Boxing

Ruiz Petitions World Boxing Association

LAS VEGAS (October 25, 2007) – Team Ruiz has formally petitioned the World Boxing Association, on behalf of two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (42-7-1, 29 KOs), rated No. 3 by the World Boxing Association, to request reconsideration of its October 10, 2007 ruling that ordered an elimination fight between No. 1 rated Nicolay Valuev and No. 2 Sergei Liakhovich to determine the mandatory challenger for reigning WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev..

The petition is based on the fact that Ruiz should be rated higher than Liakhovich, according to the WBA Rules and Guidelines on Ratings, which were not followed when the decision was made regarding the aforementioned ordering of the Valuev-Liakhovich eliminator. Team Ruiz noted two key WBA rules that were not followed:

Following Ruiz’ split decision loss to Chagzev in their WBA title eliminator on November 18, 2006, Ruiz should have been rated no lower than No. 2, according to Appendix A of the Rules of the WBA, page 20: “The boxer with the higher rating who is defeated by the boxer with the lower rating, will be automatically demoted to the position of the boxer who defeated him provided the result of the fight has been a Split Decision or Unanimous Decision.” Ruiz was rated No. 1 at the time of their fight, Chagaev No. 2.

Based on the WBA’s “100 Point System for Ratings Position Evaluation,” Appendix A, pages 21-25, Ruiz’ score was a minimum of 58, while Liakhovich’s was only 17. Boxers receive points for several categories: Ruiz received 12 points for his 40+ victories (18 minus 6 for his 6 losses), 18 for his victories against rated contenders, 3 for defeats to rated contenders, 8 for winning WBA regional titles and defending them more than three times, 4 for capturing the WBA title, 3 for defending his WBA belt more than 3 times, 4 for capturing a second WBA title, and, most importantly, 6 for activity (2 bouts since November 18, 2006) over the past 12 months.

Liakhovich earned 8 points for his 23 victories (9 minus 1 for 2 losses), only 6 for caliber of opponents (WDEC12 vs. Lamon Brewster for the WBO title and LKOby12 Shannon Briggs), 1 point for his defeat by a rated opponent (Briggs), 2 for capturing the WBO championship and defending it once, and zero points for activity (the proposed WBA Valuev-Liakhovich will take place more than 12 months following Liakhovich’s Nov. 6, 2006 loss to Briggs).

Team Ruiz also noted that when evaluating the important criteria of activity, Ruiz engaged in negotiations with Don King Productions (DKP) and Liakhovich’s management team, starting in late August, 2007 for a Ruiz-Liakhovich bout to occur on either October 6 or October 13, 2007. Ruiz rejected the initial terms but, after further negotiations with DKP, John signed a contract on Oct. 1, 2007 to fight Liakhovich on Oct. 13. Liakhovich, however, refused to fight Ruiz, who ended-up stopping Otis Tisdale in the second round of their Oct. 13 bout in Chicago. It marked the first time in the 21st Century Ruiz fought an opponent that wasn’t a world champion, former title-holder, or rated in the top 10.

Ruiz took the Tisdale fight to stay active and earn his rating. Liakhovich and his management team were quoted in many recent news reports as saying that they refused to fight Ruiz because they were waiting for an elimination match versus Valuev. Noting the inactive and relatively mediocre career of Liakhovich, Team Ruiz feels that Ruiz justifiably deserves to be rated higher than Liakhovich, and has formally petitioned the WBA to rescind its Oct. 10 resolution ordering an elimination bout between Valuev and Liakhovich, replacing Liakhovich with Ruiz.

Article posted on 26.10.2007



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