Andy Ruiz Jr. is looking to return to the ring before the end of the year against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) or former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs).
Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) needs a step-up opponent after his recent tune-up against 40-year-old Chris Arreola four months ago on May 1st.
That fight was surprisingly sold on FOX PPV, which many boxing fans were less than happy about.
Ruiz needs a more viable opponent for this fight because he’s hoping to use the fight as a stepping stone to get a trilogy match with IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
The recently turned 32-year-old Ruiz Jr. has a lot of weight with the help of his new coach Eddy Reynoso, who also trains Canelo Alvarez, Oscar Valdez, and Ryan Garcia.
It’s debatable whether Ruiz Jr has improved under Reynoso from how he performed with his last trainer Manny Robles. But Ruiz feels that he needs Reynoso to be disciplined, and show up for training.
Thus far, Ruiz isn’t looking so good with Robles as his coach. Ruiz was dropped by Arreola in the second round, and he had problems with him throughout the fight.
The old Ruiz likely would have knocked Arreola out, but the new and supposedly improved version struggled.
Ruiz recently had knee surgery in Mexico last August to repair a problem that had been dealing with for a while.
Former two-time world title challenger Luis Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) is the guy that boxing fans would prefer to see Ruiz fight, but he’s not been in a hurry to fight the talented Cuban.
Ruiz was supposed to have been fighting Ortiz in his last fight but instead opted for the easier match against Arreola. It’s likely that Ruiz’s team felt he needed a tune-up first before taking on a tougher opponent like Ortiz.
The inclusion of Charle Martin among the potential opponents for Ruiz’s next fight suggests that his team isn’t quite comfortable with the idea of him facing Ortiz yet.
Ortiz’s power, speed, and boxing skills would make him a dangerous threat for Ruiz. For that reason, there’s an excellent chance that Ruiz’s management will choose the lesser threat in 35-year-old Charles Martin for his next fight.
Ortiz looked lethal in his last fight, destroying Alexander Flores by a first round knockout last November.
Ruiz has made a lot of money in his two fights with Anthony Joshua, and he wants to make sure he gets the third clash against him.
He’s tried asking for promoter Eddie Hearn for the trilogy match without having to earn it by fighting someone like Ortiz, but he’s not willing to do that.
It’s up to Ruiz whether he wants to continue to take safe fights against the likes of Charles Martin or if he wants to take dangerous ones against Ortiz and improve his chances of getting a fast title shot.
Ruiz has lost a lot of weight recently, and we don’t know how he’s going to perform with his new physique.
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