Andy Ruiz Jr. had right knee surgery on Tuesday to repair a problem that had reportedly been plaguing him for years. According to ESPN KNOCKOUT, the surgery was performed on the 31-year-old Ruiz Jr on Tuesday in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr (34-2, 22 KOs) still hopes to make a quick return to the ring in four months from now in December, as long as his right knee is fully rehabbed and at 100%.
It might be a little optimistic for Ruiz Jr. to return that quickly to the ring after the surgery, but it depends on whether there are any setbacks in his rehab. With a fighter Ruiz’s size, it’s a lot of stress on his knee to carry his weight.
For Ruiz Jr. to increase his chances of coming back by December, he’s going to need to keep control over his diet while he’s hobbling around.
If Andy Jr. balloons up to 300+ while recovering from his knee surgery, it could prove impossible to rehab the knee while trying to take off the weight at the same time for a fight in December.
For his last fight, Ruiz Jr weighed 256 lbs in defeating Chris Arreola by a 12 round unanimous decision on May 1st.
This weight was considerably lower than the 283 lbs Ruiz Jr had weighed in his previous contest a year and a half earlier in December 2019, losing to Anthony Joshua by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in their rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“They operated on his right knee; he had been struggling with that knee for about three years, he could not run very much, he could not do certain movements,” said Andy Ruiz Sr. told ESPN KNOCKOUT.
“He [Ruiz Jr] used gel to mitigate the pain, but recently it was not enough, and he made the decision of the operation, which was an arthroscopy, and it was done by the same doctor who operated on Canelo, Pedro Lomelí.
“They gave us hope that he would return in December. The same physical trainer, the doctor, told us that if everything goes well as now, then there is that possibility, but we will see when the moment arrives. Now we are happy that the surgery went well, “said Ruiz Sr.
Former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin had been the target for Ruiz Jr to fight in October, but that was before Andy’s knee surgery on Tuesday. Now that Ruiz is coming off knee surgery, it’s likely that his management team and trainer Eddy Reynoso will opt for a safer opponent.
Ruiz Jr. took an easy fight against 40-year-old Arreola in his last match, which surprisingly was sold on FOX Sports PPV.
The downside of Ruiz fighting another soft opponent is that he’s not going to significantly improve his chances of getting a trilogy match against Joshua that he’s been calling for.
But if Ruiz Jr and his management lack confidence that he can beat one of the top 10 contenders, they should continue their course in pitting him older past their prime guys until he eventually gets his trilogy match with Joshua.