Team Ruiz has responded to claims by promoter Don King, who stated that, “John Ruiz is my fighter,” as well as that the WBA has sanctioned an “Interim” title fight between one of King’s fighters, Kali Meehan, and former champion Ruslan Chagaev. According to Team Ruiz, “The Quietman’s” contract with DKP expired last month, prior to his Nov. 7 fight against Adnan Serin, legally allowing Ruiz to become a promotional free agent.
Team Ruiz stated a belief that King’s actions are out of desperation because he has lost his influence with all of the major boxing organizations and broadcast outlets as well as many of his fighters leaving or trying to leave him. Plus, Team Ruiz contends that King is seeking retribution against Team Ruiz for its successful blocking of King’s bid at the recent WBA convention in Colombia to create an “Interim” title fight involving one of his fighters. King also failed to have Chagaev, promoted by a different company, dropped in the WBA ratings behind three other King-promoted heavyweights.
Team Ruiz also asserts that King misled and lied to WBA directors at the convention by falsely claiming Haye would not fight Ruiz and was set to relinquish the WBA belt to fight one of the Klitschko brothers.
“It’s shame that Don King’s influence in the boxing industry has diminished so much that he has stooped to this level,” Ruiz’ manager/legal advisor Atty. Tony Cardinale said. “The fact is John Ruiz’ contract expired, by its own terms, Oct. 9, 2009. Apparently, Don has lost his ability to read or count as well. Any claim that he has made about DKP still having John under contract is simply a case of King attempting to confuse the public and negatively affect John’s opportunities to engage a new promoter. All of his recent actions, including distribution of a knowingly false press release regarding a so-called WBA sanctioned ‘Interim’ title fight between Meehan and Chagaev, are an effort by Don King to damage the Haye-Ruiz fight, which he has nothing to do with.
“Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, WBA Executive Director, sent the following email on Nov. 20 at 7:23 PM to all parties involved with the Haye-Ruiz fight: ‘The Assembly General deferred discussions of amendments to the rules referring to Interim titles. This means the Meehan vs. Chagaev bout will not be sanctioned as an Interim championship.’
“Besides DKP being copied on the aforementioned email, it was distributed worldwide to the boxing media that Friday or Saturday (Nov. 20-21), prior to DKP issuing its false press releases.
“This is the nature of the beast we have been dealing with for the past 10 years. In every title fight John has engaged in under the DKP banner, King actively rooted for and supported John’s opponent, excluding only one fight (Ruiz vs. Kirk Johnson), in which he had no promotional interest in the opponent.
“Ruiz is the WBA No. 1 contender and official challenger to new WBA champion David Haye (by May 30, 2010). We have been assured that the Haye-Ruiz WBA title fight will take place next year between March 13 and April 3.”