John Ruiz

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John Ruiz
John Ruiz.jpg
John Ruiz, holding his WBA Heavyweight Championship belt, on a visit to the White House in 2001
Real name John Ruiz
Nickname(s) "The Quietman"
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Reach 78 in (198 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1972-01-04) January 4, 1972 (age 44)
Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 55
Wins 44
Wins by KO 30
Losses 9
Draws 1
No contests 1
External audio
You may watch John "The Quietman" Ruiz vs Evander Holyfield here

John "The Quietman" Ruiz (born January 4, 1972) is an American former professional boxer of Mexican descent. Ruiz is the first Latino heavyweight champion and former two-time WBA heavyweight champion. After a professional career spanning over 18 years, Ruiz officially announced his retirement from the sport at a press conference on April 26, 2010.[1] His final fight was a title shot against the then WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, in which Ruiz was defeated by TKO in round 9.

Ruiz has defeated three world champions in Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman, and Tony Tucker, as well as top contenders such as Andrew Golota, Fres Oquendo, Jameel McCline, and Kirk Johnson.

He had lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, before ultimately returning to his roots in Massachusetts.

Professional career[edit]

His professional record is 44–9–1–1, with 30 knockouts. Frustrated by years of criticism from the boxing press and fans, he retired upon his second loss of the WBA title on April 30, 2005 (to James "Lights-Out" Toney). Ruiz un-retired in 10 days, after finding out that James Toney had tested positive for anabolic steroids. The official outcome, a unanimous-decision defeat, was changed to a no-contest; the WBA ordered that Ruiz retain the title. Ruiz then filed a lawsuit against Toney, claiming that he had damaged Ruiz's boxing career (due to Toney's use of illegal steroids before their bout).

On December 17, 2005, he lost his title for the third time — in controversial fashion, — to Nikolai Valuev. Ruiz lost a rematch for the vacant WBA Heavyweight title with Valuev on August 30, 2008, once again in controversial fashion.

First reign as WBA champion[edit]

After Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield for the Undisputed (WBC + IBF + WBA) World heavyweight championship in late 1999, the WBA mysteriously ordered Lewis to defend the title against obscure Don King fighter Ruiz, their #1-ranked contender, but Lewis refused. Though he had been undefeated since a loss against David Tua in 1996, the level of competition Ruiz had been facing was suspect and the only name he had beaten (to date) was a nearly 40-year-old Tony Tucker.

Ruiz and his management sued, claiming that WBA rules entitled him to a title shot. A judge agreed, but rather than face Ruiz in a bout that was seen as commercially unattractive, Lewis instead fought Michael Grant, considered to be a very worthy contender at the time, having knocked out a series of recognized "name" opponents on HBO. After learning of this, the judge decreed that upon entering the ring against Grant on April 29, 2000, Lewis would automatically forfeit the WBA title.

Ruiz fought former champion Holyfield to fill the vacancy on August 12, 2000, losing by unanimous decision (this result made Holyfield the first to win a world heavyweight title on four separate occasions). Many observers and boxing reporters felt that the underdog Ruiz had done enough to win.

Due to this controversial decision, the WBA ordered an immediate rematch in early 2001, and Ruiz won the WBA title. Some critics still believe the decision controversial (Ruiz was on the ground for a few minutes after Holyfield appeared to deliver a low punch to the groin). Footage following the match showed that the punch may have been legal, but it wasn't disputed.

Ruiz defended the title twice: a controversial draw in a third match against Holyfield where the press believed Holyfield to have won, and a disqualification victory against Kirk Johnson where the Canadian contender was disqualified for repeated low blows in the tenth round. Ruiz was accused in both the second Holyfield fight and the Johnson fight of faking low blows that actually seemed to be closer to his beltline than his groin (although Johnson was shown on replays to hit Ruiz below the belt several times).

