Abel Sanchez Believes Andy Ruiz Jr. Stands No Chance Against Deontay Wilder: “He’ll Be Sleeping”
By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr. has a long road back to the heavyweight title. The Mexican native shocked the world when he dethroned Anthony Joshua in June of 2019 and snagged the WBA, IBF, and WBO world titles. In doing so, Ruiz Jr. made history as he was the first fighter of Mexican descent to become a heavyweight champion.
While Ruiz Jr. enjoyed the extra attention he was given, his time on top of the boxing world proved to be transient as he lost his championship status six months later in an immediate rematch.
After taking roughly a year and a half off to work on his skills and overall fitness with new trainer Eddy Reynoso, head man for pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez, Ruiz Jr. bounced back with a big-time win.
In May earlier this year, Ruiz Jr. picked himself up off the deck to outpoint fringe contender Chris Arreola. Having watched the former unified heavyweight titlist up close and personal on several occasions, Sanchez believes it’s going to be quite some time until he’s ready to challenge for another world title.
“Andy Ruiz was in my camp and he sparred some of my guys,” revealed Sanchez during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He has got to take advantage of the qualities that he has. He’s not going to be Canelo, he’s gotta be Andy. The guys in my gym, at times, kinda showed him that he has a long way to go. It takes a while, Canelo didn’t become Canelo overnight.”
With a comeback win firmly in his pocket, a long list of fighters are rumored to be in the running to face Ruiz Jr. If the 31-year-old continues to win, then at some point, he could find himself standing across the ring from former WBC heavyweight titlist, Deontay Wilder.
The Alabama native is scheduled to take on Tyson Fury in early October with a chance to regain his world title. Whether he’s successful or not, Sanchez believes that Ruiz Jr. should steer clear of the 35-year-old former belt holder.
“He doesn’t want to face Wilder, he’ll be flat on his back and be hurt. He’ll be sleeping.”
Andy Ruiz Jr. Vs. Charles Martin Reportedly In Play
By: Hans Themistode
According to reports, Andy Ruiz Jr. could be on his way to stepping back into the ring before the year ends.
As first reported by ESPN Knockout, Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) is on the verge of finalizing a deal to take on former heavyweight champion Charles Martin. The two could face off as early as this coming October.
For Ruiz Jr., he desperately wants to place himself back in the championship mix. After scoring one of the biggest upsets in boxing history against Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, Ruiz Jr. saw his unexpected title reign come to an end shortly after.
A noticeably overweight Ruiz Jr. stepped into their immediate rematch six months later, lethargic and uninspired. He would lose a wide unanimous decision on the judge’s scorecards but vowed that he would turn things around.
After spending approximately a year and a half on the sidelines, the Mexican native would make his return to the ring against fringe contender Chris Arreola earlier this year in May. A conspicuous Ruiz Jr., who claims to have lost over 55 pounds, received mixed results for his performance in the ring. In the second round, Arreola landed a right hand over the top which sent Ruiz Jr. to the deck. He would, however, peel himself up off the canvas to cruise to a victory.
While Ruiz Jr. is motivated to wrap heavyweight gold around his waist once again, Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) is equally as eager to do the same. In January of 2016, Martin was handed the vacant IBF title after Vyacheslav Glazkov suffered a right knee injury during their showdown and was unable to continue.
The title reign of Martin was immediately truncated though, as Anthony Joshua pummeled him over the course of two rounds. Since then, Martin has gone on to win five of his past six contests, including a sixth-round stoppage over former titleholder Gerald Washington.
Andy Ruiz Jr. More Then Willing To Face Deontay Wilder On Short Notice: “Heck Yeah, Call Me Right Up”
By: Hans Themistode
Under normal circumstances, a fighter’s preferred time of preparation is approximately 12 weeks. However, with Tyson Fury forced to postpone his showdown against Deontay Wilder due to the WBC/Ring Magazine titlist contracting COVID-19, there July 24th date is officially pushed back.
Although it is unclear when the two will step into the ring with one another, Andy Ruiz Jr. revealed that he’s patiently waiting by the phone just in case Wilder decides he wants a new dance partner, as opposed to waiting on Fury to heal up.
“Heck yeah,” said Ruiz Jr. when asked if he’d be willing to step in on short notice to face Wilder during an interview with RoundByRoundBoxing.com. “Call me right up.”
