The New John Ruiz: “The Hunger is Back!”

LAS VEGAS (October 22, 2007) – Two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (42-7-1, 29 KOs), rated No. 3 by the WBA, has gone through a complete metamorphosis and his often criticized “clutch-and-grab” style has been replaced by an exciting, aggressive attack, flashing back to the days before he first captured the world title in 2001..

In his recent second-round demolition of veteran Otis Tisdale, Ruiz demonstrated a much more crowd pleasing style, firing vicious shots to the body that ultimately set-up devastating uppercuts.

“I feel that hunger inside,” Ruiz explained. “It’s back; I kind of lost track of things for awhile. But I made some changes to my team and my interest in boxing is back. I’m more motivated to succeed than ever. My new trainer, Many Siaca, Sr., has been very important. He’s been working me hard and getting me back to the basics. My style has improved each fight but two of my last three fights were overseas and the last off TV. I’m totally rejuvenated. I’m bobbing and weaving more, throwing a lot more combinations, and I’m punching with more power than ever. Every day in the gym Manny always mentioned my uppercut. We saw what a good punch it was (for Jameel McCline) in the (against Samuel) Peter fight. Manny said I had a better uppercut than that and I need to use it more.”

Even his harshest critics have admitted that Ruiz has always been willing to fight anybody, never ducking a worthy challenger, and he took the fight against Tisdale because former WBO champion Sergio Liakhovich wouldn’t fight him. Tisdale, in fact, was the first foe Ruiz has fought this century that wasn’t either a world champion, former title challenger, or rated in top 10 – Evander Holyfield (trilogy), Kirk Johnson, Roy Jones, Jr., Hasim Rahman, Fres Oquendo, Andrew Golota, James Toney, Nicolay Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev.

“Yeah, people tend to forget that I didn’t have any easy fights,” Ruiz said. “I fought everybody they put in with me. My last fight was supposed to be against Liakhovich for the mandatory, but he didn’t show up and I fought a replacement. I was very excited to be fighting for the first time in nearly a year. I even felt a little nervous going into the fight after being out for so long, but that went away when the first bell rang.

“I am a two-time WBA champion; Liakhovich was the WBO champion. He has never fought for the WBA title but, they (WBA) held the No. 2 spot for him and are giving him a shot at No. 1 (Valuev in a title eliminator), after losing his last fight (Shannon Briggs) a year ago. Liakhovich he’s never fought any other top fighters other than (Lamon) Brewster who had a detached retina. Where does that leave me? The WBA needs to fix things. How is Liakhovich No. 2? I should be fighting – Valuev, Liakhovich or anybody else -- to find out who the No. 1 contender is. I challenged Liakhovich but he wasn’t willing to fight me.”

For the record, Ruiz lost the WBA title to Valuev on a controversial majority decision and the title eliminator to Chagaev by split decision, both in their adopted country, Germany. Ruiz now waits to hear about his next fight, one that he wants to happen sooner rather than later.

Article posted on 22.10.2007

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