On March 1, 2003, Ruiz was contracted to fight Roy Jones, Jr., who at the time was The Ring light heavyweight champion. If Jones was to beat Ruiz in the fight, he would join Bob Fitzsimmons, Michael Spinks, and Michael Moorer as the only three fighters to win titles at light heavyweight and heavyweight as well as becoming the second fighter (Fitzsimmons being the first) to win titles at both middleweight and heavyweight. Ruiz, who said referee Jay Nady "wouldn't let me fight my fight", lost a unanimous decision to Jones and moved back into the WBA's contender pool.

Second reign as WBA champion[edit]

Ruiz, however, would receive another shot before 2003 was out. As champion Jones was required to face the WBA's number one contender, former WBO champion Vitali Klitschko. Neither the Jones nor the Klitschko camps were able to agree to a fight by an imposed deadline, so Jones became a champion-in-recess. Klitschko, however, did not want to fight the #2 contender, former WBC, IBF, and lineal champion Hasim Rahman, for the interim championship. After David Tua, the #3 contender, also turned down the fight against Rahman, Ruiz, the #5 contender and the only one interested in the fight, decided to accept. He fought Rahman on December 13, 2003, and with a unanimous decision victory became the WBA's interim champion. When Jones announced on February 24, 2004, that he would return to competing in the light heavyweight division, the WBA took the interim tag off Ruiz, and he became an official two-time WBA heavyweight champion.

On April 17, 2004, Ruiz fought the first defense of his second world title. He retained it with an eleventh-round technical knockout of Fres Oquendo at Madison Square Garden. This fight was historic in that it was the first time two Hispanics/Latinos faced each other for a version of world heavyweight title.

On November 13 of that same year, Ruiz retained the belt with a controversial unanimous decision over Polish-American[2] Andrzej Gołota (a.k.a., "Andrew" Golota) – among other things he suffered two knockdowns and a one-point deduction by referee Randy Neumann.

On April 30, 2005, Ruiz lost the title to James "Lights Out" Toney in Madison Square Garden by unanimous decision, marking the second time that Ruiz had lost to a former middleweight champion. However, after Toney failed the post-match drug test (for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid), the New York Athletic Commission suspended him from boxing in the United States for 90 days, and fined him $10,000 (U.S.). The WBA banned the aging (then 36 years old) Toney from fighting for its heavyweight title for the next two years. This resulted in Toney's win being changed to a "no contest" — basically, a nullification. Ruiz came out of retirement before it was found out that Toney would be suspended and he would be reinstated as champion.

Controversial loss to Valuev[edit]

On December 17, 2005, Ruiz lost the WBA Championship in Berlin to 7 ft. tall, 324-lb. Russian Nikolai Valuev. The official outcome was a majority decision (scored 114-116, 113-116, and 114-114), but it was also a controversial one. Ruiz was convinced that his jab / combination-punch technique had given him a clear victory. He demanded that his promoter, Don King, set up an immediate re-match with the now-first-ever Russian world heavyweight champion. Ruiz's long-time manager, Norman Stone, declared that they would also formally petition the WBA: after all, the 10,000 German spectators booed when the decision was announced. Ruiz's camp claimed that the Germans booed because they too felt that the outcome was unjust. Wilfried Sauerland, the manager who rescued Valuev's career from obscurity two years earlier, angrily countered that the fans had booed because Stone's in-ring behavior had agitated them.[3]

In September 2006 Ruiz announced that he would be managed by Sauerland. His former manager Norman Stone retired on December 22, 2005, stating that the decision in the loss to Valuev was the last straw, and he would continue to support Ruiz from retirement.[4]

The road back[edit]

After the loss Don King announced his intention to still promote Ruiz. King had become aware of Ruiz after his KO win over the former IBF title holder Tony Tucker in 1998.[5] Ruiz followed up the loss to Valuev with a fight against up-and-coming contender Ruslan Chagaev. In a close fight, Chagaev prevailed, taking a split decision with scores of 117-111 and 116-112 for Chagaev, and 115-114 for Ruiz. Chagaev became the mandatory challenger for a shot at Valuev, whom he defeated on April 14, 2007, to claim the WBA heavyweight championship.

