Andy Ruiz Jr was last in the ring against Luis Ortiz in September of 2022, prior to that May of 2021.
Those two victories – the first a UD over Chris Arreola and the same against Ortiz a year later – were the former world champion’s bounce back fights following a rematch defeat to Anthony Joshua in 2019.
Although no top-level heavyweight has been particularly active of late, in fact the division is regularly used as an example of how boxing shouldn’t play out, Ruiz has lost any momentum from that historic world title victory over ‘AJ.’
And the WBC have acted accordingly, dropping him down from number two to number five in their latest heavyweight rankings update. He now finds himself behind champion Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Joshua, Arslanbek Makhmudov and Frank Sanchez.
Wilder has kept his number one spot despite being out of the ring for just one month less than Ruiz, his last a double-quick knockout of Robert Helenius in October 2022.
The two former champions were ordered in November to face off, with the winner being the mandatory challenger for a shot at Fury’s title. Talks were slow, sped up and collapsed this summer.
Ruiz continues to call out Wilder, but ‘The Bronze Bomber’s team have made it clear that he has moved on entirely.
With the division’s champions, Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, tied up, Ruiz must look for a meaningful fight to keep his name mentioned with the best in the world.
Wilder and Joshua have been in long negotiations for a fight of their own, but a change in the boxing landscape in Saudi Arabia may have halted that.
Should Joshua – who has just leapfrogged him in the ratings after two wins this year – be looking for a December fight instead, Ruiz is seemingly ready and waiting.