Andy Ruiz Jr. is on top of the world right now and former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield claims that he already knew this way back in 2011. The Real Deal sparred with the reigning champion back then. He was 46 while Ruiz was only 21 at the time.

"He showed that he was good then. I'm sure when people continue to practice, they work, they continue to get better," said Holyfield in a report from TMZ Sports. Footage of that sparring session can be found below.

Even at 46, Holyfield was still active in the ring. His final fight was against Brian Nielsen which he won via TKO in the 10th round. It turned out to be his last fight. Ruiz, on the other hand, was on the rise. He racked up one win after another, suffering a majority decision loss to Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO heavyweight title in 2016.

But the biggest win of his career is undoubtedly that TKO win over Anthony Joshua last June 1, rewarding him with the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.

A majority still feel it was a fluke win although a rematch is reportedly in the works. The sequel between Ruiz and Joshua is set for later this year. As of this writing, no actual date and venue have been announced although Joshua said this will be revealed soon, Boxing Scene reported.

And while that is left unsettled, Joshua seems pumped up for the rematch as he looks for payback. In an interview with Sky Sports Adam Smith, the 29-year-old claims that Ruiz Jr. will face a different kind of opponent as he applies a new approach - both mentally and physically.

“I feel good,” Joshua said. “It’s a little blip, a mistake I made. And I would say Ruiz was ready to be taken out. I’m just gonna add to what we already have, correct my wrongs and look forward to the rematch because I feel it’s a fight I can win.”

Andy Ruiz Jr.
YouTube Screenshot of Andy Ruiz Jr. on Jimmel Kimmel Live on Jun 5, 2019. YouTube screenshot