Andy Ruiz likes to eat, that's been established, he isn't shy about admitting that. And for many people, the issue of the eating, and the weight, and the physique was tabled when the Cali boxer showed that chubby doesn't mean slow or means you can't have solid stamina, and be a world class boxer against Anthony Joshua in NY.
Ruiz snagged a gaggle of belts off the Brit, while weighing more than 270 pounds at MSG, and the Brit as per usual looked like Adonis of the sweet science.
Ah, but we live in a society that prizes leanness, that fetishizes body image and we see corporations doing the neat trick of pushing abysmal for you food, caloric cluster bombs, and also self help material and other impetus to shed pounds.
So, many folks wondered, and asked, through those frames and filters, would Ruiz trim down for the rematch Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia?
The fighter in fact gave in to that thinking, accepted the possible upsides to leaning down some, in the months after the June triumph. And then he said fuck it.
On a Thursday conference call, Ruiz' trainer Manny Robles told media that Ruiz had trimmed down, maybe 30 pounds, and he was watching his weight by watching what he ate. He scarfed salmon and other smart options, while working out. And he dropped the poundage…and he didn't like how he felt.
“Drained,” is the word Robles used.
And so Ruiz went back to his old ways. Robles said he worked hard in camp, but after exercising, he'd eat. Tacos, pizza, pasta, the whole nine. The whole ten, I guess.
And so on Friday, Ruiz at the official weigh in scaled at 283.7.
Twitter gulped, and processed.
Maybe his outfit, including that sombrero, added ten pounds.
Did you check his pockets? Maybe he had lead in there, to give the appearance of being heavier, to have the opposition think that he was over confident, under motivated, over weight.
Bottom line is this–we can process, and ponder, speculate and predict…but mostly, we have to wait. Till fight night…then we get the answers, we see how his body looks, how he moves, if he wins. If he loses, and looks like he didn't add pounds of muscle, then he will likely get some flak.
George Foreman knows a bit about taking part in big fights, and being big boned, and liking to eat. What does the living legend think about Ruiz weighing 283, after being 268 in June?
“What happened,” Foreman said, “I thought he was looking to slim down? AJ has a “bird nest on the ground.” Hope he is rehabbed enough to take advantage of it. Being kayoed is like having a severely sprained limb, it takes rest. Sometimes you see a guy who was never dropped, going down lots. Didn’t heal. Look at the Lyle/ Foreman fight after Ali. Interesting fight coming up. Exciting!”
Foreman has a good idea of what Ruiz dealt with following his upset for the ages in NYC.
“I’ve been there, you are asked to be in so many places, meet so many people, for me it was doing commercials, no time to back away from food, cand you can’t really run at such a weight,” Foreman said. “Can’t catch up. So we say such things (like about how the fighter felt “drained” at the lower weight). Except we say 300 pounds is better,” he said, chuckling.
Listen, Santa Claus ain't svelte, and he gets that job done. Time tells if we say the same about Andy Ruiz.