Former champ Andy Ruiz eager to destroy again
Former heavyweight champ Andy "The Destroyer" Ruiz is optimistic ahead of Luis Ortiz fight
SAN DIEGO – It has been more than three years since Andy Ruiz became known to international fight fans. The Destroyer gained worldwide acclaim when he knocked out the previously unbeaten Anthony Joshua on June 1, 2019.
With that massive upset, Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz became the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. He captured more than the IBF, WBO, and IBO title belts that glorious night. He also garnered the attention that comes with such a historic achievement from a Mexican boxing community that usually excels in the lower weight classes.
Ruiz, 32, didn’t hold the belts very long, though. He lost the heavyweight title to Joshua in a rematch on Dec. 7, 2019. Ruiz was inactive until May 1, 2021 when he defeated another heavyweight of Mexican descent, Chris Arreola, by unanimous decision.
Andy Ruiz back at work
“The Destroyer” returns to the ring on Sept. 4 against 43-year-old Cuban Luis “King King” Ortiz.
“I’m feeling really good,” Ruiz said. “The hard work has already paid off, and now it’s just time to have fun on Sept. 4. We’re going to let it all out in the ring. Me and Ortiz are coming to be champions, so you know it’s going to be a hell of a fight.”
There won’t be a title on the line when Ruiz and Ortiz fight at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena. The bout is a 12-round WBC heavyweight title eliminator. It will air on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from the arena formerly known as Staples Center.
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Ruiz (34-2, 22 knockouts) is currently a 3:1 betting favorite over Ortiz (33-2-2, 28 knockouts).
Ortiz has been somewhat inactive. He didn’t fight last year, and he fought only once in 2020. He had two fights in 2019, including a seventh-round knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in November. That was the second of their two fights.
Deontay Wilder awaits the winner
A fight with Wilder seems imminent for the winner of the Ruiz-Ortiz clash. Both Ruiz and Ortiz have been vocal about an opportunity to fight the Bronze Bomber. Wilder has predicted that Ortiz will beat Ruiz in “devastating fashion.”
Ortiz agrees. He predicts that he’ll knock out the former heavyweight champ.
“This fight is going to end in a knockout,” Ortiz said on July 20. “I’m sure Andy thinks the same thing. This one isn’t going to go 12 rounds.”
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Andy Ruiz is with his third trainer in as many fights. He worked with trainer Manny Robles in both of his fights against Joshua. Then he had trainer Eddy Reynoso for the Arreola fight. Now he’s with trainer Alfredo Osuna.
Ruiz is ‘happy, disciplined’
“Andy is in optimal shape,” Osuna says of Ruiz’s training. “He couldn’t be doing any better. The best part of this training camp is that he’s been happy, disciplined and as dedicated as he’s ever been.”
Unlike Ortiz, Ruiz and his camp are just slightly more subdued in their prognostications.
“I’m glad that Ortiz is predicting a knockout, because I’m ready for anything,” Ruiz said. “My only prediction is that I’m going to win.”
Osuna also stops short of predicting a knockout.
“There’s a very high percent chance that this fight ends in a knockout,” Osuna said. “We’re prepared for anything, but we’ll see what happens on Sept. 4.”
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