A good number of people (heavyweight legend George Foreman included) felt Andy Ruiz had blown it as soon he stood on the scale on Friday. Coming in at a massive 283 pounds, Ruiz confirmed to these people how he had been enjoying himself far too much ever since shocking Anthony Joshua to rip the world heavyweight belts in June. Now, having been so clinically outboxed and frustrated, Ruiz has stated how he “didn’t prepare like I should have.”
We’ve seen it too many times in boxing: a relatively young guy wins a world title and reaps the financial rewards that come with it, and he then fails to train properly. Ruiz assured us all this would not happen to him, but it did. So what next for the Mexican/American? There is already talk, some of it from Joshua, of a third fight, but does Ruiz deserve a third fight, and the massive payday that would come with it? If he wasn’t going to put the work in for the crucial, must-win rematch – a fight that, had he won it, would likely have seen Ruiz go on to earn untold riches in super-fights with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury – why should we believe Ruiz will do so for a third go with the man who so comprehensively outboxed him yesterday?
In an ideal world, shouldn’t Ruiz get back to work in the gym, have a return fight to show he’s serious, and show up in accordingly good shape, and THEN call for a third fight with Joshua? Shouldn’t Ruiz have to earn it? In terms of what’s best for the heavyweight division, fans will surely agree with me and say a Joshua-Wilder and/or a Joshua-Fury fight is far more exciting, interesting and needed compared to Joshua-Ruiz III.
It’s too early for Joshua to know what he will do next (will he drop the WBO belt, or will he accommodate mandatory Oleksandr Usyk? Will he drop the WBA belt, or will Joshua fight Kubrat Pulev?) but when it comes to whether or not Ruiz gets that third fight, well, that will be Joshua’s choice.
Can Ruiz possibly bounce back and prove that he isn’t a fighter who got lucky one time and will never rule the world again? It might seem too harsh a question, but the way Ruiz let a lot of people down yesterday (himself mostly), it’s no time for nice, soft sentiment, is it?