Heavyweight Champ Andy Ruiz Jr. Was Fighting Kids Nearly Twice His Age At 7-yrs Old
Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. stunned the world on Saturday with his seventh-round TKO against British bruiser Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz Jr.'s shot at the title came on short notice, stepping in just a few weeks before the fight to replace Jarrell Miller, Joshua's scheduled opponent who failed three drug tests before the bout.
Looking at Ruiz Jr. and Joshua next to each other, it's easy to see why Joshua was the heavy favorite, but Ruiz Jr.'s quick hands and beautiful combinations proved enough to take down the British superstar and become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
For Ruiz Jr., winning unlikely fights is nothing new. As he said on an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Tuesday night, Ruiz Jr. has been fighting as an underdog since he started boxing as a child.
"I was six years old when I first went into a gym," Ruiz Jr. told Kimmel. "At my first amateur fight, I was seven years old. My dad took me to go fight San Diego. I was this big, heavy kid — nobody was at my weight at that age, so I had to fight 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds when I was seven years old. And what do you know, I was beating them."
"That had to make them think twice about a future in boxing, right?" Kimmel joked. "Getting beaten by a seven-year-old."
Ruiz Jr. went on to explain that his win was a family affair, with his family members making nearly $10,000 after betting big on him to win as a heavy underdog.