Entertainment

Andy Ruiz Jr. Might Be A New Boxing Champion But He Doesn’t Start Any Fight Without His Snickers

andy_thedestroyer13 / Twitter

The night of June 1, 2019, will forever live in the minds of boxing fans and in the hearts of Latinos worldwide. Andy Ruiz Jr, a son of the border, the face of Mexican-American cultural identity, defied all odds and knocked out the unbeaten, Adonis-like, British megastar Anthony Joshua. It was a sight hard to believe: the world champion down, the pudgy Mexican challenger having just put him on the canvas with a lethal combination. Ruiz became the first ever Mexican world champion (he IS Mexican, so let’s put that controversy to rest, more below) to win the heavyweight championship of the world. Yes, the man from Mexicali became the successor to famous athletes like Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson. We are still scratching our heads and raising our hands in triumph at the near-impossible feat that Andy pulled off. 

Felicidades, pinche Andy, campeón del mundo.

The road to that historic night at Madison Square Garden wasn’t easy, though, and Ruiz had to fight prejudice for years. Here is what you need to know about our own Latino Rocky, sí se pudo chingaos.

He was born on 11 September 1989 (age 29 years) in Imperial Valley, California, United States.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

However, he has gone back and forth Mexico and the United States for all his life, and represented the state of Baja California and then Mexico in his amateur career. He has a Mexican passport and is, by all means, Mexican, so let that controversy rest, por el amor de Dios!

His win is the biggest upset in boxing since Mike Tyson lost his undefeated record to Buster Douglas.

Credit: roundbyroundboxing / Instagram

It will be years before an upset of this magnitude is witnessed again in boxing. Ruiz was a 25-1 underdog, and very few saw a possible avenue for his win. The KO made us remember the fateful night of February 11, 1990, when journeyman James Buster Douglas knocked out Iron Mike Tyson to snatch his titles and his aura of invincibility. Ruiz’s performance was as amazing and Douglas’, and the shakeup in the sports world as big. We still can’t believe it or wipe the smile off our proud Latino faces.

He had fought just five weeks prior and got this shot at the title by chance.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

The now-former champ Anthony Joshua was slated to fight Jerral Baby Miller from New York, but when the challenger was found guilty of doping English promoter Eddie Hearn started a mad search for an opponent. Ruiz pushed his case based on a great performance just five weeks ago and also based on the fact that he had only lost once in a very disputed decision to former world champ Joseph Parker of New Zealand. A true Rocky story! At first, the promoters were hesitant in choosing him as an opponent for AJ’s US debut, they said fans would laugh when Ortiz took his shirt off at the weigh-in.

He was about to quit boxing because critics called him fat.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

In a culture that values body image above almost an anything else, Ruiz’s body type did not fit the standards of elite heavyweight boxing. It is quite contradictory how NFL linebackers with panza are considered elite athletes but Ruiz wasn’t. Instead of quitting he just decided to let his fists talk in the ring. His is a story of bashing stereotypes. We are sure he could trim down and fight in a lower division, but he chose to compete in the king of divisiones del boxeo.

It got really nasty, but Andy les calló el hocico.

Credit: @BoxingNews / Twitter

So much of the press in the days leading up to the fight focused on Andy’s body that Joshua’s fans, and perhaps AJ himself, got overconfident. During the weigh-in, they called Andy “fat bastard”. Who is the loser now, eh?

In fact, boxing commentators attributed his magnificent win to old-fashioned huevos!

Credit: @BoxingKingdom14 / Twitter

Ruiz followed a strict training regime and followed the Floyd Mayweather motto: hard work, dedication! He has taught the boxing world that there is no such thing as impossible and that anyone can implement the perfect game plan and come out the winner. 

Canelo came to his defense when commentators started trashing him for his built.

Credit: @Canelo / Twitter

Stephen A. Smith from ESPN twitted a very disrespectful message saying that Andy was Butter Bean, a boxer-circus act who has massive and KOd second-rate boxers in the 1990s. This was terrible, and other commentators and boxers like Canelo came out in Andy’s defense, pointing out Smith’s plain and simple ignorance.

