It has been greater than a 12 months since boxing’s ‘Actual-Life Rocky’ Andy Ruiz Jr was soundly overwhelmed and dethroned of his heavyweight world titles by Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
We now have heard treasured little from the previous champion since, however a comeback is now being labored on.
The 31-year-old famously captured the WBA, IBF and WBO belts when he surprised AJ in one in all boxing’s biggest ever upsets at New York’s iconic Madison Sq. Backyard on June 1, 2019.
After being floored himself, the Mexican-American recovered to his toes and decked the champion twice in the identical spherical.
Two additional knockdowns in spherical seven ensured Britain’s heavyweight powerhouse was completed.
Referee Mike Griffin waved off the competition and unlikely hero Ruiz Jr carried out his spinning jumps of celebration.
The brand new champion turned an in a single day sensation and revelled in his 15 minutes of fame.
In fact, Ruiz Jr’s ’15 minutes’ lasted for six months and he made probably the most of each single day.
Supercars have been acquired, new jewelry donned, a brand new mansion inhabited and indulgent events thrown, plagued by new movie star buddies in LA.
It was all out there for the world to see, plastered throughout an Instagram web page which arguably turned extra materialistic than most of the social media influencers who attended Ruiz Jr’s events.
Some in boxing started to see the indicators of a change in focus, a distraction from the upcoming rematch and an imminent sharp downfall.
Most nonetheless determined to attend and watch how the second battle performed out earlier than making their judgements – the proof can be within the pudding, they surmised.
In the end, Ruiz Jr ate the pudding and the proof was on the scales as a substitute.
The champion admittedly was by no means precisely skinny to start with and weighed 268lbs first time round when he conquered AJ.
For the rematch, although, he got here in additional than a stone heavier as he scaled 283lbs.
In distinction, Joshua dropped virtually a stone as he went from 247.8lbs to 237lbs.
There had been no new supercars for the Brit, no new jewelry, no new mansions and no extravagant events.
As an alternative, he withstood plenty of public criticism, recruited further trainers to bolster his staff, labored extremely onerous throughout a gruelling coaching camp and employed recent ways to field Ruiz Jr’s head off for a large unanimous choice.
Joshua turned a two-time heavyweight world champion and danced off into the Saudi night time, deservedly having fun with the fruits of his labour.
This left a heartbroken Ruiz Jr to confess on the post-fight press convention that those that’d doubted his preparations have been 100 per cent appropriate.
“Me and my dad and my staff have been speaking. I ought to’ve listened to them, I shouldn’t have placed on all this weight,” he mentioned as he apologised to his coach Manny Robles and father Andy Ruiz Sr.
“I attempted to kinda do the coaching alone, I’m sorry Manny and I’m sorry to my dad, I ought to’ve listened to them extra, I believe I bought too assured in myself…
“I believe we began too late. I don’t wanna say that the months of partying and celebrating affected me, however to inform you the reality it kinda did.”
Coach Manny Robles insisted he would stick by his fighter, however that sentiment wasn’t mutual.
Six weeks later it was introduced that they’d break up – Robles was knowledgeable by Ruiz Sr, reasonably than the fighter himself.
When Ruiz Jr had carried out his spinning jumps on June 1 he hugged Manny Robles who span and jumped alongside him. The pair had simply conquered the world collectively.
Few would’ve thought their relationship can be in tatters simply seven months later.
Since then, Ruiz Jr has not proven all an excessive amount of of himself within the public eye and has saved a low profile.
He exchanged a couple of alternative phrases with Dillian Whyte who tried to lure him right into a battle earlier within the 12 months, however the pandemic ended up placing all boxing on maintain regardless.
In Could, he introduced his new coach can be Eddy Reynoso – the 2019 ‘Coach of the Yr’ who additionally guides the profession of Mexico’s pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez.
The pair have been but to hyperlink as much as start camp, however they’ve now.
Ruiz Jr revealed in October his devoted coaching would start with the knowledgeable tutelage.
“Everyone tune in, I’m gonna be posting lots on the health club with Canelo, I’m excited,” he mentioned.
“We’ve been coaching slightly bit [with Jorge Capetillo], however now I’m gonna begin camp with Eddy and all people there. I can’t wait, it’s gonna be actual enjoyable.
“I’m glad, I’m excited to be a part of Canelo staff. I’m gonna focus, deal with what I have to get. Everyone’s speaking s*** that I’m not gonna do nothing.
“It’s a weight reduction journey, that’s what precisely we’re calling it. Subsequent time you see me I’m gonna have a f***ing six-pack!”
Mockingly, Ruiz Jr should emulate the whole lot Joshua gave in preparation for his or her rematch if he’s ever to return to the summit of world boxing.
It’s now Ruiz Jr who faces plenty of public criticism, who has recruited a brand new coach and who should work extremely onerous in a gruelling coaching camp.
And in December, as AJ basked in a profitable title defence towards Kubrat Pulev one 12 months on from his win within the desert, Ruiz revealed the progress he’s making within the health club.
“It’s onerous, man. I’ve by no means lifted weights, by no means had a bodily coach how they’re doing it,” he defined in a video posted on Instagram, including there’s sufficient motivation coaching alongside the legendary Canelo to get him again to the place he needs to be.
He claims he has already misplaced 20Ibs and on the best path to attaining an Adonis-like physique.
As AJ was in a position to get well from defeat and change into a two-time heavyweight champion, it absolutely have to be doable for the Mexican history-maker additionally.
Whether or not Ruiz Jr truly achieves this or not will inevitably rely on himself.