Entertainment

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

Culture

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

paper_tacos / Instagram

Jesus Ruvalcaba was an artist looking for more creative freedom in his life. Even after getting a job as an art director at eBay and Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley, the then 36-year-old felt complacent. It was a stop at a grocery store when he went to buy his mother a birthday card that a light bulb flashed in his head. 

“I looked at all these cards but couldn’t find something that resonated with my Latino culture,” Ruvalcaba said. “I felt that an entire population group was being ignored.”

That night planted the seeds of what would eventually become Paper Tacos, a greeting card business focusing on Mexican culture and traditions. From get well soon messages that read “sana sana colita de rana” ((heal, heal little frog) to birthday cards that read “sapo verde,” Ruvalcaba had tapped into a demographic that wasn’t typically represented in the greeting card business. 

“I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like this,” he said. “This was more than just about a greeting card but seeing my culture being seen.” 

Ruvalcaba, the son of two Mexican immigrants, got most of his inspiration growing up in the Central Valley fields of California. He worked alongside his parents in the isolated artichoke fields where he learned to draw. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

Ruvalcaba knew he wanted to be an artist at a young age and says growing up he would usually be found carrying around a sketchbook full of drawings. He didn’t grow up with much as his parents were Mexican immigrants who worked tirelessly as fieldworkers in the central California valley in cities like Castroville and later in Salinas. 

“My parents didn’t really know a lick of English so my drawings did a lot of the talking for me,” he says. “We didn’t have much growing up but they would buy me art supplies and always encouraged me to keep drawing.”

Those drawings would pave the way for a career in animation as Ruvalcaba became the first in his family to graduate college obtained a degree in graphic design at California State University Monterey Bay and eventually his Master’s degree. Shortly after, he would find himself in Silicon Valley working for companies like eBay and Hewlett-Packard as an art director. 

Ruvalcaba knew he could still do more with his talents. After attending a Dia de los Muertos art event in 2016, he met another artist selling Spanish prints with Mexican slogans. He was then reminded of that night at the market when he couldn’t find a Spanish greeting card for his mom. 

“It hit me right there and then that if I could come up with greeting cards that have Mexican sayings like “sana sana colita de rana,” I could tap into a market that was never really acknowledged prior.” Ruvalcaba said. 

After receiving encouragement from his girlfriend, Ruvalcaba put his illustration skills and graphic design experience to work as he produced his first set of 15 cards for 300 dollars. In Fall 2017, Paper Tacos became a reality. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

About a year after the idea of Paper Tacos first came up, Ruvalcaba attended the same art festival from the year prior and sold his first greeting card for $5 apiece. The response to the cards was immediate and customers told Ruvalcaba about what it meant to see their culture on a product like this.

“It felt like my idea was validated in a way and seeing everyone respond so positively to Paper Tacos was just the cherry on top,” said Ruvalcaba. “From there it only got even bigger.”

In the following months of 2017, Paper Tacos made its launch and by the end of 2017, he had made $2,000 within just three months of launching his site. In 2018, he had made over $12,000 in sales and today has over 20K followers on Instagram alone. When he started the business, there were only 15 card designs which have now grown to over 100. He’s also branded outside of California and is currently selling his greeting cards at 25 stores throughout the country.

For Ruvalcaba, Paper Tacos hasn’t been just any business move or a little extra income revenue. It’s a tribute to his Mexican background and a reflection of his culture that he feels is being celebrated every time one of his cards is given. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

When asked about where his inspiration for his greeting cards come from, Ruvalcaba says his parents. Those long days working along with them in the artichoke fields and holidays where all they had was each other. 

“Every card is a reflection of me growing up in a Mexican household and other people have connected with that,” said Ruvalcaba. “When I brainstorm ideas I just look back to my childhood.”

That connection is something special he says. While Ruvalcaba still has a full-time job as a designer in Santa Clara, if things keep going the way they are, Paper Tacos will become his main focus. 

Through Instagram, Ruvalcaba has begun working with more freelancers to keep growing Paper Tacos and get more artists opportunities. His business plan is to expand to other Latino backgrounds to work and reach out to Salvadoran and Nicaraguan artists so that they too can see representation.  

