Ruiz fighting McCline to position himself for one last title run

CANCUN, Mexico (March 3, 2008) – Two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (42-7-1, 29 KOs), rated No. 3 by the WBA and No. 5 by the WBC, fights veteran Jameel “Big Time” McCline this Saturday night on the Oleg Maskaev-Samuel Peter card in Cancun, Mexico.

Ruiz, who broke Las Vegas-based training camp Sunday and flew to Cancun with his head trainer, Manny Siaca, Sr., has positioned himself for one last title run and a win Saturday against McCline will put him in line to challenge in the WBC and WBA.

“We’re (Ruiz and McCline) not old fighters but we seem to be the last from our group that’s talked about as title contenders,” Ruiz said. “I don’t know why anybody’s talking about the Klitschkos anymore, especially after that joke of a fight last week. Everybody seems to be looking for that up-and-coming heavyweight who is supposedly going to save the heavyweight division. None of these guys have proven anything, yet. McCline is a veteran of a lot of boxing wars like me.”

McCline (38-8-3, 23 KOs) is a 4-time world title challenger, currently rated No. 9 by the WBC and No. 13 by the WBO, who has defeated former world champion Shannon Briggs.

“McCline put on a great show against Peter even though he fell short,” Ruiz noted. “He still has it and I’m looking forward to fighting him. We’re both willing to go toe-to-toe. I’m glad to be fighting in front of a Latin crowd and I know it’s going to be a tough fight.”

In his last three fights, Ruiz has reverted back to the aggressive fighter he was when he first captured the world title in 2001, but two of those bouts were in Europe and the other off television, leaving American boxing fans still with the image of Ruiz clutching and grabbing.

“I’m tired of talking about the new John Ruiz,” the first and only Hispanic heavyweight champion of the world remarked. “I can’t change people’s minds without them seeing me fight. I need more action, less talking about it, and I intend to show them in the ring. I’ve blocked that talk out for this fight.

“It’s my last hurrah. The heavyweight division is wide open and it needs somebody to step-up and take charge. The statement I want to make Saturday night is I’m that heavyweight. That’s why I brought in Manny, trained very hard, and have gotten so mentally focused. I’ve talked less about it with reporters, but fans there in Mexico will see the new John Ruiz for themselves.”

Ruiz, who has fought in 11 world championship fights (including one interim and one eliminator), has beaten three world heavyweight champions -- Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman and Tony Tucker – as well as top contenders Andrew Golota, Fres Oquendo and Kirk Johnson during his 15-year pro career.

Article posted on 04.03.2008

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