By: Hans Themistode
A socially distanced packed house at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California waited patiently for the main event to begin last night. Featured, was the return of former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and fringe contender Chris Arreola.
While most of the eyes watching them last night were simply interested in seeing how their contest would shake out, heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz was there on a business trip.
“The fight was good,” said Ortiz during an interview with FightHype.com. “The fight was really interesting. He now has the opportunity, I’ll wait for his decision. Kong is right here. I came to watch him, wished him good luck in his fight and he knows I want to fight.”
Despite Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) heading into their showdown as a gargantuan favorite, Arreola proved that he still has plenty left in the tank as he floored his man early in the second round and fought him on mostly even terms.
Ruiz Jr. would eventually steady himself and pull away during the second half of their contest to win by unanimous decision. The win for the former champion was his first in nearly two years. In June of 2019, Ruiz Jr. became the first fighter of Mexican descent to become heavyweight champion as he dropped and later stopped Anthony Joshua in their contest. His time on top of the boxing world, however, proved to be transient as Joshua easily out-boxed and outmuscled an overweight Ruiz Jr. in their rematch six months later.
In need of a change, the Mexican star joined trainer Eddy Reynoso and his crop of stars including Ryan Garcia and Canelo Alvarez. So far, things have gone according to plan as he has reportedly lost more than 50 pounds.
Long before Ruiz Jr. made his return to the ring, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) expressed an interest in the two facing off. The Cuban product has effectively put two knockout defeats at the hands of Deontay Wilder behind him as he scored a first-round stoppage win of his own against Alexander Flores in November of 2020.
At the moment, what’s next for Ruiz Jr. is unclear. Shortly following his win, the 31-year-old stated that due to the nature of his close contest with Arreola, that he would have no issue with running things back. He’s also indicated that a showdown with Wilder would be high on his agenda.
Regardless of his decision, Ortiz simply wants Ruiz Jr. to know that he’s ready, willing and able to take him on next.
“I’m here waiting for Junior. I’ll wait, I’m ready for whatever may come. I’m ready for this.”