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Old 05-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #33
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Default Re: John Ruiz Appreciation Thread

Originally Posted by ecto55 View Post
Well, the rumour as I heard it in the gym from a well-connected boxing identity who just returned from a long-tenure in the States was that... some years earlier, he'd been staying in a hotel with Levi Billups. I forget the context of why, where or how, but John Ruiz came up inconversation at the hotel and it was related by Billups or Billups' people, that John Ruiz had been forced to take an extended period of time off because of a wholesome beating he'd taken at the hands of Joe Hipp. Apperently, Joe Hipp had been out of action himself for a long while and as often happens in such situations was offered some title shot- WBU or USBA etc., and despite being the 'opponent', won it.

John Ruiz's people then invited Hipp to do some closed sparring with Ruiz, the impression I got was that they either intended to determine Hipps condition for themselves as he often had injuries, or wanted to have Ruiz work Hipp over in the gym to make any fight later on between two easier for Ruiz (if that makes sense?). But they seemed to have designs on Hipp at least.
I was told their plan completly backfired, and Hipp despite driving hours to get the spar, responded to the heavy stuff in kind and completely demolished Ruiz. Bad news wasn't only that Ruiz caught almost everything that Hipp threw, but that Ruiz also managed to damage his right eye or the orbital bone somehow. This put paid to Ruiz's plans for some time, and Hipp lost his 'title' such as it was to someone else.
I'm sure there's a few versions of this out there with emphasis on different aspects, but this is the verison I was told, and it was a good story to hear although always better in person than read...
I will say this, having spent time in Joe Hipp's neck of the woods, and having heard plenty stories of him. He was not to be trifled with and would be about the last guy you would want to get into a real fight with. If it weren't for his tender skin and less than spartan training habits, he would have been more of a force in the 90's. Tough, tough dude.
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