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“I Am Who I Am”—Regarding The Ethnic Identity Of Andy Ruiz, A Champ In Any Nation and Language



Andy's parents are from Mexico. He proudly states he has Mexican blood. Is he "Mexican' or "Mexican-American," or what? Abe answers...


On Saturday night, Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. shocked the world by defeating Anthony Joshua and becoming the new unified heavyweight champion of the world. 

Shortly after his victory, there was much chatter about Ruiz Jr. being the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion.

Most of the fans and media didn’t bat an eye at this but there were some who believed that this was being incorrectly stated and had an opinion on the matter. This is when veteran Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole launched a tweet (in which later he admitted could have been worded better) that sent this topic into a tweet response frenzy.


This is not a shot at Kevin Iole because I don’t believe it was done with malicious intent but it’s something that needs to be discussed so that others who may have questions about it, understand where it comes from.

NYF publisher and EIC Michael Woods is a guy who is always wanting to learn and does things in an effort to “get it right.” Based on what’s out there in the internet universe, he posted this but only because he wanted to get feedback so that he can “get it right,” for the record…


I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and like most Latinos in NYC, I proudly say that I am Puerto Rican/Ecuadorian. Growing up within the Latin culture, your family ensures that you carry on the traditions and customary things associated with the country they migrated from. We are all raised to embrace it and become super prideful in whichever culture our family is from even if parents were born here in the U.S.

That doesn’t make me any less of an American and mind you, I recently surpassed 21 years of service in the Marine Corps. I was just raised like most kids from Latin families, to fully accept the culture and make it part of your lifestyle.

The biggest example I can think of is the Puerto Rican Day Parade each year in New York where the culture is celebrated from those that are from there or had parents from there which resulted in people growing up within the culture.

I use that as an example but I know that the same applies to most Mexicans, Cubans, Columbians, Dominicans, etc.. A very small percentage will say that you are not a “real_______” if you were not born there.

This NYT piece makes a good point: AR was born and lived in a town near the Mexican border. Yes, proximity affects identity.

This NYT piece makes a good point: AR was born and lived in a town near the Mexican border. Yes, proximity affects identity.

That is completely their opinion but should not push anyone from saying what they feel in their heart is right to them. You bet that one day when an article of mine makes it to the hard print of Ring Magazine, I will proudly say that I’m the first Puerto Rican/ Ecuadorian from the Bronx to ever make the magazine. (Shooting my shot to Ring Magazine Editor in Chief Douglass Fischer).

I say all of that to say this, Andy Ruiz Jr. did something that almost everyone felt like he couldn’t do and he like most other kids from a Latin background, is proud of who he is and where his family tree stems from. 

So if Andy Ruiz Jr. wants to say that he is the first Mexican heavyweight champion, then so be it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing a little pride for the culture that you were raised in during the happiest moment of your life. 

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Abe grew up in a family who were and still are die-hard boxing fans. He started contributing boxing articles to NYF in 2017. His club show pieces allow fans to see who is next on the horizon, and his training camp check ins are much anticipated. Abe can be found on twitter @abeg718.