By Steve Kim
Since losing a razor thin majority decision to Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO heavyweight title on December 10th, 2016, Andy Ruiz has sat idle.
He gave Parker one of his toughest outings to date, and it created some very tense moments for the Parker fans at the Spark Arena in Auckland. Parker captured the title by smallest of margins, with scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114.
Since that contest, Parker has already retained his titles on two occasions and is now scheduled to unify with IBF, IBO, WBA world champion Anthony Joshua on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Ruiz is finally scheduled to see action, by making his return to the ring on March 10th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California as part of the Oscar Valdez-Scott Quigg undercard.
So why the protracted absence from the ring?
"I just wanted to take a break. I already have 30 fights," explained Ruiz, who has record of 29-1 (19 KO's), to BoxingScene.com.
"I wanted to be with the family, I started investing my money. I started building houses. But every boxers needs that little break and now I've got to come back harder."
For the bout with Parker, Ruiz trained in the mountains of Big Bear at the Summit Gym with Abel Sanchez, who is best known for his work with Gennady Golovkin and Murat Gassiev. Now, the once-beaten heavyweight is at Legendz Gym in Norwalk, California and working with trainer Emanuel Robles and his crew.
The break from boxing and the change of scenery has rejuvenated Ruiz mentally and he's very motivated to get back in the mix.
He says he has a, ''recharged battery," adding, "you've got to get that hunger back in you and that line to come out."
The 28-year old Ruiz will face Devin Vargas (20-4, 8 KO's)
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.