ANDY RUIZ JR almost walked away from boxing last year as he “had no money” – but kept faith before shocking the world.
No one gave chubby Snickers lover Ruiz a prayer before he stepped in on late notice to face Brit superstar Anthony Joshua on his highly touted US debut this month.
But the 25-1 outsider had AJ on his hands and knees four times on the way to a stunning seventh round stoppage win.
The underdog hero revealed he almost quit boxing one year before claiming the unified titles – but credits his dad for helping him keep faith in the sport.
Ruiz, 29, said: “I am happy. A year ago I wanted to leave boxing. I had no money, but I did not want to live on the street.
“I was doing bad things with friends. Doing things where my dad had to look for me in their homes and take me to train.
“But boxing helped me not to be in the streets or in bad areas. I am what I am thanks to boxing and my dad.
“I told my mum that we were not going to fight anymore. I told her that I was going to give her everything.
“That I am going to pay for everything, buy her a new car. Thank God everything changed.”
Joshua, 29, will be handed a shot at redemption in November or December after a rematch clause was invoked.
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Promoter Eddie Hearn wants the second instalment in the UK, though AJ is determined to redeem himself Stateside and have the fight back at Madison Square Garden.
Ruiz recently visited Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and posed with the world titles he won in New York.
The 19st champion did not take his newest title, though, a Snickers belt the chocolate company sent him as a reward for his stunning upset.