Andy Ruiz was king of the world for a short period of time. The first Mexican heavyweight champion, he stunned the world when he defeated Anthony Joshua to win four belts. It was a stunning upset, right up there with Buster Douglas’s win over Mike Tyson. However, everybody wondered if he’d follow Douglas’s example and go down a dark road.
Unfortunately, he did. Ruiz literally ate himself out of his titles. He put on 20lbs and lost the mobility that gave him an advantage over Joshua in their first fight. The Englishman boxed cleverly with his jab to keep Ruiz away and win back his straps. Now Ruiz is sitting on the sidelines looking up the ladder.
However, there’s no doubt that the Snickers-loving Mexican has fighting in his blood. Check out this training footage from when he was 16 and took on former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski.
16 year old Andy Ruiz Jr boxing Andrei Arlovski pic.twitter.com/zLH3Q1RfZg
— MMA Gone Wild 🅙 (@MMAgonewild) March 20, 2020
Arlovski is the former UFC heavyweight champion and remains active today. Famed for his ferocity, the Russian is a very aggressive opponent. You can also see how big Ruiz is as well. Imagine trying to keep that 16-year-old fed. In short, the pair go back-and-forth with Ruiz holding his own against the MMA fighter. Then he even rattles him. He wrote on Instagram:
“I was 16 years old when I had the honor to spar with UFC Heavyweight Champion @andreiarlovski . Super tough guy lived up to his name The Pitbull. I did manage to give him some trouble tho. Thanks champ! So many great memories at the wildcard boxing club where Freddie Roach sharpened my skills as a boxer. Sorry for the vid quality it’s throwback.”
Ruiz’s former head coach Manny Robles explained his downfall. In short, it was a case of too much too soon. Ruiz was overwhelmed by fame and riches. The pair parted ways after the Joshua rematch with Robles holding a grudge against his former charge.
“He made a lot of new friends that weren’t around when he had nothing, and unfortunately, people change with money,” said Robles of Ruiz Jr. being changed by the millions he made after beating Joshua. “I think money and fame. Money changes people. I can’t say all but it definitely does, and it changed him. Unfortunately, it changed him for the worse.
“It’s hard to wake up in the morning with silk sheets, and have to get up in the morning and go run and go to work,” Robles continued on what went wrong with Ruiz. “But you wake up that way knowing you have all that money in the bank and whatever. As I said, it was much greater than that, and I tried to convince him. ‘Look, you have a huge responsibility. If money drives you, go out there and make more. Let’s go beat this guy again.’ I did everything on my end, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.
Ruiz will be back in the ring soon enough. His most likely opponent will be one of Luis Ortiz or Charles Martin. Ortiz is a wily veteran who most recently fell short against Deontay Wilder. However, he’s a very canny boxer. It’s just too bad he’s about 351 years old now.
Meanwhile, Martin and Ruiz could find themselves as unlikely contenders for Joshua’s IBF title. They would be uninspiring challengers but this is boxing.