We all knew it was coming; the only question was when. Until now, that is.
Andy Ruiz Jr., the former unified heavyweight champion, will return to the ring on April 24th against Chris Arreola, a fringe contender.
While no official date or venue has been confirmed, their fight will be televised on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.
Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) hasn’t been seen in the ring in nearly a year and a half.
Ruiz Jr. was on top of the world for a six-month period. His spectacular shock victory over Anthony Joshua made him the first Mexican heavyweight champion. His pride in what he had done had gone a little too far, and he spent the rest of his time partying like there was no tomorrow.
Although it was amusing at the time, it caused him to fall behind in his training for their rematch six months later. Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly outboxed on the night in question, and his 15 minutes of fame is finally over.
Ruiz Jr.’s championship reign was cut short, but it was long enough for him to know he wanted another taste. He ended his association with former trainer Manny Robles and started working closely with Eddy Reynoso, the trainer of pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez, to assist him in his efforts.
Reynoso revealed that Ruiz Jr. has lost 20 pounds since they started working together, so their relationship seems to be going well.
Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) has also spent a considerable amount of time on the sidelines. In his most recent ring debut, the Los Angeles native came close to pulling off his own upset against Adam Kownacki. But, unfortunately for him, he came up just short.
Following the setback, the now 39-year-old sat back and considered retiring. With the prospect of a major win and a bigger check against Ruiz Jr., this was a chance Arreola couldn’t pass up.