Now that he is retiring from the ring, we want to congratulate Johnny Ruiz on a job well done as the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
He is the one and only Chelsea man to accomplish such a distinction – and frankly – he will always be addressed and be considered the champion for the rest of his life.
He rose out of very humble beginnings in this city.
His life was not easy when he was coming up.
But he overcame all the odds in this city, in this society, and he was determined to make something of himself – and he succeeded.
Johnny Ruiz is one of the great success stories of this era.
A kid who came from Puerto Rico, who came of age in this city when it was cruising toward receivership, took his life to a new place and cemented for himself a place in the long history of professional boxing as a heavyweight champion of the world.
Thousands turned out when he came back to Chelsea after capturing the title almost ten years ago.
It was one of those incredible moments in the city’s history, with thousands wanting to touch him or to be by his side when he spoke at Chelsea City Hall, on the front steps, looking out to thousands that he knew and said, “Thank you.”
His limousine was waiting for him when he finished speaking, and he took off to his destiny.
He has been to the mountaintop.
He has been a heavyweight champion.
And now he is coming back.
We applaud Johnny Ruiz for his courage and for his toughness.
We look forward to his return and to the next chapter in the unfolding story of his life.