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.
“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.