Don’t let his panza fool you.

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Ruiz is quick as hell, a rare quality in heavyweight boxing. His hand speed is his best asset and the few who gave him a chance singled out his capacity to produce punches in bunches. He executed the perfect plan against Joshua, and it paid off. Con creces.

His motivation: providing for his amá.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

After the fight, he sent a message to his mom. We won’t struggle anymore, he said. Those words resonated with millions of working-class families the world over.

He eats a Snickers chocolate bar before each fight.

Credit: roundbyroundboxing / Instagram

Yes. And he laughs at himself for doing so. Whatever gives him the energy and drive right?

His win was no fluke, it was not a lucky punch that made him a champion.

Credit: DAZN / Instagram

Ruiz’s win has been compared to the two KO loses suffered by another British boxer, Lennox Lewis, in the 1990s. However, the men who defeated Lewis, Oliver McCall and Hassim Rahman, landed the perfect punch at the perfect time. This was not the case with Ruiz, who executed a perfect plan to neutralize Joshua’s massive advantage in reach and athletic ability. Ruiz countered Joshua perfectly every time the Brit tried to land his left hook, a punch feared by everyone in the division. Ruiz found and opening and BOLAS, he landed a punch to the temple in the third round that basically won him the fight. He dropped Joshua once more in that round and then was patient, stalking the bigger man and getting to the body (old Mexican trainers say: mata al cuerpo y la cabeza cae sola). In the seventh, Ruiz let Joshua open up and BAM! fight over. If someone told you he got lucky, tell them off!

Joshua was a class act in defeat.

Credit: DAZN / Instagram

Joshua is a gentleman, that is for sure, and he offered no excuses in defeat. Rather, he said that it was Andy’s night and that the spotlight should be on him. If only all men in a position of power were as classy as AJ. 

Andy Ruiz Jr is now an Internet sensation.

Credit: roundbyroundboxing / Instagram

Since is win on Saturday, dozens of memes have popped up, exalting the surprising nature of his win and the massiveness of his accomplishment. You made us proud, Andy. CARAJO, SI SE PUDO!

And like siempre pasa, Latino humor has stolen the show!

Credit: @boxeomundial / Twitter

We mean, a few good laughs are alright, o no?

READ: This Mexican Boxer Just Pulled The Most Iconic Upset Making History As The First Mexican Heavyweight Champion

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

Entertainment

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together. 

We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection. 

Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.

Kickstarter

So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos

Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.

Kickstarter

According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”. 

The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.

To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.

As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters. 

“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.

Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide

Kickstarter

The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination. 

As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before  “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

Culture

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

It seems like every other day there’s a new viral video of an old Trump supporter or a young white bro telling a Latinx person in the US to stop speaking Spanish. Recently, two elder women angrily ordered a Puerto Rican manager of a Central Florida Burger King to go back to Mexico when they overheard him speaking Spanish in a private conversation, while two Mexican-American women were detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection just for speaking Spanish at a Montana supermarket. The xenophobic and racist attacks, both verbal and physical, have made many feel like it’s dangerous to speak their own tongue or like an outcast for communicating to their parents or grandparents in the only language they know.

The English-only movement has further divided a country, with those ignited by the bigotry of the Trump administration unfoundedly threatened by just the sound of a person of color speaking another tongue and others who understand there is no official language in the US supporting the linguistic freedom and multiculturalism that allegedly makes the nation exceptional. 

On an episode of What Would You Do?, host John Quiñones confronts the schismatic topic. 

During the nearly 9-minute-long segment of the ABC series, a white mother tells her adopted Latina daughter to only speak Spanish and instructs her to order a hamburger instead of a traditional Latin American dish. Using hidden cameras to record the very common, but in this case staged, scenario, viewers get a peak of how ordinary people behave when they witness dilemmas that either compel them to intervene or mind their own business.

During the segment, Michele, the mother, and Isabella, the daughter, are grabbing a bite at a diner in Orangeburg, New York. The child asks the Latina waitress for arroz con leche, to which her mother responds, “Isabella, stop speaking Spanish. You’re American. That is not your language. What is wrong with you?” The first person to overhear, an elder white teacher, engages with the duo, telling Michele she doesn’t think she’s going about the situation “in the right way.” 

