Andy Ruiz Jr’s hometown of Imperial, California throwing him a victory parade and party to celebrate his heavyweight title win over Anthony Joshu.
When Andy Ruiz Jr knocked Anthony Joshua down for a fourth time to win four world heavyweight titles, his life – and his lifestyle – changed in an instant.
Having pocketed a mammoth £5.36million cheque from his historic win plus several eye-watering endorsements since, the Mexican has lived extravagantly but on Saturday night he will stride into the ring for the rematch with Joshua at a staggering 20st 3lbs – more than a stone heavier than he was for their New York dust up.
That gain – compared to Joshua, who lost 10lbs and weighed in at his lightest ever for a world title fight at 16st 13lbs – has fuelled concerns that Ruiz has enjoyed his newfound status a little too much at the expense of preparing for this rematch.
Ruiz Jr’s biggest purse previously was a mere $700,000 (£535,000), which he got during his failed attempt to win the WBO world title against Joseph Parker in 2016.
Ruiz envisioned his life changing after finally accomplishing his dream by defeating Joshua to become Mexico’s first ever heavyweight world champion, saying after: ‘Mum, we don’t have to struggle anymore.’
And the 30-year-old has certainly indulged in the world champion lifestyle.
Ruiz, however, has been quick to refute allegations that he has lost his focus since the shock victory – and had even shown off a slimmed-down physique in training, which now looks like he was just playing mind games.
‘Just because I bought some jewelry and things I’ve always wished for and always wanted, it doesn’t mean I’m not focused,’ he previously said.
‘It doesn’t mean that I’m not hungry anymore. This is not enough. I want more. I want more legacy. I want to win more fights. People who say I’m not focused, they’re crazy. I’ve wanted this all my life and I’ve got here now. I don’t want to be a 15-minute champion. There’s no way I’m letting these belts go, I will die to keep them.’
Ruiz Jr added: ‘Everyone’s gonna say this and that, but at the end of the day they don’t know s*** but what they see on Instagram,’ he said.
‘We working. I want them to sleep on me again and think I’m just partying. We coming hard.’
Since that night on June 1, 2018, Ruiz has made the most of his newfound fame. There have been endless parties and public appearances as his profile has sky rocketed.
Ruiz also wasted no time splashing out on a brand new mansion in his native California.
Featuring a treehouse, pool and even its own private tennis court, it is symbolic of the 30-year-old’s new status in the world of boxing.
Ruiz Jr has quickly assembled a breathtaking selection of top-end cars too, from several Rolls Royce to a Lamborghini Urus – fittingly named after a large Spanish fighting bull.
Three weeks after his victory, Ruiz Jr paraded through his hometown in a $450,000 purple Rolls Royce Phantom.
Ruiz has also taken to travelling in a luxurious £258,000 white Rolls Royce Wraith, among the numerous other cars he has purchased.
Among his celebrations have been a lavish 30th birthday party, featuring naked sushi girls and YouTube celebrities Jake and Logan Paul.
The bash was held at his California mansion, with guests clad in all white as well as lingerie-clad waitresses and a performance from rapper Scotty Music.
There have been countless appearances on prime-time TV in the USA, along with commercial opportunities and a number of exclusive parties.
He has also taken the chance to do many public appearances, including throwing the ceremonial first pitch for Los Angeles Dodgers at LA Dodgers Stadium.
Such extravagance has caused many to believe he has neglected training in the build-up to their hotly-anticipated rematch on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.
There has been concern from a number of fighters that Ruiz Jr has not been taking his training seriously in the build-up to the fight.
Former world champion Tyson Fury claimed Ruiz Jr had not been to the gym for almost three months and had disappeared from training.
‘If Andy Ruiz comes in in-shape and has trained, then I think he does the same again,’ Fury said.
‘But one thing I know is AJ trains hard and he dedicates his life to boxing. I know that Ruiz has been running around in a lot of Rolls Royces and doing a lot of TV shows, eating a lot of tacos and he’s not been in the gym for two-and-a-half months.
‘I’ve been speaking to the guys and nobody’s seen him.’
Friday’s weigh-in, the doubters will say, was validation of their claims but Ruiz insists: ‘I am still the same chubby little fat kid with the big dream.’ Someone is being hoodwinked. Is it Ruiz or everyone else? If it’s him, that dream will fast turn into a nightmare on Saturday night.