If only former heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz was as motivated, as prepared to put in the hard work ahead of last December’s big Saudi Arabian rematch with Anthony Joshua. As fans know, a grossly overweight, out of shape, “partied out” Ruiz was in no shape to fight on December 7, losing a wide, thoroughly disappointing decision to the man he had sensationally stopped six months earlier.
Ruiz “let down” plenty of people, this by his own admission. Now, at last, Ruiz seems to have his act together. Having already dropped a significant amount of weight (at least judging by his current appearance), “The Destroyer” is working hard under new trainer Eddy Reynoso, alongside Canelo Alvarez. Now, when the coronavirus has been KO’d once and for all and Ruiz can get himself a fight, fans will be looking to see if the Mexican-American can get back to where he was on June 1, 2019.
Ruiz has a number of potential fights he could conceivably take. A couple of days ago, Ruiz put out a tweet aksing fans who they would like to see him fight next. How about Luiz Ortiz? This fight has been spoken of as a possibility for months, and if both men entered the ring in shape, we would likely get an explosive battle. Ruiz and Dillian Whyte have been going back and forth on social media, Ruiz saying last week how he would like to fight Whyte so he could “shut him up.” Ruiz has also expressed interest in fighting Tyson Fury.
Chris Arreola’s name has also been mentioned as a possible “comeback fight” for Ruiz. Whoever he fights next, fans will be tuning in to see if Ruiz has indeed got his act together. If Ruiz has really got back the hunger (the right kind of hunger), he has what it takes skill-wise to get back on top. If, however, Ruiz shows up sluggish and unsightly in his return fans will show him their back.
Ruiz deserves another chance after the disappointment of the Joshua rematch, but fans will only be willing to give him one more chance. Ruiz, 33-2(22) is still only 30 years of age and maybe, just maybe, his best days are still ahead of him. Buster Douglas was never able to fully recover from the excesses he engaged in after his own million to one triumph (well, 42-1). Ruiz, who has been compared to the post-Mike Tyson Buster, might be able to do so. Maybe.
It sure looks as though Ruiz is on the right track. And in the right frame of mind. What took him so long?