At the age of 28, Andy is an eight-year pro. A rising young heavyweight contender – ranked No. 3 by the WBO – he is a former amateur standout.
In his last fight on December 10 in Auckland, New Zealand, he challenged hometown favorite Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO heavyweight world title. Andy lost a very close and controversial 12-round majority decision – many observers thought he deserved to win.
BoxingScene.com’s Keith Idec reported [excerpts]: Joseph Parker out-boxed Andy Ruiz to win a 12-round majority decision and the vacant WBO world heavyweight title at a sold-out Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Parker used his jab and athleticism to beat Ruiz by scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 in a tactical fight.
Parker boxed well at times. The emerging star often was reluctant, though, to trade with a consistently aggressive Ruiz….
A busier Ruiz started strong, as he appeared to out-box Parker in the second and third rounds. Parker responded by boxing better in the fourth and fifth rounds, when he began using his jab effectively as Ruiz tried to walk him down.
Parker seemed to win the sixth and seventh rounds, though not in overly impressive fashion. Ruiz rallied in the eighth round, when he landed a couple of solid right hands from close range.
Parker took the ninth round, but Ruiz landed several noteworthy power punches in the 10th round to keep Parker honest. Parker regained control in the 11th and 12th rounds, and fended off the hard-charging Ruiz just enough to win on two of the three scorecards. [End Idec item]
In the ring after the fight, Andy said, “I think I had the pace by throwing the jab to the body and the face. We both did a great job. Hopefully I’ll come back, and maybe we’ll get the rematch.”
Andy started working with trainer Abel Sanchez, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “2015 Trainer of the Year,” in early 2016. Sanchez owns The Summit Gym in Big Bear Lake, California – elevation 6,752 feet – where he also trains WBC/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, IBF cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev, and others.
Abel said, “We work on everything in the gym – balance and punching technique – and all the things that are going to make Andy a more rounded fighter. Obviously, I don’t want to change too many things in a short period of time.”
Andy said, “What Abel Sanchez does, he gets you into tip-top shape. The conditioning – he makes you work really hard, man. He pushes your body to the limit. It’s a big difference from when I used to train in Las Vegas. I feel like I should have done this a long time ago. This has been the best thing – me being here, training really hard.
“And especially training right here with Triple-G – he was here, but he left for the holidays. He coaches me, as well – he makes me do a little extra from what Abel tells me, but that’s what I need. He’s a good guy. We all work as a team here.”
In earlier interviews, Andy said, “I represent Mexicali, Baja California. I always trained in Mexicali since I was young.
“I’m a fast, explosive guy, pressure. I try to dominate my opponent. When I was an amateur, everybody would say, “This kid is really slick, really fast.’ When I came to the pros, I used that speed and it’s working pretty good.
“I’m taking my time, not doing it too fast.”
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Andy said, “I was born in Imperial Valley, California. I have a younger brother and an older sister. My dad, Andres Ruiz, has his own construction company and my mom, Felicitas Ruiz, she’s a housewife. I’m the only boxer in the family. My grandfather used to be a trainer.
“I was six years old when I first started training and I was seven years old when I had my first fight. I was a little troublemaker when I was young. I was fighting and all that, and my dad just took me in there to the gym.
“I had 135 amateur fights – I probably had 11 losses and the rest wins. I was on the Mexican Olympic team, fighting over there in the Trials to qualify for the Olympics. We traveled to Cuba and to China, to Guatemala, a lot of places to go compete.
“When I was on the Olympic team, I was training in Mexicali. I started training there when I was about 13. Ever since I was young, I was on the Baja team – like the national team for younger kids. Some Cuban guy trained me. I made the Olympic team when I was 17.”…