Author: Karolína Svěcená
Andy Ruiz.PHOTO: Profimedia.cz
Those who are still waiting for the return of the boxer Andy Ruiz Jr., unfortunately, will not see him soon. The former heavyweight champion is out until at least the beginning of next year.
The American-born Mexican became the first Mexican-born heavyweight to become a unified heavyweight champion when he captured the WBO, IBF, IBO and WBA belts in 2019 after Anthony Joshua. However, he only held them for six months as the British boxing star bounced back from a shock first professional defeat to regain the belts in Saudi Arabia in December of that year.
And although he’s only fought twice since then, Ruiz insists next year will bring a change in prospects and 2024 will be his year.
“I just finished working out, I’m five days post surgery and back in the gym, I feel good, I feel blessed,” he said in an Instagram video. “I can’t wait to get back in the ring, 2024 will be my year baby, my year, remember that! I had minor complications for the big comeback, but now I’m getting closer!”
Since his doubleheader with Joshua, Ruiz has scored two points wins over Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz. However, given his extended inactivity, it will be unlikely that he will be able to land the star opponents he was capable of in 2019.
However, his statement did not cause a wave of enthusiasm among fans. “You’ve been saying that since the AJ match lol. Come on champ just say you want a quick check and stop fooling the fans,” one fan expressed disappointment. “I’m tired of rooting for you only to let me down,” chimed in another.
“I’m a devoted fan of yours and I always cheer for you. But I have to be honest, there were moments when I was disappointed. And one of those moments was when you decided to avoid Deontay Wilder,” the fan alludes to the expected but unfulfilled fight.
According to Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott, the negotiations fell through because the 34-year-old Ruiz demanded too much money. The decline in Ruiz’s popularity has resulted in speculation that the end of his boxing career may be nearing. After pocketing an alleged $10 million for the Joshua fight, he only fought twice. As a result, he will not be able to demand such a high fee for entering the ring.