Ruiz will be taking on current WBA Heavyweight champion David Haye on April 3rd in Manchester, England. It was Haye who defeated Nikolay Valuev for the WBA strap back in November after Ruiz (the No. 1 contender) agreed to step aside and fight the winner.
"The Quiet Man" stopped by the South Boston Boxing Gym for a quick workout, but as I soon found out, he's not all that quiet once you get him going. And unlike some people, he has not lost faith in the Patriots, as we dished on everything from his upcoming fight to his first car.
NESN.com: How have you changed after fighting over in Germany the past few years?
Ruiz: Yeah definitely people haven’t noticed. People think I have retired already because they haven’t seen me fight. I’ve been fighting over in Germany the past three or four years. It was a good experience, the fans were great — I just never got a break with the decisions. I’m looking forward to moving on and fighting David Haye in England.
NESN.com: Tell me a little bit about David Haye.
Ruiz: David Haye is definitely a quick guy, he’s not going to be easy to corner. He likes to move around a lot. The main thing is try to cut the ring off, and stay on top of him. He’s a perfect style for me because his most difficult fights are the people who basically stay on top of him and make him fight. That’s my kind of style, and I think I have a good chance.
NESN.com: Were you relieved that Haye beat Valuev? You seemed to have beaten him twice, but never got the victory.
Ruiz: Yeah, I was in the front row cheering him on when he won, so it was kind of nice. That was the best move I made, by letting them fight, and now I’m facing a new opponent. I feel like this is my second chance here, I got an opponent here that’s my height, and my style fits his style — I like the odds
NESN.com: You’ve been a two-time heavyweight champion of the world, something that many never have or will achieve. What’s still driving you to fight?
Ruiz: The thing is, I still feel like I’ve got something to prove and at the same time I’m happy with my career. Not too many people can say they were two-time heavyweight champion, and being the first Latino — it’s been a long road, a difficult road, but I feel like I have something to prove. I feel like this is my chance to become a third time heavyweight champion.
Ruiz: I’ve got new trainer[s], Miguel Diaz and [former world champion] Richie Sandoval. They are teaching me to basically stay on my feet, not to lean so much forward, to throw more punches and be more relaxed. They’re bringing me back to my old me where I used to box and punch and that’s the style that I want to bring out. It’s a good thing for me, it’s a good feeling.
NESN.com: I have a few easy ones now. Do you remember your first car?
Ruiz: My first car? I think it could have been a Malibu.
NESN.com: Hunk of junk?!
Ruiz: It was a pretty good car, the body was put together. It got from point A to point B at least!
NESN.com: Favorite sport outside of boxing?
Ruiz: Football definitely. I like to watch football every Sunday, I actually watch more football than boxing.
NESN.com: Patriots fan? What did you think of the season?
Ruiz: Of course! What can I say, you win some you lose some. You just gotta wait till next year. They were just missing a few players — you put that together and I think they’ll have a great season [in 2010].
NESN.com: If you weren’t boxing what would you be doing?
Ruiz: Like I said I love football. I played tight end and defensive end.
NESN.com: What’s in your iPod?
Ruiz: I like the old rocks songs and the Spanish stuff. I like Journey, Marc Anthony, whatever sounds good, I like.
NESN.com: Favorite TV show?
Ruiz: I haven’t watched too much TV lately. I watch with my son. He’s 2, so he watches all the cartoons, so SpongeBob SquarePants and the cartoons like that. Ruiz will be taking on current WBA Heavyweight champion David Haye on April 3rd in Manchester, England.
Ruiz will be taking on current WBA Heavyweight champion David Haye on April 3rd in Manchester, England.
Photos courtesy of Emily Harney.