Former world title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr, is all set to return to the ring after exactly 15 months away, joining the non-televised undercard of Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg in an eight-rounder against Devin Vargas.
Ruiz (29-1, 19 KO) was last seen losing a narrow majority decision to Joseph Parker in December of 2016, missing out on the vacant WBO heavyweight title in the process. He’s still only 29 and, if he can get out of his own way, can be a significant player in the division, perhaps challenging for a title once this unification business is over and conflicting mandatory demands scatter the belts to the four winds.
Vargas (20-4, 8 KO) ended a three-year retirement last April, beating Tommy Washington Jr. and Galen Brown during his 2017 campaign. He’s been stopped in all four of his losses (by Kevin Johnson, Andrzej Wawrzyk, Jason Bergman, and Dominic Breazeale), so the question isn’t whether Ruiz will beat him but which round he gets flattened.
Taking all bets on Ruiz’s weigh-in numbers, by the way. He averages around 250, but I’m thinking closer to 260 with the layoff.