By: Hans Themistode
Chris Arreola has sat back and listened as boxing fans are already playing matchmakers. In the mind of many, fantasy showdowns involving former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and several of the top names in the division are on the verge of taking place.
Standing in the way of those fantasy matchups is long-time contender Chris Arreola. The two are slated to face off in a FOX pay-per-view event on May 1st, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Despite giving up the advantage in terms of youth, speed and championship status – Arreola is unafraid of what Ruiz has up his sleeves. In the mind of the veteran contender, what he brings to the table is something a bit unique.
“My biggest asset is my heart and my balls,” said Arreola during an interview with Premier Boxing Champions. “I don’t back up from no one, I come and fight and just give it my all. I just bite on that f*cking mouthpiece and keep coming. That’s what I bring to the table.”
For Ruiz, his return to the ring has been a long and difficult road. In June of 2019, the Mexican native upset the odds in not only defeating Anthony Joshua but ultimately stopping him in the seventh round of their contest. With the win, Ruiz became the first Mexican fighter to win a world title.
The victory turned Ruiz into a celebrity overnight. He quickly made the rounds on television talk shows and became a regular in the party scene. While he had every right to enjoy his victory, Ruiz admitted that he took things a bit too far.
“I think I ate everything,” said Ruiz during an interview several months ago with TMZ Sports. “That’s why I gained so much weight. Just being with my friends and just celebrating, drinking a few more Coronas than I should have.”
Coming into their rematch six months later, Ruiz appeared grotesquely overweight, tipping the scale at 284 pounds. His inability to stop partying and dedicate his time to the gym cost him as Joshua easily outpointed him to win back his world titles.
Since then, Ruiz rededicated his life to boxing, teaming up with famed trainer Eddy Reynoso, head man of pound-for-pound star, Canelo Alvarez.
Recently, Ruiz has been seen sporting a much more trimmer look. But while Arreola tips his cap to his opponent for getting in much better shape, he believes all of his hard work will ultimately be in vain.
“I see myself winning this fight. I just been working hard, there’s no shortcuts just hard work. In order to beat me you really, really, really gotta beat the shit out of me.”