Andy Ruiz Jr. is ready to show off his resurrected body on May 1 against Chris Arreola.
Ruiz recently admitted he ballooned to a rotund 310 pounds following his rematch loss to Anthony Joshua in December of 2019. In the sequel, the former heavyweight champion weighed 283 pounds. In the original shocker of the century, Ruiz weighed 268 pounds.
Once the FOX Sports pay per view he’s headlining comes around at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, the Mexican-American Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) said he’s eager to show off how he’s knocked out the fat ever since handing training duties over to Eddy Reynoso.
“After my last defeat against Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia, I gained [weight to] almost 310 pounds,” said Ruiz. “We've been working, slowly but surely. We want to be at 250 to 255 pounds [for the Arreola fight]. We don't want to go crazy losing weight. Right now we’re trying to make the fat into muscle. Just working hard. The discipline is there. We just need to stay focused. I'm not looking past Chris Arreola. He's a tough fighter. He's a warrior. He takes a lot of punches. He's strong. We just have to stick to the game plan.”
Ruiz has always battled weight issues throughout his career, but he’s promising a new and improved version against Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs).
The 250-pound weight limit is the desired figure Ruiz and his team have previously expressed in recent years, yet never attained.
Glimpses of the 31-year-old’s physical transformation can already be seen online, however. Ruiz now sports chiseled legs and a much lighter upper body frame.
Moving camp over to the watchful eye of Reynoso and training alongside Canelo Alvarez might be the missing element Ruiz needed to revamp his disciplinary approach to boxing.
“Losing my last fight was devastating. I didn’t do the things that I was supposed to do. That was the most important fight of my career. I had been waiting to become champion my whole life and I started doing things I never thought I would be able to do. I don’t want to make those same mistakes again, and that’s a big part of what’s motivating me.
“Now that I’ve been dropping weight the right way, I feel amazing. I feel like I can do a lot more things that I couldn’t do before because of my body. The sky's the limit for me.
“I still have a grudge inside of me about the second Anthony Joshua fight, because I don’t want to go down that path again. I just want to stay disciplined for this fight and all of the big fights coming up in my future.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com