John Ruiz to speak on Latino boxing Thursday

John Ruiz, the first world heavyweight boxing champion of Hispanic heritage, speaks on Latino boxing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center as part of KU’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities.

Ruiz will discuss his Puerto Rican heritage and a boxing career that included a victory against Evander Holyfield in the World Boxing Association heavyweight title bout. Ruiz is now ranked No. 2 by the WBA and is the mandatory challenger for the winner of the Nikolai Valuev-David Haye title fight in November in Germany.

Robert Rodriguez, associate director of McNair Scholars Program and lecturer in Latin American studies at KU, and boxing author George Kimball, a Kansas alumnus, also will be a part of the program.

After the lectures, Ruiz will be available to pose for photographs and sign autographs. Rodriguez and Kimball will hold a book signing.

Ruiz authored “Regulation of Boxing: A History and Comparative Analysis of Policies Among American States.”

Kimball is the author of “Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing.”