By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr. is ready to show that he isn’t some one hit wonder.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the former heavyweight champion has agreed to a matchup with former title challenger Chris Arreola that will take place on the back end of 2020.
With the 39 year old Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) putting on one of his best performances in his last ring appearance against Adam Kownacki, the California native pondered retirement if he didn’t get the job done on the night. Yet, after 12 fairly competitive rounds in which Arreola had thrown a record setting 1,125 punches, he backed off his retirement claims.
Despite his previous showing though, much of the boxing world will be fixated on the comeback story of the man standing across the ring from him on the night.
Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) found himself on the table of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua as a sacrificial lamb. The two matched up in June of 2019 and not much was expected of him.
Come in, get paid, get your ass kicked and leave. And in that order. Ruiz Jr. however, didn’t read the memo.
The upset of Joshua has been well chronicled. Ruiz Jr. picked himself up off the mat in the early going, only to drop his man on four separate occasions to become the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.
Those newly found gold belts did not serve as motivation though. They were simply used as beer holders as Ruiz Jr. spent most of the following six months partying like there was no tomorrow. But while the new heavyweight champion was busy making appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel show and signing countless autographs, the old belt holder was hard at work readying himself for their rematch.
The difference in preparation showed as Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly dominated over 12 rounds.
“I think I didn’t prepare as I should’ve,” said Ruiz Jr. immediately following their rematch. “I gained too much weight. Basically I tried to train myself, but if we do the third fight best believe I’m going to be in the best shape of my life.”
The promises of the former heavyweight champion doesn’t appear to be hollow as he has decided to work with trainer of the year and head man of current four division star Canelo Alvarez.
With the world there to witness his rise to the top of the mountain and his unceremonious fall from it, Ruiz Jr. will begin his journey to prove that he isn’t some flash in the pan fighter.