Another comeback[edit]

Ruiz faced Otis Tisdale on October 13, 2007, and ended the fight with a TKO victory in the 2nd round as referee Pete Podgorski called a halt to the bout as Tisdale went down for the third time. The bout was scheduled for 10 rounds. On March 8, 2008, Ruiz won a 12-round unanimous decision over Jameel McCline in Mexico.

Valuev-Ruiz II[edit]

Valuev defeated Ruiz by unanimous decision on August 30, 2008. Scores were 114-113, 116-113, and 116-111. The result was initially declared a split decision win for Valuev. The 114-113 score by ringside judge Takeshi Shimakawa was announced in favor of Ruiz. Shimakawa alerted WBA officials after that his score was intended for Valuev. One of the scorecards had the names of the fighters in opposite order, resulting in the confusion.

The decision was once again unpopular with the live crowd as some booed the outcome, much like the first match in December 2005.

Another title shot[edit]

After petitioning the WBA to protest against the outcome of his controversial fight with Valuev, Ruiz was made the WBA's mandatory challenger to fight the winner of Chagaev-Valuev II in 2009. As that bout was cancelled, Ruiz stepped aside as mandatory challenger so Valuev could fight Cruiserweight Champion David Haye. On the undercard to that fight Ruiz stopped Adnan Serin in 7 rounds. Ruiz, coming in at 226 pounds (his lightest since 2001), dominated his overmatched opponent to retain his mandatory challenge to the WBA belt. Valuev later lost a majority decision to David Haye, meaning Ruiz would now fight Haye for the WBA title, after Haye had recovered from a hand injury. When the fight took place on April 3 at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, Ruiz lost to Haye by TKO when his corner threw in the towel in the ninth round after suffering four knockdowns in the previous rounds. Ruiz, whose face was covered in blood, could not stand up to Haye's greater speed and power.


Following his loss to David Haye, Ruiz announced his retirement after an 18-year boxing career. In 2013, he opened Quietman Sports Gym in Medford, Massachusetts, offering both boxing and MMA (mixed martial arts) training to all ages. Here he provides an alternative for at-risk children and teenagers in the Greater Boston area. He has also indicated that he wants to return to boxing in some capacity as either a manager or trainer at some point.[6]

Professional boxing record[edit]

