Why I Consider John Ruiz To Be The Worst Of The Heavyweight Champions

13.11.05 - By Jim Jamesson: Ok, so I'd like to offer my insights on the recent comments and drama surrounding the so-called Quiet Man. Before I get down to the nitty-gritty though, I'd like to make a quick point that I do not dislike John Ruiz as a person by any means. He's easily one of the nicer folks in the boxing game today. In today's scrambled-eggs heavyweight division, I don't argue the he could be considered by many as one of the top 10 guys in the division.. His wins, while painfully boring to watch, are indeed wins, and over some decent guys at that. But to hear the latest babble spew from the Quiet Man's mouth are probably among the most hypocritical statements I've ever heard out of a fighter's mouth. I will quote below:

"The first words I'm going to say in Germany are, 'I'm not Klitschko; I'm no chicken.' Klitschko has always been a quitter."

I'm sorry, but this to me just comes across as sheer ignorance. Perhaps I'm the ignorant one, but last I checked, even life-long Lennox Lewis haters regarded him as THE legitimate champ of his era. I was never a big Lewis fan, but there is no arguing that he was the champ. I don't need to go into detail on the legacy of Lennox as it's been written to death on countless occasions... but come on, Ruiz, you mean to tell me that because Lewis didn't win the title from a champion, it negates all of his accomplishments since then? Do you even follow boxing?

While my boxing knowledge isn't as complete as many other people that visit this site, I do know enough to realize that there aren't many in the boxing world who base everything on any one particular alphabet organization over the other. Many do however hold the Ring Magazine belt in higher regard, and up until a couple of days ago, the man on top was Klitschko, who just so happened to hold the WBC belt. Had it been the WBO or IBF or whatever else at the time of the whole Lennox / Vitali fight & Lennox retirement fiasco, Klitschko would still be regarded as the "people's champ."

"Klitschko was handed those 'belts' when Lewis retired. He lost and became champ? It looks like HBO and Ring's valedictorian got on stage and dropped his cheat sheet. They hand out belts like government cheese; get in line because you may be next."

"I'm fighting him because he's the No. 1 contender. I don't pick and choose my opponents like Klitschko."

Ok, I will give you a little on this one. It's true that HBO covets fighters they know translate into dollar signs. But let's face it--the bigwigs at HBO are not dummies. Unlike some promoters, they can only keep pushing fighters that keep winning. They aren't going to stick with a guy that fights poorly fight after fight, plain and simple.

My case in point is the amount of advertising HBO shoved down our throats with the whole Klitschko world domination thing. All we saw was Wlad this Vitali that. Next thing we know, HBO dropped Wlad like a ton of bricks when he couldn't win. Imagine for a moment if Wladimir was on another promoter's pathetic stable. The guy would lose ten fights in a row to middleweights and STILL be heading up some horrible productions that so many of us are embarrassed to even admit we ordered... (myself included). However, the way I see it, the reason Ruiz is going to Germany to fight Valuev is because there's probably only 7 or 8 people that would actually buy a ticket in the US to watch Ruiz "box" again. His promoter, is no idiot.

Well John, I think I speak for many boxing fans on this one. We can. In my opinion, we're in no hurry to see you as the linear heavyweight champion. I believe we are safe, however. Based on your previous performances, there are a few guys that I don't think you will fare well against (Although that doesn't mean you won't come away with the title...). Quickly, lets take a open-minded look at potential Ruiz opponents.

As far as the other "champs" are concerned:

Hasim Rahman: I see a draw or even another decision for Ruiz on this one. 2-time champ Rahman just doesn't have the skills to contend with the jab & grab, as we witnessed during the first fight. I foresee Ruiz walking out of the arena with his belt and a "W" on his record.

Chris Byrd: If I had to choose who was worse to watch nowadays, Byrd or Ruiz, I would come up with an excuse to change the subject. Chris Byrd has morphed into one of the most completely boring boxers in the division. Watching his last so-called fight was marginally more exciting than watching the grass grow or waiting for paint to dry. For the life of me, I don't know who wins this. My guess, whoever wins, it will be a humdrum 12 round split decision that Jim Lampley will have to grab hold of Larry Merchant and shake the analogies out of just to wake him up.

Lamon Brewster: If there truly is a god, I will pray to him that "Relentless" win's this fight in a big, Golota-esque fashion. I think, (well, I hope) that Brewster comes into this fight determined and blood-thirsty for a KO. I believe this may actually be an entertaining fight, with Brewster winning by TKO in the mid to later rounds.

Well, that takes care of the three other alphabet champs. Just for the heck of it, let's look at a few of the other fighters in the division. I honestly don't see this so-called "tournament" coming off, and feel we will have a better chance of seeing non-title fights rather than this long-promised box-off. I don't know how in the world anyone can claim that Vitali Klitschko is the lone reason why Brewster, Byrd, or Ruiz couldn't have already fought each other. Perhaps they just never thought of that... must be all the novelty USA flags he keeps twirling or something, who knows.

Wladimir Klitschko / Sam Peter: Personally, I think either of these fighters has the best chance to rid us of Ruiz for good. Wladimir absolutely has the boxing skill to completely negate Ruiz's hugging and clenching. Wlad definitely has the strength and power to keep Ruiz at a distance, where he will pepper his face with jabs all night long. I predict this fight coming off as an early to mid-round KO, with Ruiz frustrated, disoriented, bleeding and beat up. My hunch and hope is that he would once again retire from boxing, only this time it would be permanent.

With Sam Peter, I predict this as a brutal early, early KO. Peter feeds off guys that get close, and Ruiz would be target practice for the most powerful heavyweight today. It would be quite the opposite fight that he gave Wladimir. Sam Peter would end this fight in a devastating fashion much like David Tua did. Unfortunately for us boxing fans, this is a fight Ruiz will likely never agree to. Pity.

James Toney: Sucks, but this fight still has a year and change before even having a Pat Robertson prayer of coming off. This fight would go no different than the first fight other than Ruiz would try to look mad and P.O'd. Toney would outbox and outclass a frustrated Ruiz to a 12 round one-sided UD. The only negative is that Toney just doesn't have the power or size to KO Ruiz, or any other fighter in the heavies for that matter.

That about covers the "big names" in the division. Of course chances are favorable that we're only given the pleasure of seeing The Quiet Man wrestle, and man handle the likes of Kevin McBride, Nicolay Valuev, maybe a Calvin Brock or McCline. If only Ruiz would step it up and challenge someone worth a damn... none of this "I call out everyone in an open, prepared letters' nonsense, but a real-deal, no B.S. calling out a particular fighter. Ruiz, if you are so tired of everyone ripping you a new rear-end, do something about it! Give us something that makes us want to see you fight! Beat the crap out of somebody good until he submits and allows you to beat the crap out of any of the other champs--and do it convincingly! Until then, I'm afraid us boxing fans will just think you're not the real deal.

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Article posted on 14.11.2005

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