Andy Ruiz Jr says he never gave up on world heavyweight title dream
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 22/06/19 2:51pm
Andy Ruiz Jr says perseverance was key in his shock victory over Anthony Joshua as he prepares for a hometown parade to mark his historic achievement.
The newly-crowned unified world heavyweight champion stopped Joshua in the seventh round to capture the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in their fight earlier this month.
It was the first professional defeat of Joshua's career with terms over a Joshua-Ruiz rematch expected to be decided next week.
Ahead of the celebration in Imperial, California, on Saturday, Ruiz said: "I never gave up. I kept training, I kept training.
"People probably thought I wasn't going to do nothing, I was too big, too overweight.
"But you know what - things happen for a reason. I got this fight, I worked my a** off and became heavyweight champion of the world, the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world, so I'm really happy."
Ruiz's victory is a true underdog story with the 29-year-old hailed as 'The Mexican Rocky' by Hollywood film star Sylvester Stallone after the fight.
"Him saying that I'm the 'Mexican Rocky' that's just a big blessing, you know I've been working really hard for this my whole life since I was six years old," Ruiz added.
"Someone big like that calling me 'The Mexican Rocky', like I said, it's a big blessing.
"It was a fight for the race (to be champion), a fight for Imperial, a fight for Mexico.
"This is for everyone who supported me since I was young and in my life. But firstly it is for God, as always."