“That Boy Hit Hard”- Evander Holyfield Recalls Sparring With Andy Ruiz Jr.

Published 04/20/2021, 10:00 AM EDT
Andy Ruiz Jr. (left) with Omar Khalil, Managing Partner of Skill Challenge after losing the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship belts to Anthony Joshua (not pictured) at the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)


The entire heavyweight division had written off Andy Ruiz Jr. and didn’t expect him to become the world champion until he beat Anthony Joshua to don the titles. However, former champion Evander Holyfield could have possibly located something unique in the Mexican, as he hailed him in a recent interview.

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‘The Real Deal’ and ‘The Destroyer’ had sparred in the past, and seem aware of each other’s prowess. That said, Ruiz Jr. had apparently given a tough time to Holyfield inside the ring. Hailing from the Golden era of boxing, the 4x heavyweight champion in Holyfield has traded blows with umpteen elites.

But he claimed Andy Ruiz Jr. to have given him the hardest time in the sparring session, citing an exciting journey ahead for the Mexican prodigy. Prior to his own return against Kevin McBride, Evander Holyfield connected with ES News and talked about the incident.

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Recalling the sparring session, Holyfield said, “Yeah, it was good work and I am like god don’t. Coz ain’t nobody never made me move as much as he made me move and you know, I moved because that boy hit hard.”

Meanwhile, Andy Ruiz Jr. seems, even more, intimidating at his new training camp. Since joining hands with Eddy Reynoso, ‘The Destroyer’ has shed a lot of body fat and now boasts a near-perfect fighting physique. While Ruiz Jr. already had the power and skills, the additional armors in his arsenal can put him closer to the title ride.

What’s next for Andy Ruiz Jr.?

After losing his titles to Anthony Joshua in the rematch, Andy Ruiz Jr. hasn’t appeared in a fight and is inactive for over a year. However, he has crafted himself differently in the time and is ready to return against Chris Arreola in May.

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Andy Ruiz Jr. during his fight against Anthony Joshua in their IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship contest at the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Ruiz Jr’s professional record states 33 wins with just 2 losses, with 22 wins coming via KOs. Hence, he is truly a valid contender for the championship ride. Although he is yet to claim a title shot under his name, a win against Arreola will rightfully do so. The Meica heavyweights will collide against each other on May 1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

Do you think Andy Ruiz Jr. can win his next bout?

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Raj Sarkar

1667 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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