Andy Ruiz felt vindicated in carrying as much weight as he did into the ring for his latest victory. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

The former unified heavyweight titlist officially weighed 268 ¾ pounds ahead of his twelve-round, unanimous decision victory over Miami’s Luis Ortiz. Ruiz scored three knockdowns on the night but had to absorb several flush left hands from the Cuban southpaw, taking the shots well and managing to remain upright long enough to preserve the win atop their September 4 Fox Sports Pay-Per-View headliner at Arena in Los Angeles.

“The main advantage was the weight I put on, he wasn’t able to drop me,” Ruiz told and other reporters after the win. “I felt if I was 250-something, it would have been a fight of him dropping me, and me dropping him.

“I felt strong, I felt explosive. I was a bit too cautious. He hits hard so I had to be smart. 

The weight was similar to the crowning achievement of Ruiz’s career, a June 2019 seventh-round knockout of Anthony Joshua to win the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titles in their first meeting. Ruiz weighed 268 pounds for a fight he accepted on five weeks’ notice, recovering from a third-round knockdown to score of his own in stopping Joshua to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to capture a portion of the heavyweight crown.

Ruiz (35-2, 22KOs) showed up at a beefy 283 ¼ pounds for his December 2019 rematch with Joshua, clearly affected by the extra weight and lack of preparation in dropping a landslide decision to end his title reign.

A lengthy ring absence followed before Ruiz resurfaced last May, arriving at 256 pounds in an off-the-canvas, points win over Chris Arreola at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The general feedback was that Ruiz looked good in his first—and, for the moment, only—fight under Eddy Reynoso, though the Imperial, California native was similarly pleased with the work put in for his win over Ortiz which followed another extended inactive stretch.

The fact that Ortiz was unable to drop Ruiz shouldn’t dismiss the power that the 43-year-old heavyweight still boasts. “They both hit hard,” Ruiz noted of both Joshua and Ortiz when asked to compare their punching power. “Anthtony Joshua hit me with a shot I didn’t see coming and it put me down. With Luis Ortiz, I was more cautious. He threw a left hand that I saw coming, it hit me and I was like ‘Damn’.

“They both hit hard. They all f------’ hit hard.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox