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Silencing the Quiet Man

I have little doubt, as Ron Borges noted in yesterday's Globe story, that John Ruiz was the victim of another very questionable if not bogus overseas decision in his heavyweight title bout with the Russian giant, Nikolai Valuev.

I give Borges, generally an excellent boxing writer, credit for finally toning down his lavish praise for the local product. Now, instead of raising holy hell about a bad decision, he writes sentences like this:

Ruiz even believes it has been his presence as one of the champions that has prevented a unification tournament among the four titleholders, out of fear he might somehow win all the belts yet still not be a pleasing television presence because of his inelegant style

And like this:

Certainly the power brokers will not make it easy for Ruiz to reappear in a high-profile fight or get another title shot any time soon.

I realize this is only tangentially connected to the media. But as a huge boxing fan, I'll get this off my chest and then shut up about it.

Local boy or no, John Ruiz is a completely unwatchable fighter. He makes every fight he participates in worse. He doesn't come to dominate or hurt an opponent, but to eke out some kind of technical win with the ugliest clutch-and-grab style ever seen in the ring. He is the single reason why I stopped buying pay-per-view fights. And there is a good reason why he's involved in so many weird decisions. Virtually incapable of winning a crisp, clean decision, he does his damndest to make sure his opponent can't either by refusing to fight in the open ring. The fact that he's been a top tier heavyweight speaks only to one thing -- the shameful state of boxing in the sport's top weight class.

For a long time, Borges gave him the hometown hero treatment. Now, reality is sinking in. Whether he got jobbed or not, Ruiz is bad for boxing.
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