New Horizon – Andy Ruiz Jr to Return Under Reynoso Regime
By: Thomas Nicholls
Mexico’s Heavyweight star Andy Ruiz Jr has had a lot of time to stew over his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it chapter at the top of the Heavyweight pile.
His win over Anthony Joshua back in June 2019 took us all by surprise, yet his reign at the pinnacle of the heavies ended abruptly with a shutout defeat to AJ in the Saudi rematch.
Fundamentally, he is a tough task for just about any of the current top crop, but his infrequent training sessions and pizza parties ahead of the Joshua rematch have left a sour taste.
So, the man who Ruiz embraced in euphoria back at the MSG, Manny Robles, has been sent packing as Ruiz bids to revitalise his career. An understandably upset Robles told SkySports: “My job is not to call him every day. He is a man, not a kid, and must be treated as such.
“You can’t convince someone to want something.
“The fame and money has been overwhelming for Andy. He has got to know how to handle it. Maybe after this defeat, the game has humbled him.
“Stay humble or be humbled.
“The first three months after beating Joshua on June 1, I had very little communication with him.
“I was in the gym but he was at home, doing his own thing. I wasn’t able to see him or really talk to him.
“I was disappointed by everything leading up to the result [of the rematch]. The preparation. Fights are won in the gym and, when you don’t go into a fight at 100 per cent this is what you get.”
Inbound is Eddy Reynoso, the man who leads P4P star, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Reynoso’s gym is simply star studded. Canelo, of course, the poster-boy and within the team are native Mexicans, Luis Nery, Julio Cesar Martinez and Oscar Valdez. Not bad company at all.
Frankly, now is the time for Ruiz to park the fleet of cars that James Bond would envy, refrain from uploading photoshopped torso shots on Instagram and revert his focus to what sealed that famous coronation in New York.
Sat on the precipice, if he is unable to rediscover the heart and focus to get back on the path to glory, he could join the dreaded company of some of Boxing’s bizarre Heavyweight reigns.
However, with Reynoso’s input, discipline and dedication, then all of a sudden the heavyweight division will have it’s dangerous underdog back. Ruiz Jr can be a match for anyone.
What About Jorge Juarez? The Man Who Nearly Beat Canelo Alvarez
By: Brian Strahan
Mexico, has its own California. Baja California. A feral peninsula, encompassed by the Pacific Ocean to its west, and the Sea of Cortez to its east. At its tip, bordering that other California, lies Tijuana. A city known in the past as much for its pull of Hollywood celebrities, who could gamble in relative anonymity, as it was for criminality, which eventually, morphed into a city more associated with cultural growth.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
It was here that Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez came close to suffering his first professional defeat. An opening flurry of victories as a 15-year-old, came at something of a canter. Similar to the only man who would ever defeat him – Floyd Mayweather Jr – Canelo had a family in his corner. Just not his own. Not far from his modest home in Juanacatlan on the fringes of Guadalajara, his brother Rigoberto introduced him to Chepo and Eddy Reynoso.
From the Julian Magdaleno Gym, were the father and son team trained the flame-haired Canelo, his route was plotted. Impressed by his speed of thought and power, the Reynoso’s didn’t feel, but knew he was ready. Such was his ferocity at the 2005 Junior Nationals, in the southern, busy city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez; no one his age, apart from the foolhardy, wanted to face him.
Turning professional at such a young age, is no big deal in Mexico. Other nations may scoff at the youthful age that boys are thrown in amongst men to fight. But Mexican boxing can point to the robust nature of their success, rooted in the tough start they allow their young boxers. Mexico can boast having more than 150 professional world champions in its pugilistic history. Only the United States can champion a stronger record.
So, there was nothing unorthodox in Canelo facing fellow Mexican Abraham Gonzalez in his first fight; Gonzalez three years his senior. That chasm in physical development, a lot wider in teens then a corresponding chasm for even marginally older boxers. It mattered little, however. A total knock out in the fourth and final round for Canelo.
Little changed for his second fight against Pablo Alvarado, very much his elder at 26. It was, physically and literally, man against boy. Again, an irrelevance. Alvarado lasted two rounds before Canelo ended his night.
The third test of this fledgling career would prove more demanding. Miguel Vazquez – again three years his senior – may have been making his professional debut, but he had genuine potential. Potential that he would go on to fulfill. But this welterweight fight was out of reach for a fighter who would go on to win a multitude of titles. His only defeat in a valiant 2013 unification loss to Mayweather by majority decision. Still though, against Vazquez, Canelo was made work. The split decision went his way.
Pedro Lopez, a month later, didn’t offer a similar challenge. Back in Canelo’s hometown of Guadalajara, Lopez, a fighter from the former colonial city of Tabasco, had little vigour to offer. Another knock out. It would be the beginning of a trend in a career that bore little fruit.
So on to the Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana. Perhaps more famed for its seminal Friday night dose of Lucha Libre; the Mexican variant of professional wrestling. With its spirited masks and costumes and comic-book style heroes and villains; it appeals to the masses as a sport and entertainment.
On June 17th, 2006, there was substantially less of the fanfare for the meeting of Canelo and Jorge Juarez. Not that the night itself was sedate. Hector Velazquez, a Tijuana local, and a solid career fighter, was the main draw. After he discarded compatriot Guadalupe Hernandez in a deeply one-sided affair, the crowd simply dispersed.
