Andy Ruiz Jr can thank his own hands rather than those of Brit Anthony Joshua for his defeat in Saudi Arabia.

Ruiz lost the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts to Joshua via a unanimous decision, bringing an end to his unexpected and cult-like popularity stint in the sport.

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It was a rematch of the fight in June that saw Ruiz achieve one of the greatest upsets in heavyweight boxing history.

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The Mexican-American was a stark contrast to Joshua in terms of physique the first time round, and had a fair amount of time to improve for the rematch, but instead he admittedly did the opposite and gained too much weight.

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Had Ruiz been victorious and set up a second title defence, he would have been in the driver's seat for the first time and able to demand a monster payday. Even had he produced a worthy challenge to Joshua, he could have earned himself a third fight against the Brit.

Instead, having earned well into the seven figures for his two fights with Joshua, his lackadaisical display - both in the ring and in training - will have lost him tens of millions in future earnings.

"It [the weight] kind of affected me a lot. I thought I was going to feel stronger and going to be better," Ruiz offered post-fight.

When asked why he did not train harder, Ruiz responded saying "There was a lot on my plate".

Weighing in at 128kg, the second heaviest for any boxer in a heavyweight fight behind seven-foot Russian Nikolai Valuev, Ruiz's camp did their best to ignore his gain.

But it was a clear factor and one that did not match up well with Joshua's improved pace and footwork.

Defending champion Andy Ruiz Jr., left, takes a right cross to the face during his fight against Britain's Anthony Joshua. Photo / AP
Defending champion Andy Ruiz Jr., left, takes a right cross to the face during his fight against Britain's Anthony Joshua. Photo / AP

WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder did not take kindly to Ruiz's lack of respect for the sport.

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"Ruiz said he was doing great, not letting this moment get to him," he told the Athletic.

"But in the end you hear him saying he ate too much and should've trained harder… like, what the f***? What do you mean you ate too much and could've trained harder?

"I take this s*** seriously. I don't know what their mentality is, but I didn't become champion of the world just to say 'Put me in the record books. At least I can say I was a champion. They can never take that away from me'. F*** that s***. I'm here for legacy. Long live the king. That's my mentality."

Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker added to the fire, suggesting Ruiz got too comfortable with the big payday from the first bout.

"If you come from a struggled life and you come from nothing and then all of a sudden you become the unified champion of the world, you get all this money and you go off on a happy trip, maybe he went off the tracks a bit," he told Radio Sport.

Andre Ward, a former super middleweight champion, added on Twitter that Ruiz "blew a big opportunity".

"He said he would die in the ring to keep his belts," Ward wrote. "It didn't take all of that, it just took the discipline and courage to push the plate back and deny himself, to put himself in the best position to win. He couldn't do it."

Andy Ruiz Jr reacts with a cut to his left eye during the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight against Anthony Joshua. Photo / Getty
Andy Ruiz Jr reacts with a cut to his left eye during the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight against Anthony Joshua. Photo / Getty

The loss saw Ruiz earn about a sixth of what Joshua did the second time round due to the rematch being part of the first contract.

Ruiz was confident he would not make the same mistake again if he was lucky enough to secure a third bout.

"But you know what, if we do the third fight, you best believe I'm going to get in the f*****g the best shape and I'm going to be in the best shape of my life."

That looks unlikely, with Joshua's camp not interested, and public appeal will certainly be hard to come by.

On top of that, Ruiz's performance and demeanour will see him fall dramatically down the pecking order - and take a sizeable bite out of his potential future earnings.