The first time he fought in Connecticut, John Ruiz gave a glimpse of the future. In his third pro fight, he knocked out Barry Kirton in the second round at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in November of 1992.
In his third and final bout at Foxwoods, Ruiz fought to a draw with Evander Holyfield in their third matchup of 2001. That enabled Ruiz to retain his WBA world heavyweight title. Earlier that year, Ruiz, who hails from Chelsea, Mass., became the first Latino heavyweight champion by winning a unanimous decision over Holyfield, who he fought three times.
Ruiz finished his career with a record of 44-9-1, which included 30 knockouts. In addition to Holyfield, Ruiz fought some tough customers in James Toney, Roy Jones Jr., Andrew Golota, Kirk Johnson, and Jimmy Thunder. Ruiz is considered the second best heavyweight to ever come out of New England, only behind the legendary Rocky Marciano.