John Ruiz, professional boxer and two-time world heavyweight champion, got his start as a world-class athlete at a young age when he became involved in a number of sports. Ruiz competed in baseball, basketball, cross country, and football and ran several marathons during his formative years, but boxing was his primary focus. His commitment to personal development and focused training took him to the highest levels of competition in the world and earned him the title of first Latino Heavyweight Champion. Ruiz credits much of his success to the years he spent enjoying youth sports.
Throughout his career as a boxer, Ruiz visited countless schools and hosted speaking engagements geared toward children in which he encouraged and inspired young athletes to reach their dreams. In addition, Ruiz made financial donations to support various youth programs and worked as a youth league coach in baseball and football whenever he could. It's his goal to help kids get involved in sports and develop into mature, strong adults through skills development, physical training, teamwork, and healthy competition.
Youth sports leagues provide children many opportunities to learn and excel, but more than this, these programs keep kids off the streets and out of trouble by allowing them to participate in valuable, meaningful activities. Ruiz doesn’t hesitate to point out the many ways sports made him a better person. Sports allowed him to get out of the projects where he was raised and travel the world. Sports allowed him to meet thousands of people in cities across the globe and develop lasting relationships. Sports changed his life in more ways than he can count.
But these same youth leagues that gave Ruiz his start are now in jeopardy across the nation as cities cut funding to sports programs and schools reduce athletic opportunities. Ruiz has made it his mission to protect the futures of kids everywhere through financial support, enrollment assistance, equipment purchasing, and more. Give a kid a chance at a better life. Join with Ruiz to develop the next generation of athletes.