Andy Ruiz Jr. feels like he owes those that supported him before and after his loss to Anthony Joshua in their rematch.
The former heavyweight champion’s perspective on that costly loss isn’t that he only let himself down.
Ruiz realizes he disappointed a lot of other people by showing up overweight and decisively losing a unanimous decision to Joshua in their 12-round rematch in December 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The 31-year-old Ruiz plans to start atoning for how he handled his brief reign as a heavyweight champion on May 1.
He’ll face fellow Mexican-American Chris Arreola in a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event that night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Ruiz spoke during a virtual press conference recently about how his trainer, Eddy Reynoso, motivated him before they began working together last year.
“When we first met up,” Ruiz recalled, “it was like, ‘All right, what do you want? What are we gonna do? Are you gonna be the same fighter like you were before? Or are you gonna take it to the next level, like I’m doing with the other fighters?’ So, I was like, ‘You know what, Eddy? I wanna do whatever it takes for me to become a two-time heavyweight champion of the world.’ And you know what? That’s when I made my decision.
“I was like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna give all the discipline that I have, every sacrifice that I have to do to prove myself and, you know, prove [it] to all my fans, because I feel I let a lot of people down. And like I said, I’m more motivated than ever. And having Eddy right here on my side, working together, changing all the stuff that I didn’t do [before] my last fight or ever, it just feels good.”
Ruiz revealed that he intends to come in no heavier than 255 pounds for his 12-round fight against Arreola.
The Imperial, California, native weighed in at 283½ pounds for his rematch with England’s Joshua, 15½ pounds heavier than he was the day before he upset Joshua by seventh-round technical knockout in June 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) will fight for the first time since losing the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts back to Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) when faces Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs, 2 NC).
The 40-year-old Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs, 2 NC), of Riverside, California, will end a longer layoff when he encounters Ruiz. Arreola last fought in August 2019, when he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
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