Ruiz Jr. is more than familiar with taking high-profile fights with little to no time to prepare. In June of 2019, Ruiz Jr. watched intriguingly as Jarrell Miller was removed from his heavyweight showdown against unified champion, Anthony Joshua.
Despite only having a few weeks to prepare, Ruiz Jr. picked himself up off the deck in the third round to send Joshua to the canvas four times before ultimately stopping him. The win crowned Ruiz Jr. as the first-ever Mexican heavyweight champion. His time on top of the boxing world was short-lived though, as Joshua settled the score six months later.
Ruiz Jr. would then take a year and a half off before resurfacing with new trainer, Eddie Reynoso. So far, their partnership has worked out well as Ruiz Jr. recently scored a unanimous decision win against fringe contender, Chris Arreola on May 1st.
At the moment, Ruiz Jr. has no fights lined up. But, the heavyweight contender claims that he is still working on his craft daily. Considering the success he had last time he was given a last-second opportunity, the Mexican product believes all systems will be a go if Wilder decides to give him a ring.
“That’s exactly why we’re staying in the gym and staying ready. If they’re looking my way come and bring it I’m ready.”
Luis Ortiz Wants Andy Ruiz Jr. Next: “Kong Is Right Here”
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.”
Mikey Garcia Has No Doubts That Andy Ruiz Jr. Will Become Champion Again: “Definitely, I Think He Can”
By: Hans Themistode
It was about as improbable a win as you’ll find.
Andy Ruiz Jr. made his way to the ring on June 1st, 2019, seemingly, without a prayer in the world. Waiting on him, was unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. As most of the betting public waited patiently to see what round Ruiz Jr. would get knocked out in, the Mexican star had other ideas.
Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) would dust himself off following a third round knockdown, only to drop Joshua four times before ultimately stopping him in the seventh. With the win, Ruiz Jr. became the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title. But while he was proud of the achievement, his moment in the sun proved to be transient as Joshua easily took care of business in their rematch six months later to reclaim his world titles.
With many now under the impression that his win was nothing more than a lucky punch, Ruiz Jr. appears determined to prove his doubters wrong.
“Andy wants to prove to everybody that it wasn’t just coincidence or luck or a fluke,” said former four-division champion Mikey Garcia during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He wants to make sure that he gets that title shot again.”
The road to that aforementioned title shot begins this Saturday night as Ruiz Jr. steps into the ring for the first time in roughly a year and a half against fringe contender, Chris Arreola. The two are set to bang it out in the center of the ring with a chance to move up the heavyweight ladder on FOX pay-per-view.
In an effort to prove that he is no longer the same fighter that walked into his rematch against Joshua as both overweight and unenthused, Ruiz Jr. has hooked up with world-renowned trainer, Eddy Reynoso. With the pair working with each other for well over a year, the former heavyweight belt holder has made drastic physical improvements. Regardless of his outward appearance, Garcia has always stood firmly in his corner. He rose to his feet and cheered loudly as Ruiz Jr. took care of business the first time around against Joshua. Garcia also criticized Ruiz Jr. for his lack of discipline as he came into their rematch grotesquely overweight.
Now, with his close friend getting into the best shape of his life, Garcia believes there’s no doubt that he’ll once again drape gold around his shoulders sooner rather than later.
“Definitely, I think he can. If he stays dedicated I definitely think he can. He has to get past Chris but I definitely think he can. Look, he’s got fast hands, he has the power to do it just like the first time. He’s got a great trainer with Eddy and he seems to be very disciplined. He slimmed down, losing 30 pounds is a lot of f*cking weight.”
Andy Ruiz Jr. Reacts To Deontay Wilder’s Workout Video: “We All Have Our Little Struggles But He’s Looking Good”
By: Hans Themistode
Deontay Wilder has been mostly out of the public eye ever since suffering a devastating knockout defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury in February of 2020. On the night, Wilder was dropped numerous times before ultimately succumbing in the seventh round and forfeiting his WBC heavyweight crown.
Besides a back and forth war of words with former co-trainer Mark Breland, Wilder’s future plans have been mostly kept under wraps. Although a date for his return has yet to be revealed, the Alabama native posted a video of himself training for the first time since his defeat.
