MEDFORD, Mass. (October 31, 2011) - Two-time World Boxing Association ("WBA") heavyweight champion John "The Quietman" Ruiz is the subject of a bi-lingual, children's book, Hooks & Jabs, which was written by Jose-Gabriel Almeida and illustrated by Jan Michaelsy.
Ruiz, who is the first and only Hispanic Heavyweight Champion of the World, wanted to tell his story; detailing the overwhelming odds he conquered to become world champion, in order to inspire children, particularly Hispanics, at an early age.
Ruiz has lived by the credo, "Follow Your Dreams," fighting his way out of a housing project in Chelsea, Massachusetts to capture one of the most prestigious individual awards in sports.
"I wanted to give kids a sense that, if they believe in themselves, they can aim high and achieve their goals," Ruiz explained. "I wanted to send this message in a way that fascinated kids. I first pitched this idea to Gladys Rosa, a personal friend who has worked in public relations with some of the biggest names in boxing for many years. I met Jose 10 years ago at a press conference and we've remained friends ever since. He has written several children's books and is a sports fanatic.
"We sent emails back and forth to each other about different scenarios until we came up with this version of Hooks & Jabs. I am Puerto Rican and have a large Hispanic following, which is I why I insisted that the book was published in a bilingual format. I wanted to reach kids from my culture. As a started researching publishing houses, I soon realized that it's an over saturated process with a lot of red tape. I didn't want to deal with publishing people who had different points of view about how my story had to be told, so I decided to self-publish my book, and I'm very glad I did. I'm very proud of this project because it's 100-percent real. This is my story, my book, and I own all rights."
Ruiz has retired from the ring but remains tied to boxing as an owner/chief instructor of recently opened Quietman Sports Gym, inside of Gold's Gym in Medford (4000 Mystic Valley Parkway), which is a suburb of Boston and only a few miles from where John grew-up in Chelsea.
Quietman Sports Gym is a full-contact gym, featuring a boxing ring as well as a cage for MMA, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai fighting. The gym also offers boxing and full-contact fighting classes, personal and semi-private instruction, self defense classes, and white collar boxing.
Future plans call for Quietman Sports Gym to become a sanctioned USA Boxing gym, where John plans to develop future Olympians. Ruiz also wants to become a boxing and MMA promoter - professional and amateur - and he has already started a boxing consulting agency, Quietman Sports, along with his longtime attorney and advisor, Boston Attorney Anthony M. Cardinale.
The 39-year-old Ruiz, who lives in Las Vegas and Chelsea, retired with a professional record of 44-9-1 (30 KOs), including 12 world title fights.