A new-look Team Ruiz has arrived in Germany to make final preparations for Saturday night’s 10-round fight between 2-time World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz, the current WBA No. 1 rated contender, against former IBU champion Adnan “Aachen Assassin” Serin on the Nicolai Valuev-David Haye pay-per-view card live from Nuremberg, Germany. Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs) agreed with the promoters for Valuev and Haye to “step aside” as the WBA “Official Challenger.” By defeating Serin (19-10-1, 7 KOs), he is guaranteed a title bout against the Valuev-Haye winner by the end of May, 2010.
Ruiz, the first and only world heavyweight champion of Latino heritage, has made significant changes to Team Ruiz, adding head trainer/cutman Miguel Diaz and former WBA bantamweight Richie Sandoval (1984-86) as an assistant trainer. They join Ruiz’ brother, Eddie, in the corner and Atty. Tony Cardinale remains as manager/legal advisor.
“I’ve been boxing a long time but I work hard to continue improving,” Ruiz said from his Las Vegas training camp before departing for Germany. “Miguel is an outstanding trainer and everything has gone very well in training camp. Somewhere along the line, I got away from the basics, and we’ve been working in that area. I had been leading in and landing to close to my opponent, which resulted in a lot of clutching and grabbing. Miguel has been an inspiration for me. We’ve improved my style and I’m more aggressive. I’m moving more and getting hit less.”
Ruiz-Serin is tentatively scheduled to be the opening bout on the live PPV show being distributed by Integrated Sports in the United States and Canada starting at 3 PM/ET – 12 PM/PT on both cable and satellite via iN Demand, DIRECTV, TVN, DISH Network, Viewer’s Choice, Shaw PPV and Bell TV for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. A replay will be shown that same night at 9 PM/ET, 6 PM/PT.
Diaz has worked with 33 world champions having trained Roger Mayweather, Stevie Johnston, Diego Corrales, Robert Garcia and Ramon “Yory Boy” Campas, among the more notables. He’s also served as cutman for other champions such as Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Kelly Pavlik, James Toney and Hasim Rahman.
“When I first got this job,” Miguel explained, “all I really knew about John was his clutching and grabbing that led to boring fights. Everyone will see a completely different fighter today. He’s smart and learns. He won the world title twice on guts and conditioning alone. He doesn’t look 37 and a lot of heavyweights mature older.
“He’s got a great jab that we’ve been emphasizing more. I’ve seen him stop guys in the gym with a jab to the chest and hook to the head. I’ve got him fighting up and down. He moves his knees, moves up and down, bobbing and weaving, and uses that stiff jab. More head and shoulder movement, too. When he’s on the ropes, he’s sitting down to make his opponent pay for missing. John has a great chin and he’s correcting mistakes he’s made in the past. People watching him fight are going to think he is John Ruiz’s younger brother. I am confident he will be world champion once again.”