Two-time WBA Heavyweight Champion John "The Quietman" Ruiz, 43-7-1 (29), rated # 2 by the WBA, travels to Germany once again to fight the 7-0, 320-pound giant who took his title belt over two years ago, # 1 contender Nikolai Valuev, 48-1 (34), on August 30 in Berlin.
The WBA vacated the title due to an injury to Ruslan Chagaev, declared him "champion in recess" and ruled that the top two rated contenders had to fight for the title.
Valuev's co-promoter, Sauerland Event, won the Valuev-Ruiz II purse bid with $2,006,500 and featuring 50/50 split between the two fighters, beating rival Universum by a mere $94,000.
The event will take place in the same arena they originally fought, Max Schmeling Halle, where Valuev won a controversial 12-round majority decision by scores of 116-114, 116-114, 114-114. The Valuev-Ruiz II winner will be obliged to fight Chagaev, if available, by June 26, 2009.
"It was more like a robbery than hometown decision," Ruiz remembered the night Valuev defeated him. "Boxing is the only sport you can get robbed without a gun. I really enjoy the German people. They've been very hospitable to me. I love going back, just not for a fight, but I'm happy to have an opportunity to fight for my third world title.
"I'm going over there to slay the giant, really re-slay him because I definitely won the first fight. They just gave him the decision. After that fight I realized I needed a real trainer and I've learned so much working with Manny Siaca, Sr. in my last three fights. He's taught me a lot and we've continued working on the fundamentals."
Ruiz spots Valuev 10 inches in height and around 100 pounds. "It seemed like I went over there the first time as the opponent instead of the two time champion," Ruiz noted. "I beat Valuev to the punch all night. There's no way he won a decision. I just have to do the same thing only this time make a statement each round, not let there be any close rounds. I outworked him the last time and will do that again. Only no close rounds that they can give him, just clear rounds scored for me.
"But I'm not sure if I knock him down 10 times that I'll get a decision. You know that old saying, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, does it make a sound? Well, we're going to put that saying to a test. The fight won't be televised in the United States but, when I knockout Valuev, he'll be heard crashing to the canvas all over the United States and Puerto Rico. Timber!"
"Valuev's people are talking about him fighting=2 0at home," Ruiz' attorney and legal advisor Tony Cardinale said. "They must have forgotten how there was a near riot when they announced the scores at their first fight. The booing and whistling was beyond belief. Max Schmeling Halle became John's house. We can't wait to fight there again."
The Puerto Rican-American Ruiz, living in Las Vegas, is the first and only Latino heavyweight champion of the world. He has fought in 10 world championship fights, defeating three world heavyweight champions: Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman and Tony Tucker, in addition to beating top contenders such as Andrew Golota, Fres Oquendo, Kirk Johnson and Jameel McCline during his 15 year pro career.