LAS VEGAS (November 7, 2005) – In the wake of yet another announcement postponing the Klitschko-Rahman fight, World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz has come out of his corner firing at Vitali Klitschko, calling for the World Boxing Council to strip Klitschko of his title and appealing to the public and media for their reevaluation of the heavyweight division.
Klitschko has pulled out of his scheduled title fight this Saturday against Rahman due to an alleged knee injury. It marks the fourth time Klitschko, who hasn’t made a single mandatory defense in the 20 months since he’s been WBC champ, has claimed an injury forcing postponement of his title defense against Rahman.
“I’m not surprised and I don’t think too many people in boxing are really surprised,” Ruiz (41-5-1, 28 KOs) remarked about Klitschko pulling out of yet another match. “First it was his hamstring injury from jogging, then it spread to his back, and now it’s his knee. It’s always something with this guy. They should really check his heart. HBO, Ring and anybody else that supports this guy as the so-called real heavyweight champion of the world should be ashamed of themselves. They have their own agendas. Klitschko doesn’t want to fight anybody he can’t handpick. Who has he ever beaten? World champions have to defend their title against the best opponents in the world. The WBC should strip him of the belt and award it to Rahman. Klitschko should pay Rahman for all of the time he’s wasted training. They had to force him to fight Rahman and he still pulled out.
“What does Klitschko mean in Russian, chicken? He quit on the stool with a shoulder injury against (Chris) Byrd in the 10th round of a 12-round fight that he was leading big. A doctor gave him approval to fight Rahman, but he chose not to fight. He’s tall, big and may look like a heavyweight champion. But he doesn’t have the heart and soul of a world champ. It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s inside that counts.”
Ruiz, the first and only world heavyweight champion of Hispanic heritage, has been an outspoken proponent for a tournament between the four acknowledged world heavyweight champions to determine one universally recognized title holder, as well as the driving force for stricter testing of performance enhancing drugs in boxing. He presently is at training camp in Las Vegas preparing for his December 17th title defense in Berlin against Nicolay Valuev (42-0, 31 KOs).
“I’ve never ducked anybody,” Ruiz noted. “Nobody ever had to force me to fight a mandatory. I’m going halfway around the world to fight a giant – one-foot taller and 100-pounds heavier than me – in his backyard because I’m a true world champion. Valuev is my mandatory and after I take care of that fight, I’m pushing hard once again for a tournament so the public will have one heavyweight champion. Klitschko’s the reason we haven’t had a tournament because he wants to pick and choose his opponents like (Danny) Williams, (Oleg) Maskaev or (Calvin) Brock), instead of putting his belt on the line against one of the other champions. If the WBC does the right thing and makes Rahman the new champion like he deserves, boxing will be able to have a tournament next year and the public will know who the real man is in the heavyweight division, John Ruiz. Compare my record to any of the other heavyweight champions.”
Ruiz has defeated three world champions – Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman and Tony Tucker – as well as top 10 contenders Andrew Golota, Fres Oquendo and Kirk Johnson.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV