Years before Andy Ruiz Jr stopped Anthony Joshua in one of boxing's biggest upsets, years even before his weight blew out to more than 140kg and he was a wannabe gangster on the streets of California, his parents called him the Destroyer because he was always breaking things as a kid.
The likeable Mexican-American revealed that to the Herald before he challenged Kiwi Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO heavyweight title in Auckland in late 2016 and while he lost that fight narrowly on points, he struck a blow for overweight blokes all over the world when he broke Joshua's undefeated record last weekend and probably destroyed his reputation in the process.
It's difficult to remember the last time a heavyweight so meekly conceded his title. There might be those that have a dig at Parker here and say that he hardly fired a shot against Joshua in losing his WBO belt in Cardiff last year but in that case the New Zealander was punching until the end at least.
He never stopped trying, and while he later admitted he was probably too conservative, a bizarre performance by the referee who was determined to stop the pair engaging disadvantaged Parker far more than the taller Joshua.
Professional boxing's heavyweight division has been a rich source of drama for more than a century and there are certain expectations placed on its world champion. Did Joshua dishonour that legacy? I would argue that he went pretty close to it. It was certainly a humiliation at the very least.
What sets Joshua's defeat in New York's famous Madison Square Garden apart is that, once he was hurt in the third round as Ruiz Jr brilliantly fought back from a knockdown of his own, the big Brit appeared to lose his appetite for the fight.
He was knocked down twice in the third and the fight could have been called off at that point because he was very slow at responding to referee Michael Griffin's directions, and twice more in the seventh when Griffin rightly called it off.
Joshua looked like the school bully who had received some of his own medicine and didn't like it one bit. There have always been questions about his chin and the suggestion he doesn't like to be hurt; the reason why the Joshua v Parker fight got made was because of David Higgins' "glass jaw" jibes, and here it was confirmed.
Joshua looked relieved – happy even - when the fight was called off because Ruiz Jr had an answer to every question he asked. He was later pictured smiling with his triumphant opponent and it looked like a massive weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Maybe the pressure of defending his three recognised titles – the WBO, WBA and IBF belts – has taken its toll over the past three years.
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That hints more strongly at a mental and emotional fragility that has surrounded Joshua since he turned professional in 2013 and in this sport any such weakness can be cruelly exposed.
His aura of invincibility has been ruthlessly stripped away by a 29-year-old who had only six weeks to prepare for the fight after Jarrell Miller, Joshua's original opponent, was ruled out after testing positive to performance-enhancing drugs.
There's no getting that back, even if he does win the rematch and, given the problems Ruiz Jr posed with his toughness and hand speed, that appears a 50-50 proposition at best.
Another thing Ruiz Jr, the first heavyweight champion who can claim Mexican heritage, told the Herald a couple of years back was a reference to his incredible hand speed allied with a body which does not appear to belong to an elite athlete. It turned out to be prophetic.
"It's a natural blessing," Ruiz Jr said of his speed. "Thanks to God. He gave me this ability of being chubby but still being fast and being able to hit hard. A lot of fighters underestimate me. And what do you know? They end up being on the canvas."
An unlikely world champion, maybe, but we should all try to be a bit like Andy when it comes to taking our opportunities without fear or hesitation.