The undercard, as Canelo and Juarez were, came after the main event. Perhaps not the most carefully structured running order. What it meant was a sparse attendance and a quieter atmosphere, despite Juarez being a local. But three victories from eight against a relative unknown, was not enough to keep seats filled.
Maybe they should have stayed. What was missed was Canelo being tested. That was the function of Juarez. To try the properly strong Canelo against someone who would hold firm. Where some previous opponents had struggled to match his intensity, Juarez used the physicality and experience that came with his 8-year advantage. Canelo tired in the fourth-round bout and Juarez made connections.
If he didn’t quite school him; Juarez was in his element. This was as evenly matched a welterweight contest as there could have been. Juarez would have more defeats than victories up until his retirement in 2011. In 2015 Juarez returned but has had eight defeats on the bounce since.
Still though, the two came together at a time and a night when there was nothing to split them. The triumvirate of judges scored it 37-39, 38-38, 37-39. A one-point difference anywhere along the way could have meant another easily forgotten victory for Canelo. Or it could have meant Juarez being the only person outside of Floyd Mayweather to defeat Canelo in his professional career; to date.
How much relevance it will have on Saturday, who knows? But it has relevance for Juarez. And not because he can dine off a former glory. But because he showed he could match someone who was on his way to becoming one of the world’s best.
ShoBox: The New Generation Results: Green & Odom win by upset KO, Chinea won by SD; Lopez v. Reynoso scored a Draw
ShoBox: The New Generation Results: Green & Odom win by upset KO, Chinea won by SD; Lopez v. Reynoso scored a Draw
By: Matthew N. Becher
Showtime sports presented a four fight card from the Foxwoods Resort and Casino. It was the 15 year anniversary of the “ShoBox” series. ShoBox has put on 484 fights in the past fifteen years, being a series that has showcased many fighters who have gone on to become World Champions. Out of all the young men who made an appearance on the program, 67 have become champs. Deontay Wilder, Ricky Hatton, Erislandy Lara, Tyson Fury and others all made an appearance on ShoBox on their way to becoming the best in the sport. Tonight was another chapter.
Khiary Gray (13-0 10KO) v. Ian Green (9-1 7KO): Jr. Middleweight
Green took this fight on one week notice, thinking it was a great opportunity for national exposure. The fight started out pretty rough for Green, as Gray used a thundering counter right which wobbled Green. The first round and a half were all Khiary Gray, until Green landed a one two combination that turned the fight around, knocking Gray down to the canvas. Gray got up, but never had his legs back and could no longer continue as round two was coming to an end.
Green TKO2 2:50
O’Shaque Foster (10-1 7KO) v. Rolando Chinea (12-1-1 6KO): Lightweight
When they say “styles make fights”, this is kind of what they are talking about. Foster is a boxer, while Chinea is a come forward brawler. The fight was awkward, in a sense of scoring and deciding who was controlling the fight. From the get go Chinea, was coming forward with gloves up, trapping foster against the ropes, snuffing punches and even using his elbow and forearms to hit Foster.
Foster was able to use his speed and quick footwork to get away from Chinea. Foster got to the body often, but definitely needed to plan his attack and escape at the same time.
Chinea is a hard nose brawler that is looking for a fight. Foster is a slick boxer with a very large amateur career who doesn’t seem used to fighting for a distance or under such stress.
Towards the end of the fight Foster came out fast, trying to use his speed and boxing ability to control the rounds, but the last half of the rounds Chinea would trap Foster on the ropes and use his power to keep him stuck.
The last round had both guys leaving it all on the line, knowing that they needed the round to possibly win. Exciting fight, with both men showing great heart.
Chinea SD9 79-73 Chinea, 77-75 Foster, 78-74 Chinea
Jerry Odom (13-2-1 12KO) v. Julius Jackson (19-1 15KO): Super Middleweight
The fight started off with Jackson controlling the rounds with his lengthy jab. Odom was trying to land some punches, but was coming up short for the first couple of rounds. Between the 2nd and 3rd round Odom’s trainer told his fighter that he had to stop letting his opponent land so many punches and get too confident. Odom waived his trainer in and whispered “I’m letting him get confident so he will open up”. Odom wasn’t lying. The very next round, Odom saw Jackson get sloppy and landed an overhand right that put Jackson down for the count.
Odom TKO3 1:57
Adam Lopez (15-0 7KO) v. Roman Reynoso (18-1-1 7KO): Super Bantamweight
Lopez came into this fight with a possible title fight on the line with Jonathan Guzman. Lopez used his height advantage to keep the wild Reynoso away, but was also able to land the more compact punches that seemed to throw Reynoso off his game. Reynoso was a strictly wild fighter, throwing crazy overhands rights that just couldn’t land effectively.
Lopez was very lackluster in the first half of the fight, sitting back and throwing less punches then Reynoso. Lopez never followed up with his landed punches, while Reynoso seemed to always come forward and begin to land some more of the wild overhand rights in the second half.
The fight was much closer than most thought it would be. Lopez never looked completely comfortable against the wild, smaller Reynoso. The end of the fight had Lopez land a huge shot on Reynoso that nearly ended the fight. Reynoso spit his mouth piece out to stall a bit and make it to the end. The title shot with Guzman may have just gotten much closer or extremely farther away.
96-94 Lopez, 97-93 Reynoso, 95-95 Draw