While many in the boxing world were anxious to see Wilder sporting a pair of boxing gloves in over a year, Andy Ruiz Jr. was particularly interested in seeing what he’s been working on. The former unified heavyweight titlist couldn’t help but nod his head in approval when discussing what he saw from the short video clip.
“He looks pretty good,” said Ruiz Jr. during an interview with FightHype.com “And he has a new trainer as well. We all have our little struggles but he’s looking good.”
Ruiz Jr., 31, is just a few days away from making his own return to the ring when he takes on fringe contender Chris Arreola at Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California on FOX pay-per-view.
For Ruiz Jr., he’ll look to show that he’s dedicated to his craft after losing in embarrassing fashion to Anthony Joshua in December of 2019. Although Ruiz Jr. made history in becoming the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight world title six months prior, he admitted that he lost his way and enjoyed the fruits of his labor for far longer than he should have.
If everything goes the way he envisions it, he’ll jump back into the win column with big fights lined up in his future. Amongst them, he hopes, is a showdown with Wilder.
“If they want to fight, I’ll be willing to fight.”
Andy Ruiz Jr. Believes He “Would’ve Still Been Champion” Had He Fought Anthony Joshua Now: “I Have Abilities That I Didn’t Know I Had”
By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr. has always been a rather large individual. The Mexican native and former heavyweight champion of the world never allowed his physique to impede his ability in the boxing ring though. However, after pulling off the monumental upset against Anthony Joshua on June 1st of 2019, Ruiz Jr. gained several more pounds.
Despite coming in as a huge underdog, Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) picked himself up off the ground to drop and later stop Joshua in the seventh round, becoming the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. Ruiz Jr. took his celebrations a bit too far following the victory as he partied hard and barely trained for their rematch which took place six months later. As he stepped onto the scale, Ruiz Jr. weighed 283 pounds, 15 more than what he originally weighed six months prior. On fight night, Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly outboxed and he appeared to be lethargic and sluggish during their contest.
Since then, Ruiz Jr. has worked hard to rebuild his body. With new head trainer Eddy Reynoso in his corner, the Mexican product looks noticeably slimmer, weighing in at 257 pounds. Thanks to his weight loss and new training methods, Ruiz Jr. is feeling better than ever before.
“It feels good,” said Ruiz Jr. during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “I have abilities that I didn’t know I had you know. I can bob and weave, duck more, I can slip the punches. The speed I always had but the ability that they’re showing me is something that I couldn’t do before so it feels amazing.”
While Ruiz Jr. tips his cap in the direction of Reynoso for all of his help, he would be remiss if he didn’t mention pound-for-pound star, Canelo Alvarez. The two have been seen on numerous occasions working side by side with one another. In addition to that, Alvarez has also been an open book, often lending advice to an open-eared Ruiz Jr.
“Before, I used to train when I had a fight coming but Canelo has been telling me that I have to be training even when I don’t have a fight. I have to be training like if I have a fight, just train so we don’t have to get ready.”
At the moment, Ruiz Jr. is set to return to the ring for the first time since his lopsided defeat at the hands of Joshua when he takes fringe contender Chris Arreola at Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California on FOX pay-per-view this Saturday night.
Ultimately, Ruiz Jr. would love to use a win over Arreola as a stepping stool to bigger fights. Most notably, a third showdown against Joshua. If however, Ruiz Jr, had simply walked into their second contest in the shape he’s in today, he firmly believes there would be no need to ever face Joshua again.
“I would’ve still been champion. I know exactly what to do and what not to do now. I went all 12 rounds being overweight and not training. Thank God I didn’t lose like the way I made him lose on June 1st. Everybody wants to see the trilogy.”
Chris Arreola: “My Biggest Asset Is My Heart And My Balls”
By: Hans Themistode
Chris Arreola has sat back and listened as boxing fans are already playing matchmakers. In the mind of many, fantasy showdowns involving former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and several of the top names in the division are on the verge of taking place.
Standing in the way of those fantasy matchups is long-time contender Chris Arreola. The two are slated to face off in a FOX pay-per-view event on May 1st, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Despite giving up the advantage in terms of youth, speed and championship status – Arreola is unafraid of what Ruiz has up his sleeves. In the mind of the veteran contender, what he brings to the table is something a bit unique.
“My biggest asset is my heart and my balls,” said Arreola during an interview with Premier Boxing Champions. “I don’t back up from no one, I come and fight and just give it my all. I just bite on that f*cking mouthpiece and keep coming. That’s what I bring to the table.”
For Ruiz, his return to the ring has been a long and difficult road. In June of 2019, the Mexican native upset the odds in not only defeating Anthony Joshua but ultimately stopping him in the seventh round of their contest. With the win, Ruiz became the first Mexican fighter to win a world title.
The victory turned Ruiz into a celebrity overnight. He quickly made the rounds on television talk shows and became a regular in the party scene. While he had every right to enjoy his victory, Ruiz admitted that he took things a bit too far.
“I think I ate everything,” said Ruiz during an interview several months ago with TMZ Sports. “That’s why I gained so much weight. Just being with my friends and just celebrating, drinking a few more Coronas than I should have.”
Coming into their rematch six months later, Ruiz appeared grotesquely overweight, tipping the scale at 284 pounds. His inability to stop partying and dedicate his time to the gym cost him as Joshua easily outpointed him to win back his world titles.
Since then, Ruiz rededicated his life to boxing, teaming up with famed trainer Eddy Reynoso, head man of pound-for-pound star, Canelo Alvarez.
Recently, Ruiz has been seen sporting a much more trimmer look. But while Arreola tips his cap to his opponent for getting in much better shape, he believes all of his hard work will ultimately be in vain.
“I see myself winning this fight. I just been working hard, there’s no shortcuts just hard work. In order to beat me you really, really, really gotta beat the shit out of me.”
Chris Arreola On Andy Ruiz Jr.: “He May Have Been The First Mexican Heavyweight Champion But The Best Mexican Is Right Here”
By: Hans Themistode
Chris Arreola admits that he was proud as he watched Andy Ruiz Jr. become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight world title. The aforementioned Ruiz Jr. took down the heavily favored Anthony Joshua in their June showdown in 2019.
Following the win, the fame and notoriety went straight to the head of Ruiz Jr. The newly crowned champ spent most of his time making the rounds on television talk shows and guzzling drinks as opposed to working hard in the gym to protract his title reign. Ruiz Jr.’s lack of preparation led to a one-sided defeat in the rematch with Joshua six months later.
Since then, the Mexican star has worked closely with Eddy Reynoso, head trainer of pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez. By all accounts, he plans on putting on a show when he takes on Arreola on May 1st at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Although Arreola respects what Ruiz Jr. has been able to accomplish, when it’s all said and done, he wants the boxing world to know that the best Mexican heavyweight isn’t Ruiz Jr.
“He’s motivated to knock my block off but I’m motivated too,” said Arreola during a recent virtual press conference. “I want to win. He may have been the first Mexican heavyweight champion but the best Mexican is right here.”
For Arreola, the long-time contender has sat on the sidelines since August of 2019. After a close but failed attempt to slow down the hype train of Adam Kownacki, Arreola contemplated retirement. However, after giving himself more time to think, Arreola believes he still has plenty left in the tank.
With back and forth wars against the likes of Deontay Wilder, Bermane Stiverne, and of course, Kownacki – Arreola simply wants fans to tune into his FOX PBC pay-per-view event to see another contest that is sure to be crowd-pleasing.
“People that know me and have watched me fight, know I try not to be in a boring fight at all. I come to leave it all in the f*cking ring.”
Andy Ruiz Jr.: “I Would Love To Fight (Deontay) Wilder And Tyson Fury”
By: Hans Themistode
In just over a month, Andy Ruiz Jr. will find out if the monotonous training he has done with new trainer Eddy Reynoso will yield winning results. The former unified heavyweight champion is set to take on fringe contender Chris Arreola on April 24th.
While he’s focused on Arreola and jumping back into the win column, Ruiz Jr. can see an even bigger fight taking place in his peripheral vision.
“I would love to fight (Deontay) Wilder and Tyson Fury,” said Ruiz Jr. during an interview with Little Giant Boxing. “Everybody has been talking about those fight.”
First things first, however, Ruiz Jr. must take care of business against Arreola. Provided he do just that, the Mexican native will sit back and weigh his options. Although a matchup with either the hard-hitting former WBC belt holder in Deontay Wilder would draw plenty of attention, so would a showdown against current titlist Tyson Fury.
