LAS VEGAS (Mar. 23, 2010) – Two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz has been working hard in his Las Vegas training camp since mid-January in preparation for his April 3 showdown against new WBA World Champion David “Hayemaker” Haye at MEN Arena in Manchester, England.
WBA No. 1 contender Ruiz (44-8-1, 30 KOs), the first and only heavyweight World Champion of Latino heritage, will be fighting in his 12th world title fight. In 2001, Ruiz dropped future Hall of Famer and defending WBA champ Evander Holyfield en route to a title win by 12-round decision in his history-making performance.
Ruiz captured the WBA crown for the second time on Dec. 13, 2003, easily winning a 12-round decision (118-110, 116-112, 115-114) against former World Champion Hasim Rahman for the WBA Interim title, which soon became the outright championship.
During this training camp, Ruiz has been sparring with fighters that resemble the quick, hard-punching Haye. “Everything has been great throughout training camp,” Ruiz reported. “This camp will be the longest I’ve ever trained for a fight. I took a little time-off after my last fight (Nov. 7 vs. Adnan Serin – WTKO7 – in Germany), started running and exercising right after that, and then I went right back into the gym. I’m going to be ready April 3rd for Haye.”
In the Corner…..
Prior to the Serin fight, Miguel Diaz took over as Ruiz’ head trainer against Serin, adding former World Champion Richie Sandoval as an assistant. “We’ve created a special relationship that’s very important for a fighter and trainer,” Diaz explained. “Fighters are smart and they soon know who is telling them the truth or BSing them. John didn’t respond to everything I said right away. Now, if I tell him to jump off the second floor and, he may wonder why but he’ll do it.
“He’s doing fantastic. I don’t think I’ve invented anything. There’s nothing really new to John, just things we’ve brought back from his past, when he was an amateur and his early pro career. People who are seeing him now that knew him back then are saying it’s so good to see his old jab. They tell me he looks like the old John. We didn’t really change him; just brought back the old him and added a few things – bobbing and weaving and coming off the ropes throwing punches, putting his shoulder behind his punch. Things like that. We’re going to win.”
Strength & Conditioning…
Ruiz’ strength-and-conditioning coach, Keith McGrath (Fitness Principles in Boston), has been working with John for the past 17 years. He believes Ruiz has never been in better condition for a fight than he is right now for Haye.
“There are several reasons for his great conditioning,” McGrath said. “He’s back training year-round and he’s never abused himself. John lives a good lifestyle and he’s watching what he eats. He called me the day after his last fight asking for a training program. You can’t treat a 38 year old body like it’s 28. We can’t push like 10 years ago, so what we’ve been doing is maximizing our time together, and allowing for (body) recovery.”