Imperial, CA, USA (November 3, 2023) - Former top heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr.'s return to the boxing ring will be postponed until at least the new year. The American-born Mexican made history as the first heavyweight of Mexican heritage to become a unified heavyweight champion, claiming the WBO, IBF, IBO, and WBA belts by defeating Anthony Joshua in 2019. However, he held these titles for only six months, as Joshua reclaimed them with a victory in Saudi Arabia later the same year.
Since then, Ruiz has been relatively inactive, having fought just twice. He believes that 2024 will be the year for his resurgence. In an Instagram video, the 34-year-old boxer shared, "I just got done working now, five days out of my surgery, and we're back in the gym feeling good, feeling blessed. Can't wait to get back in the ring - 2024 is going to be my year, baby, my year. Remember that! Had a little minor setback for a major comeback, but now we're coming, let's get it!"
Ruiz has secured consecutive wins on points against Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz after his two-fight series with Joshua. However, his prolonged inactivity may prevent him from securing the blockbuster clashes he was capable of in 2019.
There were reports that Ruiz had been calling out Deontay Wilder, but nothing materialized, possibly due to the 34-year-old demanding too much money, as suggested by Malik Scott, the former WBC champion's trainer.
Ruiz's popularity has diminished in recent years, leading to speculation that he might be approaching the twilight of his boxing career. Despite earning a reported £8.23 million ($10 million) for his fight against Joshua, he has only fought twice since, making it unlikely for him to command a similar purse in his upcoming bouts.