Choosing between them ultimately comes down to who can provide him with the final piece to his championship puzzle. Having held almost every world title following his upset win over Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, Ruiz Jr.’s title reign was quickly truncated in their immediate rematch. But while he isn’t a current champion, he still has the WBO, WBA and IBF titles in his trophy room in his palatial estate. The only thing missing from his collection is the WBC title.
That in turn, makes picking his next opponent an easy choice to make.
“I want that green belt. I have all the belts but that belt, I’m missing that one. I know Anthony Joshua is going to fight Tyson Fury but I need that belt baby.”
As bad as he wants to complete his collection, Ruiz Jr. doesn’t want to get too ahead of himself. When last seen, Ruiz Jr. was getting dominated by Joshua as his championship status fattened his bank account and made him listless and took away his work ethic.
He’s since parted ways with former trainer Manny Robles and ventured under the wing of Eddy Reynoso. By all accounts, their partnership appears to be working but with their first official fight together just around the corner, the jury is still out on whether or not their relationship will prove to be a sagacious one for Ruiz Jr.
With that said, the former heavyweight titlist is supremely confident that Reynoso is the right man in his corner and with his guidance, he believes the sky is the limit.
“After Arreola, I want to keep fighting and training to look better and better.”
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Chris Arreola Officially Set For Fox Sports PPV On April 24th
By: Hans Themistode
We all knew it was going to happen, we just didn’t know when. That is, until now.
Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. will return to the ring on April 24th when he takes on fringe contender Chris Arreola.
No specific site has been revealed just yet, but their bout will be a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.
It’s been a long time since anyone has seen Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) in the ring, one year and a half to be exact.
For a six-month stretch, Ruiz Jr. was on top of the world. His massive upset win over Anthony Joshua crowned him as the first heavyweight champion from Mexico. His enthusiasm for what he accomplished was taken a bit overboard as he spent most of his time partying like there was no tomorrow.
While it was fun at the moment, it caused him to slack in his preparation for their rematch six months later. During the night in question, Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly outboxed and his 15 minutes of fame were officially over.
His championship reign may have been truncated, but it was long enough for Ruiz Jr. to realize that he wanted a taste of it again. To help him in his efforts, he ended his relationship with former trainer Manny Robles and began working closely with Eddy Reynoso, trainer of pound-for-pound star, Canelo Alvarez.
By all accounts, their relationship seems to be going great as Reynoso revealed that Ruiz Jr. has lost 20 pounds since they began working with one another.
As for Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs), he’s spent a long amount of time on the sidelines as well. In his last ring appearance, the Los Angelos native almost pulled off an upset of his own against Adam Kownacki. Unfortunately for him however, he fell just short.
Following the loss, the now 39-year-old sat back and seriously considered retirement. Yet, with a chance to pick up a big win and an even bigger check against Ruiz Jr., this was an opportunity Arreola simply couldn’t say no to.
Eddy Reynoso On Andy Ruiz Jr.: “He Wants To Be World Champion Again, We Are Gonna Make A Great Team”
By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr.’s moment in the sun came and quickly left.
Following his monumental upset win over Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, Ruiz Jr. wrapped his newly won heavyweight titles around his waist and began partying nonstop. When Ruiz Jr. wasn’t out enjoying the night life, he was making frequent trips to the jeweler and stopped going to gym as frequent as he should have. With the newly crowned champion scheduled to take on Joshua six months later, the Mexican product figured since he had already done it once, repeating what he did should be no problem at all.
Those sentiments, of course, didn’t prove to be true as Joshua boxed circles around him and ended his 15 minutes of fame. For the now former belt holder, he realized what he did wrong. In turn, he put down the bottles of booze, no longer made trips to the local clubs and according to trainer Eddy Reynoso, his newfound dedication has his training like a mad man.
“Andy is very motivated,” said Reynoso during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He wants to be world champion again. He’s dropping weight and he’s been disciplined. We are gonna make a great team.”
Since the one-sided loss, Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 24 KOs) has sat back and watched as his new stablemates have gone on to pick up big wins.
Just a few weeks ago, Oscar Valdez upset the odds by not only defeating former WBC super featherweight belt holder Miguel Berchelt but flat out knocking him out cold. Canelo Alvarez has continued to win as he easily outboxed Callum Smith to win the WBA, WBC and Ring magazine super middleweight titles in December. Also, in just a few short hours, Alvarez will take on Avni Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. Virtually everyone expects Alvarez to pick up the win and maintain his pound-for-pound status.
