sport news Andy Ruiz Jr rise to the top of heavyweight boxing: From chubby contender to ...

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The world watched on in astonishment as Anthony Joshua was battered from pillar to post by a rotund unknown called Andy Ruiz Jr, as the former heavyweight champion's US debut spiralled out of control in the space of 22 and a half minutes in New York. Nobody expected this.

Except those who know Ruiz's story.

The first Mexican to ever become heavyweight champion is used to being written off. His is a story that comes from the old-school boxing annuls. Sportsmail takes a look at the rapid rise of Andy Ruiz Jr.

Andy Ruiz shocked the world in beating Anthony Joshua, Sportsmail charts his rise to the top

Andy Ruiz shocked the world in beating Anthony Joshua, Sportsmail charts his rise to the top

Quiet beginnings north of the border

Andres Ponce Ruiz Jr was born in Imperial Valley, California, on September 11, 1989. The small town is just 16 miles north of the Mexico-United States border. Ruiz and his three sisters would travel back and forth regularly to see family south of the border.

At seven years of age, Ruiz was taken to the gym by his father, in the hope of getting a grip on the youngster's troublesome and destructive behaviour (his tendency to break things is where his 'Destroyer' nickname comes from). An avid baseball player, Ruiz had to give up on his baseball dream to pursue boxing.

It was a steep learning curve for the novice, who would be thrown into the deep end due to his physique – it wouldn't be the last time Ruiz's weight would be used as a stick to beat him with. 

He was born on September 11, 1989 and was one of four siblings, pictured with his three sisters

He was born on September 11, 1989 and was one of four siblings, pictured with his three sisters

Ruiz grew up in Imperial Valley, California, just 16 miles north of the Mexico-US border

Ruiz grew up in Imperial Valley, California, just 16 miles north of the Mexico-US border

The Destroyer returned to his hometown shortly after his huge win in Madison Square Garden

The Destroyer returned to his hometown shortly after his huge win in Madison Square Garden

Ruiz would regularly see family south of the border which was a short drive from Imperial

Ruiz would regularly see family south of the border which was a short drive from Imperial

'Because I was a chubby kid I always had to fight older guys. I was seven then, fighting a 12-year-old,' he said before the first fight. 'There were no seven year olds who weighed as much as me so I was always fighting much older guys. But having those experiences and taking those punches has helped get me here.'

Ruiz quickly learned the basics and was soon cutting his teeth in the amateur scene. Under the tutelage of Cuban trainer Fernando Ferrer, Ruiz accumulated a record of 105-5, before setting his sights on competing for Mexico at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

He'd suffer his first true moment of adversity in his young boxing career, though. Ruiz lost two qualifying bouts, one of which was to Dillian Whyte's former opponent Oscar Rivas, ending his dream of fighting under the Mexican flag at the Olympics. 

Turning professional, fighting in Macau and personal tragedy 

Not to be bogged down by his Olympics disappointment, Ruiz turned professional in March 2009 at 19 years old, spurred on by the desire to not end up working with his father or fall into the wrong crowd. 

'Without boxing I would have probably worked with my dad in construction or been a drug dealer, because of some of the people that were around me, boxing saved my life,' he said.

And Ruiz wasted no time in settling into the professional scene. The Destroyer racked up an impressive record of early finishes, fighting in Mexico and as well in casinos north of the border. 

After his Olympics disappointment, Ruiz set his sights on becoming the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion of the world

After his Olympics disappointment, Ruiz set his sights on becoming the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion of the world

Bucking the trend of carefully selected opponents in comfortable arenas, the then 23-year-old took himself to Macau, China, fighting, and beating with ease, Joe Hanks and Tor Hamer on the undercards of Manny Pacquiao events. 

Ruiz made a name for himself in the Far East, and was clear on his ambition to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion.

'I have been dreaming about the heavyweight title it seems

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