Andy Ruiz Jr ballooned to 310lbs in weight after his defeat by Anthony Joshua, but the former world heavyweight king is now very much back on the right track.
The Californian ‘Destroyer’ (33-2) stunned the world in June 2019 by defeating Joshua at Madison Square Garden as a 30/1 underdog. He won the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in the process, but swiftly gave them back in a Saudi Arabia rematch that December.
Andy looked in poor condition for the rematch, tipping the scales at 283lbs – 15lbs heavier than for the first fight. He has now revealed things got even worse in the aftermath.
I was depressed – Ruiz
“After my fight against Anthony Joshua, my defeat, in Saudi Arabia, I gained to like 310lbs. I was depressed, I was mad at myself because I knew I should have trained, I knew should have done better in my last fight.”
Ruiz Jr made the admission on a training video released on his YouTube channel as he prepares to return to the ring on May 1 after what will have been a 17-month hiatus.
He says he now has new focus under the tutelage of Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia handler Eddy Reynoso, and is out to prove the doubters wrong.
“You know what, it’s never too late. Now is the time, now it’s the beginning to see the new and improved Andy Ruiz Jr.”
Ruiz Jr has not been out since that December 2019 loss to Joshua, and he will make his return against veteran Chris Arreola (38-6-1). Their Fox PPV (price $49.95) will take place in Carson, California.
Arreola a warrior
Andy is not taking his opponent lightly, reasoning: “Arreola’s not an easy guy you know, he’s a Mexican like me, he’s a warrior. He likes to throw bombs, he don’t give up until it’s over.
“So to me, I’ve got to be double in shape. All you can see and expect is fireworks and a new Andy coming soon.”
The move to work with Reynoso and his team has clearly made a huge difference to Ruiz Jr, and he appears absolutely bought in to the need for dedication and hard work.
“I feel a big difference. All the hard work and the dedication that they do. They focus on their fighter. They like to perfect every single punch, every single movement, counter-punching.
This is the beginning
“I think I should have been here from the beginning but things happen for a reason. We’re here now, it’s just the beginning of my career.”
Andy looked back to the period after that win over Joshua, and talked about his mindset, and what he did wrong.
“I had everything. I had the belts. I was on top of the world but I took that s*** for granted. So now there is more motivation being here with more champions, people who are dedicated, so I’m excited to be here.
“It’s a blessing to be here and everyone is gonna see the new change. In my other fights I used to weigh 270lbs, 280. I would have to lose all 20lbs just to get in my weight, I would always do it in the wrong way. Try to lose weight in the last minute, I would drain myelf.”
Ruiz Jr now looks and sounds like a changed man, both in terms of focus and his body shape. He’s excited for the future.
“All this hard work and dedication is gonna pay off. Everyone’s gonna see the difference, everyone’s gonna see my hard work.
“I’m ready, excited, ready to prove everybody wrong.”