Former world heavyweight champion Johnny Nelson believes Andy Ruiz Jr will never be the same fighter he was when he beat Anthony Joshua.
This comes after it was announced on Thursday that Ruiz will face Tyrone Spong on July 16 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Ruiz reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2019 when he shocked the world by knocking down Joshua four times as he rode to a stoppage victory at Madison Square Garden to become the unified WBO, WBA world heavyweight champion and IBF.
The Mexican then lost the rematch after coming in at 15lbs heavier than the first fight and he has only fought once since then, beating Chris Arreola by unanimous decision.
Despite his disappointing lack of activity, Ruiz was still considered one of the best fighters in the division and fans expected him to face two-time world title challenger Luis Ortiz next, but instead he will come up against the relatively unknown Spong.
And Nelson believes Ruiz’s downfall can be attributed to the money and fame that came with becoming world heavyweight champion.
“Andy Ruiz became a millionaire overnight,” Nelson told talkSPORT. “His life changed after beating Anthony Joshua, which takes a lot of getting used to. Trust me, I know there are a lot of distractions.
“It shows with his lack of action because now he has to come back to boxing for the real reason he started.
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“We all started fighting because we want to fight, then the money comes in and it shows how badly you really want to fight because when the money is there you want to fight less.
“With Andy Ruiz the hunger has diminished and he will never be the same fighter again, here we go. He was underrated by people outside of boxing before the world saw him beat Anthony Joshua.
“Now everyone knows what to expect from him, but again I’ll stick to the fact that he will never be the same fighter again, his thirst has been quenched.”
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