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John Ruiz hosts ring card girls contest for his American Fighting Championship organization

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Credit: Emily Harney / AFO

The inaugural American Fighting Championship (AFO) Ring Card Girls Competition Finals contest was held this past Saturday night at The Greatest Bar in Boston to select the five original AFO ring card girls.

Two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight boxing champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz owns and operates the new AFO, which will promote professional and amateur mixed-martial-arts and boxing events, starting in the first quarter of 2014.

The five selected AFO ring card girls are all Massachusetts residents: Maria Nazarro, North Reading; Amber Siriani, Lynn; Jacqui Reilly, Hull; Jaide Fernandes, Boston; Alicia Wright, Salem.

“It was an exciting night,” said Ruiz, who is the only world heavyweight boxing champion of Latino heritage. “I want to thank everybody involved, especially all of the girls who competed, as well as our judges, The Greatest Bar, AFO staff, and, of course, the people who were their supporting AFO. This was a great way to officially launch the new AFO. I’m looking forward to our first event.”

The four celebrity judges for the AFO Ring Girls Competition Finals were Reia Connor, former New England Patriots cheerleader and owner/dance instructor of Boston’s only full service dance and promotional company, Phunk Phenomenom; former New England Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham, currently a writer/analyst/broadcaster for the Boston Herald, NESN, WEEI, and Patriots This Week; former New England Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins, an NFL analyst for CSN New England and guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub; and fitness specialist Maria Diaz.

Santi DeOleo, executive producer of JAM’M 94.5 FM “Ramiro’s House” morning show, was the Master of Ceremonies and AFO ring announcer John Vena served as the event host.

Last Saturday also marked Ruiz’ 42nd birthday. The attendees serenaded the first and only world heavyweight boxing champion of Latino heritage with a round of “Happy Birthday.”

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