By: Hans Themistode
The biggest moment in the career of Andy Ruiz Jr. fills him both with pride and sorrow.
On June 1st, 2019, Ruiz Jr. climbed through the ropes as a significant betting underdog. Although many were attempting to predict the round in which he would get stopped by Anthony Joshua, Ruiz Jr. simply ignored the critics and went on to create history.
After peeling himself up off the deck, Ruiz Jr. did what many believed was unthinkable, as he stopped Joshua to rip away his world titles. With the win, Ruiz Jr. became the first fighter of Mexican descent to become a heavyweight champion.
Admittedly, the newfound fame got to Ruiz Jr.’s head. Going to the gym became an afterthought as he focused more on partying and drinking as much booze as possible. The lack of attentiveness ultimately led Ruiz Jr. to have a transient title reign as he was pummeled by Joshua in their immediate rematch six months later.
Since then, Ruiz Jr. has sat back and watched in awe as Oleksandr Usyk has created history of his own. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion has recently stomped into the hometown of Joshua, thoroughly outboxing him and winning his world titles.
Although Ruiz Jr. doesn’t know Usyk on a personal level, he’s hoping that the newly crowned champion keeps his head on straight.
“I wouldn’t want him to make the same mistakes I did,” said Ruiz Jr. during an interview with Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast. “Getting all the belts, partying, doing all the dumb stuff, and not worrying about keeping those belts.”
The road to redemption has been a long one for Ruiz Jr. After spending a year and a half on the sidelines, the former Mexican champion resurfaced with new head trainer Eddy Reynoso. A noticeably slimmer Ruiz Jr. would go on to score a wide unanimous decision against Chris Arreola on the 1st of May earlier this year.
More than anything, Ruiz Jr. is hoping that with more focus, he’ll regain those very titles that slipped through his fingers. But, in the meanwhile, the 32-year-old is fairly confident that Usyk won’t fall victim to the same pitfalls that he did.
“I’m pretty sure Usyk is gonna do the right things.”
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