“She should be proud of her Spanish language, not to be made to feel like she’s doing something wrong,” she tells the mother. Later, she even advises the mom to learn Spanish and tells the young girl that Spanish is a beautiful language.

When Quiñones, himself a Texas-born Mexican-American, reveals his crew and asks why the woman intervened, she responded, “When it comes to children, I go from a mouse to a lion. I just don’t like anybody taking advantage of a child.”

In another scene, Isabela asks for arroz con pollo. Michele, visibly upset, scolds the girl. “Isabella, in English,” she demands. “I brought you here to give you a better life, and I want you to speak American.

This time, another teacher in a nearby table overhears and decides to offer Michele a quick lesson — in patience.

ABC

When Michele stresses that she just wants her daughter to speak English because they’re in the US, the teacher sympathizes with her. “I know. I’m a teacher, and I get it. But you’re not going to get anywhere demanding it, and you can’t get frustrated by it.”

She then turns to the girl and attempts to rationalize her mother’s actions. When Isabela asks the woman “do you think it’s wrong to speak Spanish,” she replies, “Not to mommy, because mommy doesn’t understand that. It’s good manners if you are with other people that don’t speak it, to speak English.”

When Quiñones pops out and confronts the patron, he asks her why she didn’t flat-out tell the mother she was wrong. The woman, who noted that Michele would have had better results honoring rather than attacking her daughter’s native tongue, said she was “getting very frustrated” and “was thinking maybe it was very bad,” but doesn’t know why she didn’t challenge Michele more on it.

In the next case, it’s a Puerto Rican diner who overhears the conversation. Not immediately making any comment, when Michele steps away, Isabela engages with the patron, who informs her she, too, speaks Spanish. “Yo hablo español,” she says, before asking if the young girl likes living in the US. “That’s good that somebody loving adopted you,” she says.

When Michele returned, she asks the woman if she agrees that her daughter should be speaking English instead of Spanish, to which she responds yes. At that moment, her partner, a white man, appears puzzled and chimes in: “You speak Spanish,” he tells his girlfriend. “I don’t make you speak English.” He then reacts to Michele, saying, “She [his girlfriend] speaks Spanish whenever she wants, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

When Quiñones comes out, he asks why the couple reacted the way they did. The boyfriend didn’t agree with the mother, explaining, “that’s who she is. That’s part of her identity.” As for the girlfriend, who was more sympathetic to the mom, she disclosed the discrimination she and her family experienced as Latinas in their predominately white neighborhood speaking Spanish and hoped the girl wouldn’t share her same fate. “I was a little annoyed in a way,” she said, “… but I’ve dealt with that.” She continued: “my mother spoke no English, and I had many fights when I was a teenager, people who would make fun a lot of times.”

Finally, in the last performance, it’s a white woman who is married to a Greek immigrant who is shaken by the confrontation. Angry by the conversation she overhears, she checks in on Isabela the moment her mom steps away, asking the girl if she wants her to call someone for her own safety and soon after informing a manager of the situation and urging them to phone officials who could help the girl.

When the mother returns, the woman confronts her. 

ABC

“We’re foreigners, so I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.” After Michele responds, “I just want her to be more American,” the woman questions, “and just forget about where she came from?” She continued: “We’re from Greece. We would never forget where we come from.”

Michele suggests that it’s different because her daughter is from Mexico, to which the woman, furious, says, “so you guys don’t accept Mexicans in your family?”

She added: “This is a melting pot of thousands of different people. My husband is Greek and my kids will speak Greek.”

Quiñones, who appears in the midst of the argument, informs the patron that she is on a TV show. The woman, who says she’s glad it’s fake because she was about to punch Michele, reaffirms that the US is a country where everyone is supposed to be welcomed and could proudly speak with their language. 

Meeting the actress who played Isabela, the woman tells her, “You would have been coming home with me tonight, and you would have been speaking English, Spanish, and Greek.”

Watch the entire segment below! 

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