Andy Ruiz’s return to the ring is right around the corner.
The former heavyweight champion of the world is training in San Diego for an April fight, coach Eddy Reynoso told BoxingScene.com
A FOX pay-per-view clash between Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) and former heavyweight title challenger Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) has been discussed dating back to last summer, but the situation has remained fluid due to the pandemic, and final details have never been hammered out after an initial agreement.
Reynoso could not comment if Arreola was still Ruiz’s next opponent, saying, “they are going to finalize that hopefully soon. We are still waiting for Andy’s team to confirm the opponent for April.”
Tom Brown of TGB Promotions opted not to comment to BoxingScene.com on Ruiz’s comeback fight and the potential opponent and timeline of staging it.
Reynoso did insist, however, that Ruiz will be fully prepared for the task this spring, regardless of the counterpart.
“Mentally he’s ready and focused. Andy is physically putting in the work. He’s disciplined,” said Reynoso. “We’ve been doing a lot of great cardio, and strength and conditioning. We’re going to see where he’s comfortable so he can maximize his power and speed. As soon as Saul’s fight is over on Feb. 27, we are going to spend more time in the gym and work on a strategy for his upcoming fight.”
In a December interview with BoxingScene.com, Reynoso said a newly determined Ruiz had already lost 20 pounds and would be competing at 250 pounds. On Monday, Reynoso did not have a specific figure in mind for Ruiz’s desired weight.
The 31-year-old Ruiz’s battles with the scale ultimately led to his demise in December 2019 when he failed to defend his heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua in a one-sided fight.
Ruiz weighed in at a hefty 283.7 pounds for the title fight against Joshua, more than 15 pounds heavier than their June 2019 clash when Ruiz pulled off one of the biggest sports shockers of the century with a seventh-round TKO over Joshua.
If the soon-to-be 40-year-old Arreola is Ruiz’s next opponent, the fight would be an all-Mexico clash featuring two Southern California-based heavyweights.
Arreola last fought and lost to Adam Kownacki in August 2019 in a competitive, all-out slugfest that featured a CompuBox heavyweight record of 667 total punches landed and a combined 2,172 punches thrown.
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