Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) is ready to make the journey back to the top of the Heavyweight division.
The former unified titleholder shocked the world when he knocked out Anthony Joshua in June 2019 to win the WBO, WBA, IBF, and IBO titles. But just as quick as Ruiz rose to the top, he then fell, as he surrendered the titles in disappointing fashion to Joshua just six months later in Saudia Arabia.
For the rematch, the 31-year-old Ruiz weighed in at a whopping 283 pounds and was in far worse shape than he had been previously. It showed in his performance, too, as he had little to offer Joshua over the course of 12 rounds.
“The Destroyer” knew he didn’t take his training as seriously as he should’ve, and he felt the effects after the loss, but he now seems to be in far better spirits as he prepares for his return to the ring.
“I must have lost 40 pounds. After my fight against Anthony Joshua and my defeat in Saudi Arabia, I gained to like 310 pounds,” Ruiz said on his YouTube channel (H/T Boxing Scene). “I was depressed. I was mad at myself because I knew I should have trained. I knew I should have done better in my last fight. But you know what, it’s never too late. Now is the time. Now is the beginning to see the real and new Andy Ruiz Jr.”
Ruiz has certainly looked to be in far better shape as of late, and he’s made some noticeable changes in terms of his training. He’s now working under highly touted trainer Eddy Reynoso, known for guiding pound-for-pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
And the former champion will soon get to show the results of his work, as he’s scheduled to meet veteran Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs), a fellow Mexican-American, on May 1 on FOX Sports pay-per-view from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Although he’s nearing the end of his career, Arreola, a former three-time title challenger, typically comes to fight, and Ruiz is not expecting an easy contest come next month.
“Arreola is not an easy guy. He’s a Mexican warrior like me who loves to throw bombs,” said Ruiz. “He doesn’t give up until it’s over. So to me, I have to be double in shape. All you can see and expect is fireworks.”
Ultimately, however, May 1 represents something far greater than just another fight for Ruiz. He’s eager to prove the doubters wrong on his path towards regaining what he once took for granted.
“I had everything, the belts, I was on top of the world, but I took that sh– for granted … I’m ready to get my belts back,” he said. “All of this hard work and dedication is going to pay off, man. Everyone is going to see the difference. Everyone is going to see the hard work. I’m ready for my next fight. I’ve been ready and excited. I’m ready to prove everybody wrong. That’s what it’s all about.”