As for Ruiz Jr., he simply wants to keep the winning train going. Although nothing is concrete, he will most likely return to the ring in a few months against fringe contender Chris Arreola.
Winning a world title is prevalent on his mind, but more than anything, Ruiz Jr. wants to prove that his success wasn’t a flash in the pan. While he already has all of the motivation in the world, Reynoso believes that with everyone surrounding him ascending, the fire burning in his belly is brighter than ever.
“He’s seeing the success everyone else is having and it’s gonna motivate him even more.”
Under The Radar Fights Fans Should Be Hoping For This Year
By: Hans Themistode
The big fights are easy to identify. Even the most casual fans will tune into matchups headlined by Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. or Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua. While those fights are undoubtedly huge, discussing them has become incredibly repetitive.
The sport of boxing doesn’t revolve around those obvious big fights, and more times than not, those marquee matchups either take years to materialize or fail to happen at all. The anticipation would go through the roof if Canelo Alvarez agreed to take on Jermall Charlo or if Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford came to a bout agreement. But there are a ton of other possible matches that are floating under the radar. One’s that would make fight fans and even casuals run to their television screens. Let’s take a look a look at some of them now.
Luis Ortiz vs Andy Ruiz Jr
When it comes to the heavyweight division, much of the attention is on unified champion Anthony Joshua as well as WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury. There is little doubt that their showdown would entertain. However, a contest between former champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) and multiple time title challenger Luis Ortiz would possibly produce even more fireworks.
Both big men know how to box but more importantly, they know how to bang and enjoy doing it. Outside of his defeats to Deontay Wilder, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) has never come close to losing a fight. The now 41-year-old is fresh off a first-round knockout win against Alexander Flores in early November. Ruiz Jr., on the other hand, is still searching to get back on track following his one-sided loss against Anthony Joshua in late 2019. Both men hit hard, have sturdy chins and need a big fight.
This one has fight of the year candidate written all over it.
Jermall Charlo vs Chris Eubank Jr
WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) has been described in a variety of ways. Brash, brazen, loquacious and even arrogant. In many respects, so has WBA interim titlist Chris Eubank Jr.
Charlo, 30, has done his best to quiet his doubters with his most recent performance, an easier than expected win against perennial contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Eubank Jr. though, is in a similar position. Sure his world title win was a bit fortuitous considering his opponent in Mat Korobov dislocated his shoulder in the second round of their matchup, Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22 KOs) proved in his prior fight that he can not only compete with the elite but beat them convincingly. That much was proven after sending former champion James DeGale into retirement.
In terms of Charlo and Eubank Jr., both men have expressed plenty of interest in facing each other. With nothing set in stone for either man at the moment, both should look to make this showdown happen next.
Erickson Lubin vs Jarrett Hurd
Has there ever been a boring fight involving Jarrett Hurd? Of course not. The former unified Jr middleweight champion was once viewed as the class of the division. Those thoughts however, have mostly dissipated following his surprising defeat to Julian Williams in mid-2019.
Still, with only one loss plastered to his record, the Maryland native is far from done. A possible matchup with Erickson Lubin would prove just that, provided he wins.
Lubin, much like Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs), saw his stock take a considerable hit the moment his head bounced off the canvas courtesy of a Jermell Charlo left hand in 2017. He’s rebuilt himself nicely since then reeling off five straight wins. If he wanted, Lubin could sit back and await his second crack at a world title but the 25-year-old loves a good fight. Ironically enough, Hurd loves himself a good scrap as well. It’s a matchup made in boxing Heaven.
Terence Crawford vs Keith Thurman
No not Manny Pacquiao and no not Errol Spence Jr. Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) should pick a fight with former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman. By all accounts, Spence Jr. is the top name in the division and the one Crawford should continue to lure into the ring. With that being said, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) was Spence Jr. long before he broke into the championship mix.
The biggest wins on the Dallas native’s resume came at the expense of Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. While they were impressive victories, Thurman took care of business against both men in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Injuries, of course, have held back the 32-year-old Thurman. And despite his loss to Pacquiao in his last ring appearance, he proved that there’s still plenty left in the tank.
Fans have grown tired of begging and groveling for a matchup between Crawford and Spence Jr. Instead, they should switch their focus and hope that Crawford faces Thurman. The former champion may have lost countless fans due to his inactivity in the ring but he’s still one of the best fighters in the world.
