Top Rank heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr, whose career has seemed stuck at the exact same level for three or four years now, looks like he'll be staying at that exact same level for his next fight, as ESPN.com reports that he'll be facing 45-year-old Ray Austin on May 14 in a Solo Boxeo Tecate card on UniMás.
Ruiz, 26, is a talented boxer whose skills are often overlooked due to the fact that he has, well, a flabby body, though he has notably dropped weight for his last couple of fights. Last year, he weighed in at 247¾ and 248 pounds for his two fights, down after ballooning up to 272¾ and 267¾ for a pair of fights in late 2014. When Ruiz (26-0, 17 KO) turned pro in 2009, he weighed in at 297½ for his debut fight. His lowest weigh-in was 246 pounds for a win over Matthew Greer in March 2013.
Both of Ruiz's fights last year -- wins over veterans Joell Godfrey and Raphael Zumbano Love -- were shutout eight round decisions. He's also beaten the likes of Joe Hanks, who was then also an unbeaten prospect, Tor Hamer, Manuel Quezada, and Siarhei Liakhovich, a former world titleholder.
Austin (29-6-4, 18 KO) hasn't fought since February 2014, and that was his first fight since a 2011 loss to Bermane Stiverne on HBO, a fight where Austin was competitive before he was stopped in the 10th round. In fact, outside of his KO-2 loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2007, Austin has generally been competitive at worst against quality opposition in the last decade. He was barely trailing on the scorecards against Odlanier Solis before a DQ loss in 2010, and went to a draw in 2006 against Sultan Ibravimov.
Of course, he's 45 and in who knows what shape at this point, and he's not being booked to win this fight, he's being booked to be another stepping stone for Ruiz, although these days it's hard to see where those stones are leading.
The main event that night will be a super featherweight bout between prospect Saul Rodriguez (19-0-1, 14 KO) and Colombia's Daulis Prescott (31-3, 23 KO).