Andy Ruiz, the champion who buried his success between indiscipline and parties, for a change

Andy Ruiz Jr facing Anthony Joshua at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia.  (Reuters/Andrew Couldridge)

Andy Ruiz Jr facing Anthony Joshua at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia. (Reuters/Andrew Couldridge)

Andy Ruiz touched the sky on June 7, 2019. No one could believe it. Many called it the most surprising victory of the 21st century. When in round seven the referee stopped the fight in favor of the Californian boxer, to decree his victory over the British Adonis Anthony Joshuamillions of eyes turned to see the ring of Madison Square Garden: They confirmed what minutes before would have seemed like a joke in bad taste. of Mexican descent, the destroyer he had knocked out the multi-champion to claim the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight world titles.

The consummation of the deed was gradual. In the third round, Joshua, a gold medalist in London 2012 and planetary figure, knocked down Ruiz as if to confirm that all the scripts are destined to be fulfilled. But at that moment something stirred in Andy’s pride. In less than a minute, still in the first round, Ruiz dosed Joshua back and sent him to the canvas. The public exploded before the inexplicable. If the British hero wanted to keep his belt that night, he would have to rip the heart out of a Mexican warrior who had barely fought a month before.

With Ruiz everything is unpredictable. That fight was taken with no prep time. She came from knocking out the Ukrainian in five rounds Alexander Dimitrenko On April 20. AJ was left without a rival due to the doping of Jarrell Miller. Andy didn’t hesitate: he direct messaged promoter Eddie Hearn on Instagram to run as an opponent. Everything was against him, and maybe that’s why he won, because Ruiz is the kind of athlete who can be stimulated in the face of adversity.

That vocation to materialize the unheard of led him to throw Joshua again with two seconds left in the third round. The three minutes that apparently condemned him to oblivion served as a compass for a success that was as ephemeral in the pragmatism of time as it was eternal in the nostalgia of the instantaneous. Terror could be seen deep in Anthony’s lost gaze. How was it possible for that chubby, baby-faced fighter to hit so hard?

The almighty world champion never found the key. If he landed a power punch, Ruiz would respond with flurries of up to four punches that sent the previously invincible Joshua into another world. In the seventh episode, Ruiz’s gloves finished writing the golden page. The Mexican-American threw Anthony Joshua twice again. Not even the complacency of the referee to give extra seconds of recovery to the monarch was enough. It was already inevitable: the king had nothing to do there. Tonight it belonged to Andy Ruiz.

Ruiz celebrating his win against Joshua in June 2019. Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Ruiz celebrating his win against Joshua in June 2019. Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

However, as in a story with a predictable ending, Ruiz did not know how to manage success. It is the perfect archetype of “the flower of a day”. He withered his success to the rhythm of the parties. Boxing, it is known, does not forgive disinterest. During the months following the New York feat, the champion was everywhere except where he belonged: in the gym. “The fight is over and I didn’t see him after winning the championship. I tried to stay out of it, but if you don’t exist, if you don’t stop to run, and if you don’t get to train, I can’t do anything“, valued his former coach Manny Robles in interview with One More Round.

The rematch with Joshua was agreed in Saudi Arabia and that’s where the fairy tale ended. Ruiz could not even scratch Joshua, who with a practical and defensive style drove away all fears from him and recovered the world titles. In the words of Manny Robles, Ruiz’s trainer, that defeat was completely predictable. “He did not get so badly to the rematch, but nothing to do with how he got to the first one. As a trainer, I’m not his babysitter: I’m in the gym because I don’t just depend on Andy. I brought him to Guadalajara with the idea of ​​keeping him away from the chaosbut I didn’t see him for three months,” Robles said.

“After he won the world championship, his life changed overnight, it was millions of dollars, the fame, the party. Everything came crashing down on him. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to handle it,” recalled his former coach.

After that fleeting success and with the employment relationship with Robles ended, Ruiz took refuge in the teachings of the best coach in the world in the last three years: Eddy Reynoso, leader of the Canelo Team. However, between 2020 and so far in 2022, Andy barely fought a fight: against the semi-retired Chris Arreola, who he beat by decision in an emotionless match. That was the balance of his stay with Reynoso, because this week the break between the two was confirmed. The former world champion will now work with Rafael Osuna.

Andy Ruiz’s upcoming fight is a turning point in his career. It may be the end of everything or the return to stardom that he was barely able to enjoy. Luis “King Kong” Ortiz I had been calling Andy for a long time. The brawl, finally, will take place on September 4. three years away, The destroyer who likes to wear charro hats, and listen to González Bocanegra’s anthem before getting into the ring, is waiting for the last train. Ortiz, however, has everything to bury for life the pride of the ephemeral idol.

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