44 Wins (30 Knockouts), 9 Losses, 1 Draw, 1 No Contest[7]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 44-9-1
1 NC
United Kingdom David Haye TKO 9 (12) 04/03/2010 United Kingdom M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England, United Kingdom For WBA Heavyweight title. Ruiz down twice in the 1st, once late in the 5th and once in the 6th. Haye deducted a point in the 1st for hitting the back of Ruiz's head. Ruiz's corner finally threw in the towel in round 9.
Win 44-8-1
1 NC
Turkey Adnan Serin TKO 7 (10) 07/11/2009 Germany Nuremberg Arena, Nuremberg, Germany Serin's corner threw in the towel.
Loss 43-8-1
1 NC
Russia Nikolai Valuev UD 12 30/08/2008 Germany Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany For vacant WBA Heavyweight title. Valuev received a point deduction in 10th round for pushing Ruiz down. Valuev was originally scored a split decision victory but an error later found on the scorecards gave him a unanimous decision.
Win 43-7-1
1 NC
United States Jameel McCline UD 12 08/03/2008 Mexico Plaza de Toros, Cancún, Mexico WBA Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 42-7-1
1 NC
United States Otis Tisdale TKO 2 (10) 13/10/2007 United States Sears Centre, Hoffman Estates, Illinois Tisdale down twice in the 1st round and once in the 2nd round.
Loss 41-7-1
1 NC
Uzbekistan Ruslan Chagaev SD 12 18/11/2006 Germany Burg-Waechter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany WBC Heavyweight title eliminator.
Loss 41-6-1
1 NC
Russia Nikolai Valuev MD 12 17/12/2005 Germany Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany Lost WBA Heavyweight title. Valuev became the tallest (7'0") and heaviest (324 lbs) heavyweight world title holder in history.
NC 41-5-1
1 NC
United States James Toney ND 12 30/04/2005 United States Madison Square Garden, New York Ruiz's WBA & Toney's IBA Heavyweight titles on the line. Originally Ruiz lost by UD. However, he regained the title after Toney tested positive for Stanozolol after the fight. Ruiz down in 7th round.
Win 41-5-1 Poland Andrew Golota UD 12 13/11/2004 United States Madison Square Garden, New York Retained WBA Heavyweight title. Ruiz down twice in the 2nd round. Ruiz had one point deducted for hitting after the break.
Win 40-5-1 United States Fres Oquendo TKO 11 (12) 17/04/2004 United States Madison Square Garden, New York Retained WBA Heavyweight title.
Win 39-5-1 United States Hasim Rahman UD 12 13/12/2003 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won interim WBA Heavyweight title.
Loss 38-5-1 United States Roy Jones Jr. UD 12 01/03/2003 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas Lost WBA Heavyweight title. Jones became the first former middleweight world titlist in 106 years to win a heavyweight world title (Bob Fitzsimmons, 1897). After that Jones vacated the title on February 20, 2004, choosing to fight Antonio Tarver for the WBC and IBO Light Heavyweight titles rather than Ruiz.
Win 38-4-1 Canada Kirk Johnson DQ 10 (12) 27/07/2002 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Retained WBA Heavyweight title. Johnson DQ'd for low blows.
Draw 37-4-1 United States Evander Holyfield SD 12 15/12/2001 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Retained WBA Heavyweight title by way of a draw in a lackluster fight filled with numerous clinches.
Win 37–4 United States Evander Holyfield UD 12 03/03/2001 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Won WBA Heavyweight title. Ruiz becomes the first Latino fighter to win a major Heavyweight title. Ruiz put Holyfield down in the 11th with a right hand to the temple.
Loss 36–4 United States Evander Holyfield UD 12 12/08/2000 United States Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas For vacant WBA Heavyweight title. Holyfield became the first boxer to win a version of the Heavyweight title four times.
Win 36–3 United States Thomas Williams TKO 2 (12) 11/12/1999 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi Retained NABA Heavyweight title.
Win 35–3 Dominican Republic Fernely Feliz TKO 7 (12) 12/06/1999 United States Shriner's Auditorium, Wilmington, Massachusetts Retained NABA Heavyweight title.
Win 34–3 United States Mario Cawley TKO 4 (12) 13/03/1999 United States Madison Square Garden, New York Retained NABA Heavyweight title.
Win 33–3 United States Jerry Ballard TKO 4 (12) 19/09/1998 United States Georgia Dome, Atlanta Retained NABF Heavyweight title. Won vacant NABA Heavyweight title.
Win 32–3 United States Tony Tucker TKO 11 (12) 31/01/1998 United States Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida Retained NABF Heavyweight title. Tucker down twice in the 1st and once in the 11th rounds.
Win 31–3 Haiti Ray Anis TKO 1 (12) 17/06/1997 United States Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi Retained NABF Heavyweight title. Ruiz stopped Anis in 22 seconds.
Win 30–3 Samoa Jimmy Thunder SD 12 14/01/1997 United States Hale Arena, Kansas City, Missouri Won vacant NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 29–3 Ukraine Yuriy Yelistratov TKO 3 (?) 26/11/1996 United Kingdom York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England
Win 28–3 United States Nathaniel Fitch TKO 3 (6) 25/10/1996 United States The Roxy, Boston
Win 27–3 United States Greg Pickrom TKO 1 (10) 18/07/1996 United States The Roxy, Boston
Win 26–3 United States Doug Davis TKO 6 (10) 06/06/1996 United States The Roxy, Boston
Loss 25–3 New Zealand David Tua KO 1 (12) 15/03/1996 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey Lost WBC International Heavyweight title. Tua stopped Ruiz with a series of brutal hooks in 19 seconds.
Win 25–2 United States Steve Pannell TKO 4 (10) 07/10/1995 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 24–2 United States Willie Jackson KO 1 (10) 24/08/1995 United States Somerville, Massachusetts
Win 23–2 United States Derrick Roddy KO 2 (12) 16/06/1995 United Kingdom Elephant & Castle Centre, Southwark, London, England Won vacant WBC International Heavyweight title.
Win 22–2 United Kingdom Michael Murray TKO 4 (10) 17/05/1995 United Kingdom Ipswich, United Kingdom
Win 21–2 United States Jack Basting TKO 1 (8) 30/03/1995 United Kingdom York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England
Win 20–2 United States Boris Powell UD 10 04/02/1995 United States Las Vegas
Win 19–2 United States Rick Sullivan KO 2 (?) 01/10/1994 United States Boston
Loss 18–2 United States Danell Nicholson SD 12 04/08/1994 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut For vacant IBO Heavyweight title.
Win 18–1 United States Muhammad Askai TKO 2 (?) 25/06/1994 United States Revere, Massachusetts
Win 17–1 United Kingdom Julius Francis TKO 4 (8) 25/05/1994 United Kingdom Bristol, England
Win 16–1 United States Carl Williams PTS 6 27/11/1993 United States Cleveland, Ohio
Win 15–1 United Kingdom Cordwell Hylton PTS 6 03/11/1993 United Kingdom Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, England
Loss 14–1 Russia Sergei Kobozev SD 10 12/08/1993 United States Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Win 14–0 United States Exum Speight UD 8 25/06/1993 United States Chelsea A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts Speight down twice in round 2.
Win 13–0 United States George Chambers KO 1 (?) 30/04/1993 United States Chelsea, Massachusetts
Win 12–0 United States Mark Sonnier TKO 1 (?) 16/04/1993 United States Boston
Win 11–0 United States Juan Quintana PTS 6 03/04/1993 United States Somerville, Massachusetts
Win 10–0 United States Lorenzo Poole KO 1 (?) 20/03/1993 United States Revere, Massachusetts
Win 9–0 Derrick Jones TKO 1 (?) 05/03/1993 United States Boston
Win 8–0 United States Phil Prince KO 1 (?) 20/02/1993 United States Boston
Win 7–0 Puerto Rico Miguel Rosa TKO 2 (?) 30/01/1993 United States National Guard Armory, Boston
Win 6–0 United States John Basil Jackson PTS 6 16/01/1993 United States Belmont, New Hampshire
Win 5–0 United States Jesus Rohena TKO 1 (?) 10/12/1992 United States Teachers Union Hall, Boston
Win 4–0 United States John Basil Jackson PTS 6 13/11/1992 United States Revere, Massachusetts
Win 3–0 United States Barry Kirton TKO 2 (?) 03/11/1992 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Win 2–0 United States Mike Vasser KO 1 (?) 12/09/1992 United States Wonderland Race Track, Revere, Massachusetts
Win 1–0 United States Kevin Parker UD 4 20/08/1992 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey Pro debut for Ruiz.

