Ruiz vs Chagaev: Ruiz arrives in Germany

LAS VEGAS (November 13, 2006) - Two-time world heavyweight champion John "The Quietman" Ruiz (41-6-1, 28 KOs) broke training camp Thursday in Las Vegas and is in Germany for Saturday night's (Nov. 18) mandated WBA elimination fight against No. 2 rated challenger Ruslan "White Tyson" Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs) in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Ruiz-Chagaev winner will be the mandatory challenger for WBA heavyweight champion Nicolay Valuev.

"Training camp was great," Ruiz said before departing for Germany. "I'm very happy with the way training has gone. We're ready for the fight. There's still a week to go and I'll be training a little over there. Training camp felt different from past camps. It was totally different. I worked on some new things and I really enjoyed it; not just the training but learning, moving on to bigger and better things, in my career and life." ..

The WBA No. 1 rated Ruiz lost his WBA title belt last December in Germany to Valuev by a controversial 12-round split decision. "Like I've said in the past," John explained, "I really enjoyed everything about Germany -- the people and country -- other than the final outcome. Valuev's been holding my belt. I've trained a lot harder for this fight so I won't have to rely on the judges for a decision."

Chagaev, reigning WBA Inter-Continental and WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight champion, has been compared by some in Europe to a left-handed Joe Frazier because of his aggressive, entertaining style. As an amateur, Ruslan represented Uzbekistan in the 2000 Olympics and was a two-time World Championships gold medallist. In 1997, he upset Cuban great Felix Savon, 14-4.

Chagaev's most notable victories as a pro have come in his last two fights, both in Germany, against former European heavyweight champion Michael Sprott (28-9) by eighth-round TKO last July and a 12-round majority decision this past March to previously unbeaten and current European heavyweight title-holder Vladimir Virchis (20-0).

"It is a great chance to fight against Ruiz," Chagaev said when the fight was announced. "He is well experienced with 49 fights (41-6-1 plus 1 no contest) but I will win."

"I'm not looking past Chagaev," Ruiz concluded. "He's dangerous and likes to come right at you, but that's my game. I still believe that I'm the best heavyweight in the world. When I return home with a win I'll be willing to fight any of the so called world champions."

Article posted on 13.11.2006

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