“This business has shown me how powerful this product can be and every time someone tells me the impact that these cards have had on a family member or a friend, it sticks with me,” Ruvalcaba says. “It’s a special thing to know a simple greeting card can do this.”

READ: Patty Delgado Is Changing The World Of Latino Fashion With Her Own Store Hija De Tu Madre

A Fan Asked Eva Mendes Why She Hasn’t Acted In Years And She Says It’s Because She Isn’t Settling For Any Role

Entertainment

A Fan Asked Eva Mendes Why She Hasn’t Acted In Years And She Says It’s Because She Isn’t Settling For Any Role

evamendes / Instagram

This year’s Golden Globes awards were a complete letdown for a variety of reasons. Aside from the typical #SoWhite nonsense and long speeches, people were astonished at the lack of Latinas on the red carpet. We counted four: Jennifer Lopez, Ana de Armas, Sofia Vergara, and Salma Hayek. Depressing right? We know there are more Latinas in Hollywood, but where are they? At least one of the most recognized Latina actresses is explaining why she hasn’t acted in years. 

A fan recently asked Eva Mendes on Instagram when she’ll be in a new movie. Mendes responded by saying she won’t settle for any project partly because of her daughters. 

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On Jan. 7, Mendes responded to a fan on Instagram when she asked her,  “When the fans going to see u in some new movies?” Mendes told her kindly that she isn’t offered roles that are good enough for her. 

“Hi! When there’s something worthwhile to be a part of,” she wrote on Instagram. “As a mother now, there are many roles I won’t do. There are many subject matters that I don’t want to be involved with, so it limits my choices, and I’m fine with that. I have to set an example for my girls now. But no worry, I got some side hustles. Ha! Thanks for asking. All the best for 2020.”

Mendes’s most recent role was the 2014 film Lost River directed and written by her baby daddy, Ryan Gosling. Things certainly changed for Mendes when she met Gosling in 2011.

The two first met while filming the 2012 movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines.” There was no denying the chemistry between the two in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” It was an extraordinary film about a Luke (Gosling) who doubles as a bank robber and motorcyclist. He meets Romina (Mendes), the two fall in love, and have a baby. Domestic life isn’t for Luke, and he cannot escape his crime-ridden life. We won’t give any spoilers, but it truly felt like we were witnessing a real-life love story.

Mendes is now the mother of two girls and has gone on to launch her fashion collection with New York & Company and has been busy with that for several years now.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

While Mendes continues to lead a pretty private life with Gosling and her daughters, her fashion collection has been successful. She has also said that her partner has been very encouraging and proud of her work as a designer. 

“Ryan is incredibly supportive, and he’s always in awe,” Mendes told People magazine last year. “He makes me realize that [making the collection] is actually a lot of work. I have so much fun doing it that I don’t really realize.”

She also added that her in-laws and her family are extremely helpful to her as she develops each collection. 

“Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s sister, my mom, my sisters, my grandma are all my fashion guinea pigs,” Mendes told the magazine. “Nobody is going to be more honest than family, and our family is very honest. It’s something I really appreciate because when designing something, you need real feedback.”

Yet, still, with her success as a fashion designer, we cannot help miss Mendes as an actor. Remember her in “Training Day”?

Her role as Sara opposite Denzel Washington was so intense and incredibly raw. We can see why she would hesitate to be in certain kinds of characters, especially if the part calls for nudity or vulgar language. The role of Sara is also one that we have seen often, which is the stereotypical Latina as a single mother, living in the projects. That has been played out. That movie, however, was how we first learned of Mendes. 

She stretched her comedy chops in “The Other Guys” in 2010 alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. 

That movie was hilarious, and she was amusing as the wife of Will Ferrell. Then again, that role was of a sexy (but smart) Latina who could whip of a home-cooked meal and be stunning all at the same time. Mendes can play the ultimate woman because she is a lot of ways. However, we understand she wants to break away from that notion that all Latinas are curvy, sexy, and feisty. 

Her Instagram is always active, so it makes us feel like Mendes hasn’t gone anywhere.

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But we still miss you on the big screen, Eva. Come back!!

READ: Here Are 9 Latinos Who Have Become Triple Threats In The Entertainment Industry