Where In The World Is Andy Ruiz Jr?



Where In The World Is Andy Ruiz Jr?
Mike Tyson’s been as active as ARJ

Heavyweight boxing is thriving in Saudi, but where is Andy Ruiz Jr?

The heavyweight division is on fire at the moment but one boxer who is missing out on all the lucrative paydays in Saudi Arabia is Andy Ruiz Jr.

At the time of writing, Ruiz has not fought since winning a 12-round decision against Luis Ortiz on September 4th 2022, almost two years ago.

Despite not having the most aesthetically pleasing body in the world, the ‘Destroyer’ is an exceptional fighter.

Andy Ruiz Jr has been inactive

Inactivity is severely detrimental to high end pugilists, usually

Blistering fast hands, knockout power, a strong chin, and remarkable counter-punching ability on the front foot, Ruiz can cause anyone trouble on his day.

Just ask Anthony Joshua, who famously suffered his first professional defeat to Ruiz in 2019 at Madison Square Garden, New York.

The boxing world will never forget how Ruiz got dropped by Joshua in the third round, only to recover in emphatic fashion by flooring AJ four times to force a stoppage.

Andy Ruiz Jr had become the first world heavyweight champion with Mexican heritage.

However, fans will also struggle to unsee the shocking shape Andy Ruiz Jr was in for the Joshua rematch just six months later.

As he stood on the scales for the weigh-in, wearing a sombrero on his head, Ruiz looked like a man that barely trained after his historic triumph, which resulted in Joshua reclaiming his world titles with ease.

The rematch with Joshua took place in Saudi and it’s kind of ironic that Andy Ruiz Jr still hasn’t returned to the Middle East.

Following his loss to AJ, Ruiz took a year and a half away from boxing before making his return against Chris Arreola on May 1st 2021 and was inactive for another year and a bit before facing Ortiz.

Andy Ruiz Jr Rarely Fights

There was speculation Ruiz would collide with Deontay Wilder at the end of 2022 when the WBC called for the pair to fight in a world title eliminator, yet talks broke down due to a financial disagreement.

Indeed, Andy Ruiz Jr has not been active enough in the last three years and it’s possible his best days are behind him.

This coming September, Ruiz will be 35 years old.

Andy Ruiz Jr

Andy Ruiz Jr made enough money a few years ago to allow him to be a part-time fighter

It’s been almost ten years since Ruiz fought Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO Heavyweight Championship and lost a close majority decision. And Mike Tyson gloves up about as often as Andy Ruiz Jr.

Still, Ruiz is not the only boxer from under the PBC banner who seems to suffer from inactivity.

Keith Thurman was once regarded as the future of 147 lbs but by the time he challenges Tim Tszyu on March 30th in a bid to become a two-weight division world champion, ‘One Time’ would have been out of the ring for over two years.

Then you have Errol Spence Jr who didn’t fight for a year and three months prior to his undisputed bout with Terence Crawford last July in Las Vegas.

And of course, we can’t forget Jermall Charlo, who was allowed to hold onto the WBC middleweight championship, despite not defending the title for more than 888 days.

There’s no doubt PBC pays their fighters well, but you only need to look at the stacked cards Turki Alalshikh is putting together in Saudi to see there are plenty of opportunities in the heavyweight division.

After all, Wilder is signed to PBC and was able to land a big fight against Parker last December on the Day of Reckoning Card.

That card was topped by Joshua vs Otto Wallin and featured plenty of world-class potential opponents for Andy Ruiz Jr such as Filip Hrgovic, Frank Sanchez, Daniel Dubois, Arslanbek Makhmudov and Agit Kabayel.

Not to mention, the show last Saturday night which saw Joshua obliterate Ngannou in two rounds, Parker outpoint Zhilei Zhang over twelve rounds, and Justis Huni edge out Kevin Lerena.

Even the upcoming undisputed heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on May 18th has heavyweights like Bakhodir Jalolov and Moses Itauma on the undercard.

Andy Ruiz Jr did have surgery on a torn rotator cuff back in November so this is a plausible explanation for why the Mexican American has not returned to the ring.

Andy Ruiz with Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson fights as often as Andy Ruiz Jr it seems like!

Andy Ruiz Jr Likes To Have Fun

However, apart from doing a recent interview with The Times and talking about his issues with food, alcohol, and smoking, no fight news for Andy Ruiz Jr has surfaced.

Whatever happens, Andy Ruiz Jr has had a phenomenal career.

For someone who worked his way up on small hall shows in Mexico, the ‘Destroyer’ has made life-changing amounts of money and attained momentous victories.

As selfish boxing fans, we can only hope that Andy Ruiz Jr returns and fights some of the top guys this year.

He might be 34 years old, yet the heavyweight category is notorious for older boxers still being competitive and in some cases, winning world titles.

Dan D’Alessio is a boxing journalist and fitness enthusiast. When Dan is not behind his desk writing articles, he is smashing pads, kicking a ball or lifting weights at the gym