Andy Ruiz to return on Saturday
There is no doubting the skills Andy Ruiz possesses inside a boxing ring. With the praise Ruiz has received inside the ring, there have been equal amounts of criticism.
The unbeaten heavyweight has been dogged by those who have called him out for being overweight and not being dedicated in the gym.
While those accusations may or may not have been warranted, Ruiz seemed to listen and is eager to put that chapter of his career behind him.
Ruiz will fight Devin Vargas this Saturday at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif., just south of Fresno.
The 10-round bout will headline a Top Rank Promotions card and will be broadcast on UniMas, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/ PT.
Ruiz (24-0, 17 knockouts) has not fought since Dec. 20, when he defeated Siarhei Liakhovich by unanimous decision over 10 rounds. While he won decidedly, boxing scribes and fans critiqued his performance along with the fact he weighed in at 267 ¾ pounds for the fight.
After some time away from the ring, Ruiz decided to train in Big Bear Lake, Calif., where he has been since early this summer. He is trained by ‘Big’ Jeff Grmoja.
Ruiz hooking up with Grmoja seems to have paid dividends thus far. Top Rank, which promotes Ruiz, and social media recently posted pictures of Ruiz, which prove he has lost considerable weight and looks much thinner.
There are reports Ruiz has lost between 30-40 pounds since being up in Big Bear Lake.
Should he emerge victorious, Ruiz is penciled to return to the ring on the undercard of the Terence Crawford-Dierry Jean fight in Omaha, Neb. on Oct. 24.
Vargas (18-4, 7 KOs) has lost four of his last five bouts. The 2004 United States Olympian has not fought since June of last year, when he was stopped in the third round by Dominic Breazeale.
Vargas has also faced and lost to Kevin Johnson and Andrzej Wawrzyk by technical knockout.
Opening the ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ telecast will be an eight-round junior middleweight bout between Danny Valdivia and Jeremy Ramos.
In off-TV action, unbeaten middleweight Esquiva Falcao will fight Zoltan Papp in an eight-round bout. Junior lightweight Andy Vences will face Andres Bustamante in a six-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.