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Ruiz: 'I want my WBA belt back'

BOSTON -- Former heavyweight champion John Ruiz decided to continue boxing, less than two weeks after announcing his retirement.

Ruiz, a two-time WBA champ, said through his trainer that he was retiring after losing a 12-round decision to James Toney on April 30 at Madison Square Garden.

"My emotional decision, coming right after losing a fight I felt I won, was premature," Ruiz said in a statement issued Monday. "I was tired of all the criticism and felt everybody was against me. After reviewing the tape and talking it over with my advisers, I decided that I don't want to go out that way. If they want me out of the sport, they're going to have to knock me out. I'm back."

The 33-year-old Ruiz, of Chelsea, Mass., became the heavyweight champion when he beat Evander Holyfield in 2001.

"I want my WBA belt back," Ruiz said. "I still feel that I'm the best heavyweight in the world and I'm willing to fight any of the top heavyweights."