Former heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr has stated in an interview with ESPN’s David Faitelson, that the criticism of his physique only motivates him, and that the heavyweight division isn’t a “body contest”.
Mexico’s first ever heavyweight world champion returns to action on September 4 when he faces dangerous Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz in a WBC title eliminator, after beating Chris Arreola in a unanimous decision win last year.
“The Destroyer” shocked the world when he stopped heavy favourite and reigning champion, Anthony Joshua, for the WBA ‘Super’, WBO and IBF titles at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York three years ago.
Joshua won the titles in an immediate rematch, out-boxing Ruiz on his way to a decision victory. The 32-year-old has since admitted that he never focused as much as he could have for the rematch, after enjoying the life and fame of being the heavyweight world champion.
Ruiz is with a new trainer and team following his split from Eddy Reynoso and claims that he is 100% focused ahead of his ring return:
“All those who don’t support me, motivate me. They are not the ones who are up in the ring taking the punches. There were times when it was true, I wasn’t focused on the fights like I had to be, but now I have my gym and I’m more motivated.”
Speaking about the criticism he has had over his physique, Ruiz Jr said:
“I don’t need to be that weight to have the power. I want to be strong and that’s how we’re going to be. My dad tells me that ‘God made me a chubby champion’ and that’s how I am. I carry the weight well. This is not a body contest.”
Andy Ruiz Jr and Luis Ortiz takes place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.