Photos: Víctor Planas/WBO
The World Boxing Organization (WBO), headed by President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, honored unified WBO heavyweight champion in Andy Ruiz Jr. for his historic win over Anthony Joshua with a majestic commemorative belt featuring the wordsFirst Mexican Heavyweight Championemblazoned across the front.
In an emotional moment, former WBO champions Miguel Cotto and Ivan Calderon made the presentation.
Andy Ruiz Jr.
“Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting me and came here to say hello and to share. To the WBO, thank you for a wonderful, really nice belt. I fought a lot from a young age to be a world champion, also with a lot of sacrifice, a lot of training. Many people think I don’t train hard, but I train very hard and I have a lot of desire. I’m very happy, making history, being the first Mexican heavyweight champion.
“It’s a dream I’ve always wanted since I was a kid, and now that I’ve done it I feel blessed. Thank God for everything and now we’re on vacation here in Puerto Rico enjoy it with the family thanks to Paco (Valcárcel) and then be ready for the rematch with Joshua. I’m still hungry to have those belts. This is all a dream and thank you to all the Latinos who support me. Thank you all!”
Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel
“We are here to pay a well-deserved tribute to Andy Ruiz, Jr. When he fought in Macao, I remember that I saw this chubby guy and mentioned it to his promoter Bob Arum at that time and he told me that Andy moves like a featherweight. Andy won that fight three or four rounds and after the fight, Andy was very happy to win our NABO title. That was his first title in boxing. Andy always told me very confidently he would be WBO champion.
“I noticed that in the fight against Joshua, Andy was very calm and relaxed in the dressing room. He was incredibly confident until he finally got the victory. I was very happy for his victory because we are Latino brothers and he finally made history. Andy is a wonderful person, if you know him you become fond of him quickly. I know much of Andy’s story. It has been a wonderful story of which we have been part and we thank you for that because there are things that only happen once.
“I believe that if anyone was deserving to be the first Mexican heavyweight world champion, it’s you because of the quality of a human being you are. You’re a great motivation for a lot of people.”