VAN NUYS, Calif. — The battle of the big men between Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola could immediately become a weighty issue if either fighter shows up out of shape when they square off May 1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on FOX Sports pay per view. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
The Mexican heavyweights both have a history of lacking discipline during training, none more so than Ruiz, who gained over 15 pounds in his rematch versus Anothony Joshua in 2019 while failing to defend his titles.
A more dedicated Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) has emerged of late after joining forces with new trainer Eddy Reynoso. After once ballooning to 310 pounds, he now plans on fighting at no more than 255 pounds.
If you ask Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs), Ruiz shouldn’t worry about what the scale reads in preparation for their encounter.
“Boxing is not a bodybuilding sport. It doesn't matter if you have a f------ body like Tarzan. If you fight like Jane, who cares? Personally, I think he should worry more about his boxing than his physique,” said Arreola. “Who cares about what people say if you look fat? All that matters is that you get the win. I was once that guy who had s--- talked about his weight. Every time. All that matters is that you come in with a good performance. If he could do both, that would be great. My job is to prevent that from happening.”
Arreola trainer Joe Goossen told BoxingScene.com he’s ready to see a revived Ruiz.
“Andy Ruiz is going to be as sharp as he’s ever been, if not better than ever. I’m not looking for edges, I know what I know. He’s with a great trainer. He’s rededicated himself, or else Eddy wouldn’t have even bothered coaching him,” said Goossen.
Arreola is expecting the union between Ruiz and Reynoso to only be a positive one.
“It looks like it should be a good marriage. At the end of the day it's up to Andy if he makes it work or not. The trainer is going to be there. The trainer is going to work. So it's up to you if you want to do it or not,” said Arreola. “It's boxing. If I'm not ready for his hand speed, then I'm going to go bye-bye. I'm going to go to sleep. I'm always ready for whatever comes. Hand speed. Power. He has both, so I have to be ready for both.”
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