Andy Ruiz could not have been prouder when he stepped on the scale for his latest assignment.
The former unified heavyweight titlist has come to grips with industry-wide criticism of his physique, as he will never be confused for a bodybuilder. His announced of 268 ¾ pounds for his upcoming WBC heavyweight semifinal eliminator with Luis Ortiz was understandably met with mixed reaction. There were those who prefer he come in around the 250-pound mark. Others drew parallels to his weighing 268 for an historic knockout win over Anthony Joshua in June 2019 to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a piece of the heavyweight crown.
“God made me a champion at this weight,” Ruiz said after Saturday’s official pre-fight weigh-in. “There’s no point in changing my weight just to make me look a certain way. I’m good, I feel blessed, I’m ready to rock and roll.”
Ruiz-Ortiz takes place Sunday evening atop a four-fight Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles (Sunday, 9:00 p.m. ET, $74.99). The event is also available to purchase online through Fite TV and PPV.com.
Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs) is more than twelve pounds heavier than his weight of 256 pounds in his most recent win, an off-the-canvas, twelve-round decision over Chris Arreola last May 1 in Carson, California. The beefy heavyweight from Imperial, California worked with Eddy Reynoso for the fight, coming down nearly 30 pounds from his December 2019 lopsided defeat to England’s Joshua to give back the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titles.
The still-relevant heavyweight contender—who turns 33 on September 11—will outweigh the taller Ortiz by more than 20 pounds according to the official weigh-in result. The difference is similar to the first fight with Joshua, which remains a career-best win for Ruiz though hoping to embark on a path that eventually leads to something greater within his next few fights.
That dream begins with getting past Ortiz on Sunday.
“I want to make a big statement,” claimed Ruiz. “I’m here for the long run. I’m only 32 years old. I’m still learning from every fight. I think that right now is my moment. It’s my year.
“Luis Ortiz is a tough guy. We know that. That’s why we’ve been putting all this hard work in. God willing we’re going to get this victory.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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