By: Sean Crose
The 33-2 former heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz appeared to be in shape mentally and physically. Now he just had to get past the popular 38-6-1 Chris Arreola when they met Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Once he did that, the man who showed up completely out of shape for his title defense against Anthony Joshua in 2019, would be considered a seriously hot property once more. At forty years old, however, Arreola, had also gotten himself into terrific shape…and had some big plans of his own.
The scheduled 12 rounder began with Ruiz showing some very fast hands in the first, though Arreola appeared quite composed. Arreola surprised a lot of people in the second by not only briefly dropping Ruiz, but by going ahead and hurting the former titlist later in the round. Arreola hurt Ruiz again at the beginning of the third. Ruiz found success later in the round, but there was no doubt he was in a fight. Ruiz had a much better fourth. The fifth appeared to belong to Ruiz, as well. The former champion seemed to have found his rhythm in the sixth.
Arreola was still in the fight, but it was clear in the seventh that he wasn’t throwing as much as he should. The eighth was close, but Ruiz still appeared to edge it. Ruiz continued to work effectively in the ninth. Ruiz went on to toss off effective combinations in the tenth. His shoulder clearly hurt, Arreola was brave but seemingly far behind in the eleventh. Ruiz’ fast, hard punching told the tale of the twelfth.
Ruiz walked out of the ring with a hard earned unanimous decision win: 117-110, 118-109, 188-109.