Amateur highlights[edit]

  • 1991 competed as a Light heavyweight at the World Championships in Sydney, Australia. Results were:
    • Defeated Mohamed Benguesmia (Algeria) PST (22-11)
    • Defeated Miodrag Radulovic (Yugoslavia) RSC-3
    • Lost to Andrey Kurniavka (Soviet Union) PTS (14-20)
  • 1992 competed at the Olympic Trials in Worcester. Result was:


  1. ^ "John "The Quiet Man" Ruiz Announces His Retirement". 2010-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Lots of Fighting, but Little Resolution for Boxing's Heavyweights". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  3. ^ "Angry Ruiz wants rematch after losing WBA title", ESPN, December 19, 2005 
  4. ^ "John Ruiz' manager Norman Stone retires", Boxing Press, December 22, 2005 
  5. ^ [1] Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "John Ruiz retires | Boxing News". Fightnews. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  7. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Evander Holyfield
WBA Heavyweight Champion
March 3, 2001 – March 1, 2003
Succeeded by
Roy Jones, Jr.
New title WBA Heavyweight Interim Champion
December 13, 2003 – February 20, 2004
Title next held by
Luis Ortiz
Preceded by
Roy Jones, Jr.
WBA Heavyweight Champion
February 20, 2004 – December 17, 2005
Succeeded by
Nikolai Valuev