By  José Alberto Gaytán García

Andrés Ponce Ruiz Jr. was born on September 11, 1989 in Imperial Valley, California.  He is 29 years old, his family is originally from Mexicali, a city located on the northern border with the United States; the word Mexicali comes from the union of the names of Mexico and California.

Andy Ruiz grew up in the dangerous environment of the border neighborhoods and, together with his family fought as a child to survive on the “other side”. Being the son of Mexican parents, Andy, like thousands of young people of his immigration status, has dual citizenship, American and Mexican.

At age seven, Andy Ruiz became a street boxer. As he was a large and overweight child, he faced rivals twelve years or older, thus began his sports career, facing older rivals and enduring teasing due to his physical condition. He later became an amateur boxer.   Before becoming a professional, he participated in the qualifiers to represent Mexico in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Since the time of street fighter, his father Andy Ruiz Senior has fought alongside his son to overcome all kinds of adversities. For example, to prevent Andy from getting involved in the world of gangs, he showed him videos of the movie “Rocky” by Silvester Stallone. On many occasions he would yell at him:“ Please do your best Andy,  and remember, one day you will be the world champion like Rocky, but you will be the Mexican Rocky.

On June 1, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York, Andy Ruiz received an incredible opportunity to face the undefeated world champion, Englishman Anthony Joshua, since  a month before the fight, the official challenger Jarrel Miller was suspended for having three positive drug tests. The number two Challenger did not accept to fight for lack of time to prepare and not being able to agree with the Cuban, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz,  option three, the organizers of the fight had no choice but to give the opportunity to the Mexican.

The physical appearance of the challenger was cause for hurtful teasing on social networks, especially in England. The teasing gained strength when they compared the physical appearance of the challenger with the English champion, “a good-looking bodybuilder, two meters high and opposite of the challenger.”  and worse offenses such as: “Who are ya? You fat bastard.

In Mexico they also criticized him by pointing out that he was not at the level of the world champion and that he was not Mexican. However, Andy responded to those criticisms by clarifying “… I am Mexican, although I do not speak much Spanish nor am I there, Mexico is in my blood, in my DNA and the DNA of my children “, adding that is why he tattooed the phrase” Made in Mexico ” on his right arm. 

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José Alberto Gaytan
José Alberto Gaytan
José Alberto Gaytán García ha escrito artículos y ensayos de corte académico en diarios y revistas de México y de los Estados Unidos; ha participado en importantes proyectos académicos e impartido conferencias sobre temas de historia, tecnología y educación en el marco de las relaciones entre México y los Estados Unidos, tema en el cual realizó sus estudios de doctorado en The Graduate School of Internacional Studies de la Universidad de Miami.

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