As he prepares to officially launch the new American Fighting Organization (AFO), two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz has become New England’s newest combat sports promoter.
AFO will promote amateur and professional mixed martial arts and boxing events, as well as promote MMA fighters and boxers, starting in January with an amateur MMA tournament in various weight classes to determine the best in New England.
“We are going to put on the best shows in New England,” Ruiz promised. “I’m investing a lot of money to promote events and fighters, in addition to putting on great MMA and boxing shows for fans.”
Ruiz, under Quietman Sports, purchased AFO, its website and debt, which was recently paid off.
“I’d been talking about promoting and this opportunity came out of nowhere,” Ruiz continued.
“AFO was structured as one of the oldest MMA promotional companies in New England. It was also in place and that was better for us than starting out from scratch. AFO’s reputation within the industry may not have been the best but we’ve paid off its debts and are now prepared to make the new AFO the best combat sports promotional company in New England.
“Fighters are fighters. At my gym (Quietman Sports Gym in Medford, MA) we teach MMA and boxing. It has a nice ring and cage, too. Since I retired as a boxer, I’ve always felt like I would get into promoting boxing, and AFO will be boxing and MMA. I want to bring more class to both sports. Our shows will offer better competition and more entertaining fights, in both MMA and boxing in New England.”
Ruiz said that he is looking throughout New England for a venue that can become the new AFO home and waiting to hear back from prospective television networks interested in airing AFO shows.
The new AFO’s first event, tentatively scheduled for early next year, will be a N.E. amateur MMA tournament, which will also feature a few pro fights. AFO plans to promote 12 shows in 2014, insuring at least four fights next year for AFO fighters. A specially designed AFO title belt will be awarded to each tournament winner, as well as a trophy to the gym producing the most champions. Ruiz also set a goal for promoting his first boxing event, possibly a Pro-Am, or even a boxing-MMA hybrid, outdoors next summer.
“We’re going to make all of our shows true events with music, lights and grand entrances for every fighter,” Ruiz concluded.
“I was the first (and only) Latino who became World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. I want to create more ethnic diversity to get all types of people involved in combat sports. This is the perfect time to launch the new AFO because it’s also Hispanic Heritage Month. In time, we will be signing pro boxers and MMA fighters. Right from the start we will treat amateurs like unpaid pros, so that they’ll want to sign with AFO when they turn pro.
“I will be a fighter’s promoter, guaranteeing them that they will be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve for all of the hard work and sacrifices they put into their craft. I know what they’re going through. I learned the hard way and AFO fighters will benefit from my experiences in and out of the ring. I can’t wait for our first AFO show.”