Andy Ruiz Jr And Chris Arreola Agree To Terms For Heavyweight Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr. is ready to show that he isn’t some one hit wonder.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the former heavyweight champion has agreed to a matchup with former title challenger Chris Arreola that will take place on the back end of 2020.
With the 39 year old Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) putting on one of his best performances in his last ring appearance against Adam Kownacki, the California native pondered retirement if he didn’t get the job done on the night. Yet, after 12 fairly competitive rounds in which Arreola had thrown a record setting 1,125 punches, he backed off his retirement claims.
Despite his previous showing though, much of the boxing world will be fixated on the comeback story of the man standing across the ring from him on the night.
Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) found himself on the table of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua as a sacrificial lamb. The two matched up in June of 2019 and not much was expected of him.
Come in, get paid, get your ass kicked and leave. And in that order. Ruiz Jr. however, didn’t read the memo.
The upset of Joshua has been well chronicled. Ruiz Jr. picked himself up off the mat in the early going, only to drop his man on four separate occasions to become the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.
Those newly found gold belts did not serve as motivation though. They were simply used as beer holders as Ruiz Jr. spent most of the following six months partying like there was no tomorrow. But while the new heavyweight champion was busy making appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel show and signing countless autographs, the old belt holder was hard at work readying himself for their rematch.
The difference in preparation showed as Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly dominated over 12 rounds.
“I think I didn’t prepare as I should’ve,” said Ruiz Jr. immediately following their rematch. “I gained too much weight. Basically I tried to train myself, but if we do the third fight best believe I’m going to be in the best shape of my life.”
The promises of the former heavyweight champion doesn’t appear to be hollow as he has decided to work with trainer of the year and head man of current four division star Canelo Alvarez.
With the world there to witness his rise to the top of the mountain and his unceremonious fall from it, Ruiz Jr. will begin his journey to prove that he isn’t some flash in the pan fighter.
Demetrius Andrade Calls Out Andy Ruiz and Andre Ward
By: Hans Themistode
Demetrius Andrade was an interested observer on December 7th 2019. In one hand was a bag of popcorn as the fan in him sat back and enjoyed a boxing match. In the other, was a pen and paper as he jot down notes. After 12 uneventful rounds Andrade was left unimpressed and holding his chin.
The WBO Middleweight champion looked on as Andy Ruiz Jr. was virtually shutout by Anthony Joshua to lose his Heavyweight titles. Before his poor showing, Ruiz was on top of the world, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he stopped Joshua in the seventh round during their first contest.
That version of Ruiz would be difficult to deal with, but the one who showed up in the rematch is easy pickings for Andrade.
“I would fight Andy Ruiz,” said Andrade on ABBoxing during an interview. “Don’t train, don’t do anything, let’s fight. Give us the same excuse you gave when you fought Joshua the second time that you didn’t train. Give me that fight and I can beat him.”
Andrade has offered to move up in weight to take on big name opponents in the past. He recently went on record offering to jump up to the Super Middleweight division in order to take on WBO title holder Billy Joe Saunders. But a move to Heavyweight would be a completely different animal. To his credit, Andrade has always been praised for his skills and his heart. But that doesn’t mean he wants to jump into the ring with every and any of the big boys from the Heavyweight division.
“I’m not fighting Wilder. I don’t want to get hit with that shit bro. I would fight anybody in my weight class but if I’m going up to the Heavyweight division, I am only going to name the people that I think I can beat and I know I can beat that kid. I can beat Andy Ruiz, hands down.”
With world titles at both 154 and 160, Andrade, 32, is smack in the middle of his prime and would be favored against roughly anyone in his weight class. But a matchup with Ruiz would leave him at a major weight disadvantage. The former Heavyweight champion last tipped the scale at a grotesque 283 pounds. Over 120 pounds heavier than Andrade.
Big fight hunting has always been the name of the game for Andrade (29-0, 17 KOs). For years, he spent his time trying to get the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo into the ring with him. But with both of those contests ostensibly not taking place, Andrade has turned his attention to not just Ruiz, but to another big name fighter. One that seldomly ever gets called out.
“If Andre Ward wants to get back in the ring I would fight him. I’ll beat him with my jab and my IQ. I’ve got way more speed than him, my feet work is way better than him, like he isn’t going to touch me.”