Andy Ruiz Jr was the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion of the world, but his career has notably stalled since.
The 34-year-old shocked the world as a late replacement for unified champion, Anthony Joshua, back in 2019. Ruiz rose from the canvas to stun ‘AJ’, and would ultimately win by seventh round stoppage.
A rematch six months later saw an out-of-shape champion lose his belts straight back to the Brit, followed by sixteen months out of the ring. He has since racked up wins over Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz.
Despite now being short of an opponent, Ruiz recently shot down the idea of facing fellow former champion, Charles Martin, who lost to Ortiz by stoppage in 2022.
Speaking to Fight Hub TV, the Mexican said fighting Martin would be moving backwards, especially since he’s seen his skills up close in sparring.
“Oh I seen Charles Martin trying to call me out. He’s saying ‘man I wanna fight that fat boy’ – come on, man. I can’t go backwards. I beat the guy that beat you. So there’s no point. I need to get somebody else. Someone that’s gonna be good for me. I beat your ass in sparring, by one hand. I was hurt.”
Ruiz and Martin are on record as sparring partner’s ahead of the Mexican’s rematch with Anthony Joshua – a shared opponent between the two.
Joshua dealt with ‘Prince’ Charles handily to win his first world title in 2016, knocking the American down and out in just the second round.
Martin looked over-matched back then, but has since claimed he was injured going into the bout. He put in a much better showing against Jared Anderson in his last fight, taking the young up-and-comer the distance for the first time in his short career.
It was that performance that gave the southpaw the confidence to call out Ruiz, who has struggled to get a fight made this year.