It’s bad enough that I have to watch John Ruiz fight again, but now I’m getting spam from him too. This week I received “An Open Letter from John Ruiz to the WBA” (and James Toney) in my Inbox.
Below are the full contents of the letter with my comments in italics.
To President Gilberto Mendoza:
I am proud to be the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion. As the first Latino to ever win the world heavyweight title, it is an honor that I have fought for or defended nine times since August of 2000.
He’s the first Latino to ever win a world heavyweight title, not the world heavyweight title. While it may be up for debate who the current heavyweight champion is, I doubt you’ll find anyone in the boxing game who will claim that moniker belongs to John Ruiz.
It has come to my attention that, behind my back, James Toney and his people are attempting to have the WBA lift or modify the two-year sanction against him fighting for my title.
Uhmmm . . . excuse me? Since when did James Toney need your permission to attempt to have his suspension lifted?
That punishment was imposed on him May 16, 2005, as a result of his testing positive for his use of an illegal performance enhancing drug in our April 30th fight. The WBA Championship Rules against “the use of drugs . . . in amounts which are intended to artificially and disloyally increase the boxer’s performance before or during a fight” could not be clearer:
Disloyally? Either something was lost in the translation or the WBA blows more hot air than Trent Lott.
“ . . . the challenger shall be disqualified and shall not box for the title from World Boxing Association during the next two (2) years and only after presentation of medical evidence that he has been rehabilitated.”
Rehabilitated? This isn’t a guy who’s addicted to smack.
Toney has not appealed this ruling, either to the WBA, pursuant to its Appeal Regulations, or to the New York State Athletic Commission. The reason: his explanation about taking prescription drugs for an arm injury turning into a performance enhancing anabolic steroid is a lie. The NYSAC has already rejected this false excuse. Ask yourself, why has he not appealed? The answer is obvious: Toney knows that if he does, the results of his blood tests would be open to the public, the extremely high levels of the illegal steroid he took would be revealed, and his “excuse” would be laughed at.
I don’t buy this argument. First of all, it makes logical sense to me that Toney may have taken a prescribed substance to help with his injuries. But even if you assume that he juiced for the purpose of performance enhancement – he’s already been labeled a cheater. A blood test with a high level of steroids would mean … that he’s a cheater – which is what he’s already been labeled. And wait a second, boxers don’t give blood after a fight, so what blood test is Ruiz talking about?
Instead he hides behind this false story and is trying to have the WBA’s two-year ban lifted in a similar way. He has already brought shame upon himself and the sport of boxing by his illegal actions. The WBA would do the same to itself by not following its rules.
Yes, it’s unimaginable that a sanctioning organization as prestigious as the WBA would bring shame upon itself and the sport of boxing. This is the alphabet body that brought you Super Champions and the heavyweight title reigns of John Tate, Mike Weaver, and Bruce Seldon, and #1 contenders such as middleweight Morrade Hakkar.
Toney’s failure to appeal is all the justification you need to reject any request he makes for relief from the sanctions the rules of the WBA demand, and all that the rest of the boxing world should need to realize that not only is Toney a cheat, he is a liar.
John Ruiz/WBA Heavyweight Champion
So let me get this straight. The self- and Gilberto Mendoza-proclaimed Heavyweight Champion of the world is begging the WBA not to revoke Toney’s suspension. Let’s see … if James Toney were able to fight, there would probably be a mandated rematch. James Toney beat John Ruiz last time. John Ruiz was so upset about the loss that he quit the sport. Now he has his belt back and surprise surprise, doesn’t want to fight James Toney.
If the Quiet Man wants to prove he’s the Baddest Man, he should be begging the WBA to reinstate Toney at the top of the rankings, so that Ruiz can put a whupping on him when Toney doesn’t have the benefit of performance enhancement drugs. Heavyweight champions should stick to boxing and trash talking, not writing letters that look for a way out of tough fights.
* I’m skeptical that Shannon Briggs has what it takes to go all the way this time, but I do like to watch him. Briggs is entertaining both in and out of the ring.
* I’m weary of all the badmouthing of the heavyweight division. While the next Joe Louis may not be upon us, there are plenty of quality fighters like Vitali Klitschko, Chris Byrd, Lamon Brewster and Monte Barrett. Perhaps history will show this era as merely a placeholder in between Lewis and another dominant champ – but competitive and exciting fights can still be made. Besides, guys like Klitschko, Brewster, Byrd, DaVarryl Williamson and a host of others are good role models and should be applauded for their decency and humanity instead of mocked for their perceived lack of star power.
* One more swipe at the WBA – Corrie Sanders is ranked #6 in the world. ‘Nuff said.
Until next time, obey my commands and protect yourself at all times.