By: Hans Themistode
According to reports, Andy Ruiz Jr. could be on his way to stepping back into the ring before the year ends.
As first reported by ESPN Knockout, Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) is on the verge of finalizing a deal to take on former heavyweight champion Charles Martin. The two could face off as early as this coming October.
For Ruiz Jr., he desperately wants to place himself back in the championship mix. After scoring one of the biggest upsets in boxing history against Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, Ruiz Jr. saw his unexpected title reign come to an end shortly after.
A noticeably overweight Ruiz Jr. stepped into their immediate rematch six months later, lethargic and uninspired. He would lose a wide unanimous decision on the judge’s scorecards but vowed that he would turn things around.
After spending approximately a year and a half on the sidelines, the Mexican native would make his return to the ring against fringe contender Chris Arreola earlier this year in May. A conspicuous Ruiz Jr., who claims to have lost over 55 pounds, received mixed results for his performance in the ring. In the second round, Arreola landed a right hand over the top which sent Ruiz Jr. to the deck. He would, however, peel himself up off the canvas to cruise to a victory.
While Ruiz Jr. is motivated to wrap heavyweight gold around his waist once again, Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) is equally as eager to do the same. In January of 2016, Martin was handed the vacant IBF title after Vyacheslav Glazkov suffered a right knee injury during their showdown and was unable to continue.
The title reign of Martin was immediately truncated though, as Anthony Joshua pummeled him over the course of two rounds. Since then, Martin has gone on to win five of his past six contests, including a sixth-round stoppage over former titleholder Gerald Washington.