This past Saturday night in Carson, California - former WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz snapped his 17 month stint of inactivity.
Fighting for the first time since a decision loss in his rematch with Anthony Joshua in December 2019, Ruiz won a hard-fought twelve round decision over fellow Mexican boxer Chris Arreola.
The contest didn't start as expected, with Ruiz getting dropped in the second round and then getting rocked a few times in the third.
Ruiz then adjusted, by counter-punching and targeting the body.
"I liked that I went down and then got up and we won. Everyone goes down, the important thing is to get up and win the fight, and we did that,” Ruiz told ESPN Deportes.
"I felt good, even though I hadn't been fighting or training for over a year. I felt a bit rusty, I have to go back to the gym and train again. I felt a bit slow too, I didn't throw the punches that I wanted, but we were able to do enough to win, it left us learning more."
The ring return was Ruiz's first bout with new trainer Eddy Reynoso, who is best known as the head trainer for Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
“I trust myself with the truth. I didn't see [the punch that dropped]. He hit me with a right hand, I went down, it was very fast, I got up, and did what I had to do. Eddy was yelling at me to be careful, to put my hands up," Ruiz recalled.
Reynoso was satisfied with what he saw from Ruiz and feels confident that his fighter will eventually regain the heavyweight crown.
"We lost those first two rounds, maybe the third, but we adjusted, we changed the fight plan. I told him to calm down, not to open up too much, that he was delivering [punches] and [Arreola] was countering him," Reynoso said.
“I need an Andy with discipline, the kind of fighter who continues to work like he's doing right now and I have no doubt that he is going to beat Joshua, Tyson Fury, whoever it is. We need more physical conditioning, more power and continuity in the rounds when it comes to shooting combinations. Andy is strong and very intelligent."
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