Andy Ruiz Jr will make his eagerly-awaited return to the ring against Chris Arreola with the date set for Saturday May 1.
The former unified world heavyweight champion will headline a Fox Sports PPV show at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The card will retail at $49.95 for U.S. viewers. There are no UK TV details to hand as yet.
Ruiz Jr (33-2) has not been out since losing his titles in a rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia in December 2019. Six months before that he stunned the world by stopping AJ in Madison Square Garden as an unheralded 30/1 underdog.
The Californian looked badly out of shape for the rematch and gave Joshua few problems as the Briton boxed smartly en route to an easy points victory.
Ruiz Jr has focus again
But now, under the tutelage of ‘Canelo’ and Ryan Garcia trainer Eddy Reynoso, the 31-year-old Ruiz Jr appears to have regained his focus and passion for the sport.
He said: “I can’t wait to get back in the ring on May 1. Training with coach Eddy in his gym has been amazing. I’m around great fighters like Canelo Alvarez and we’re putting in the work so that I can look better than ever.
“I have known Chris Arreola since I turned professional. He’s a Mexican warrior just like me, and I expect him to come at me with everything he’s got. This is going to be an action packed event between fighters who do not go backwards.
“I will be smart and ready to do whatever it takes to get the win and put myself back in position to become heavyweight champion again.”
Arreola working hard
The veteran Arreola (now 38-6-1) is expected to be a respectable return fight for Ruiz Jr rather than present a major threat. He is now being trained by Joe Goossen as he gets ready for the PPV test.
“Training with Joe Goossen is tedious, hard work. We’re doing everything that we can so that when Ruiz and I face each other, fight fans will get treated to an all-out war between the two best Mexican-American heavyweights to ever step in the ring,” he said.
“This matchup should be a fan friendly fight, and I plan on winning behind all of my hard work.”
The evening’s co-feature will see former world champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr. clash with Abel Ramos in a 12-round welterweight bout.
Sensational super-welterweight contender Sebastián “The Towering Inferno’’ Fundora meanwhile takes on hard-hitting Jorge “El Demonio’’ Cota in a 12-round battle.
Rising welterweight star Jesús Ramos, Jr., the nephew of Abel Ramos, duels U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina in a 10-rounder.