I remember, as a kid, traveling the world with Team USA Boxing to places like Sweden and Australia. It got me believing that I could do something with my life. I grew-up in the projects and we didn’t have any money. I had so many negative people around me, but I got to see positives by traveling, I hope these kids see the light and know that life isn’t all negative. I hope that they stay positive and good things happen for them. I am happy to make this donation, along with Tony (Cardinale), on behalf of my team. I love boxing like all the kids that come here. You don’t have to become a world champion to enjoy things here. It’s a family and I hope you will accept me as a member of your family.”
Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs), the first and only world heavyweight champion of Latino heritage, drove up from Mohegan Sun, where he is a special guest this week at the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians (“AAPRP”) annual convention and awards night.
SBBC director Tommy Lee, on behalf of the staff and members, thanked Ruiz and took pictures with John and the many young boxers there today. “I want to thank John and Team Ruiz,” Lee said. “I got the call on Labor Day about the gym being broken into and all our new equipment being stolen. I told Eddie (Ruiz) the next night. He didn’t say much but the next night, he told me he spoke to his brother and the champ wanted to donate equipment for the kids. That shows what type of guy John Ruiz is. He’s always had a stellar reputation in New England boxing and he’s known as one of the nicest guys in boxing. John stepped up to replace the equipment. And he did it for these kids.”
Ruiz Encourages Donations
SBBC, located in the Curley Community Center, doesn’t charge membership fees and is open to any kids in Boston. SBBC does have expenses related to the costs associated with traveling teams competing in various amateur boxing tournaments (hotels, food, gas, etc.). Ruiz is encouraging others to send donations for SBBC to: Bank of American, C/O South Boston Boxing Club, 460 West Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127. For more information about SBBC call 617.549.3380 or 617.635.5104.
Ruiz’ manager and legal advisor, Tony Cardinale, also made a donation towards the cost of the new equipment. “We wanted to do something to help as soon as we heard what had happened,” Tony remarked. “John came from the same background as this. We are here to support the gym and kids. When you go up those three steps and into the ring, it says a lot about that person. We hope it helps keep this program going. I also want to thank John Brown and Ringside. He’s a big supporter of amateur boxing. He and his company gave us this equipment for cost, which means we got double for the money.”
Raised in Chelsea (MA), which borders Boston, Ruiz signed autographs, posed for pictures and went through a workout in front of a bunch of happy SBBC boxers. Scheduled to fight November 7 in Germany on the Nicolai Valuev-David Haye WBA heavyweight championship match, as the WBA mandatory challenger, John will fight the Valuev-Haye winner early next year for the WBA crown.
Go on line to www.johnthequietmanruiz.com for more information about John Ruiz.