By: Hans Themistode
We all knew it was going to happen, we just didn’t know when. That is, until now.
Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. will return to the ring on April 24th when he takes on fringe contender Chris Arreola.
No specific site has been revealed just yet, but their bout will be a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.
It’s been a long time since anyone has seen Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) in the ring, one year and a half to be exact.
For a six-month stretch, Ruiz Jr. was on top of the world. His massive upset win over Anthony Joshua crowned him as the first heavyweight champion from Mexico. His enthusiasm for what he accomplished was taken a bit overboard as he spent most of his time partying like there was no tomorrow.
While it was fun at the moment, it caused him to slack in his preparation for their rematch six months later. During the night in question, Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly outboxed and his 15 minutes of fame were officially over.
His championship reign may have been truncated, but it was long enough for Ruiz Jr. to realize that he wanted a taste of it again. To help him in his efforts, he ended his relationship with former trainer Manny Robles and began working closely with Eddy Reynoso, trainer of pound-for-pound star, Canelo Alvarez.
By all accounts, their relationship seems to be going great as Reynoso revealed that Ruiz Jr. has lost 20 pounds since they began working with one another.
As for Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs), he’s spent a long amount of time on the sidelines as well. In his last ring appearance, the Los Angelos native almost pulled off an upset of his own against Adam Kownacki. Unfortunately for him however, he fell just short.
Following the loss, the now 39-year-old sat back and seriously considered retirement. Yet, with a chance to pick up a big win and an even bigger check against Ruiz Jr., this was an opportunity Arreola simply couldn’t say no to.