The one factor that Andy Ruiz would love greater than a showdown with Deontay Wilder is a struggle of any variety throughout the subsequent three to 4 months. (photograph by Ryan Hafey)
The previous unified heavyweight titlist ended a sixteen-month ring absence with a twelve-round, unanimous determination win over former title challenger Luis Ortiz. Ruiz scored three knockdowns, proving to be the distinction on the scorecards in successful by scores of 114-111, 114-111 and 113-112 of their September 4 Fox Sports activities Pay-Per-View headliner at Crypto.com Enviornment in Los Angeles.
Getting the win was a very powerful half, although it got here with loads of room for enchancment.
“I might give it a B,” Ruiz informed BoxingScene,com and different reporters of his efficiency. “I used to be coming off a 12 months layoff. I used to be preventing a robust veteran who hits laborious. He’s a lefty, the primary lefty that I’ve confronted. He was really saying he was going to knock me down. He didn’t try this one time. I simply thank God that I used to be capable of drop him. I didn’t get the (knockout) however thank God I acquired the victory.
“It’s again to the fitness center for me. I felt rusty after having not fought for some time. I plan to be extra lively shifting ahead, whether or not Wilder or whoever else comes my method.”
The struggle was simply the second for Ruiz (35-2, 22KOs) since his pair of title fights with England’s Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22KOs) previous to the pandemic.
Ruiz made historical past in turning into the primary fighter of Mexican descent to win a bit of the heavyweight crown following a seventh-round stoppage of Joshua of their June 2019 conflict. The reign was short-lived, with the Imperial, California native retunring the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titles to Joshua after a lopsided factors loss of their December 2019 rematch.
There was discuss on the time of Ruiz and Ortiz colliding within the first half of 2020, just for these plans to get shut down as a result of world well being disaster. Ruiz wound up sitting out all of 2020 and effectively into 2021 earlier than dealing with and beating Chris Arreola final Might 1 in Carson, California. A knee damage requiring surgical procedure would preserve Ruiz out of the ring for the remainder of the 12 months, whereas exterior elements led to a delay in finalizing a struggle date with Ortiz.
Sunday’s win leaves Ruiz because the number-two contender for the WBC heavyweight title, with Wilder (42-2-1, 41KOs) forward of him within the rankings. The previous long-reigning WBC titlist will finish a prolonged layoff of his personal as he faces Robert Helenius atop an October 15 Fox Sports activities PPV from Barclays Heart in Brooklyn, New York. A win might probably arrange a conflict of former heavyweight titleholders in 2023, although Ruiz would love a struggle of any variety within the interim.
“I wish to go straight to the fitness center once more,” famous Ruiz. “I didn’t really feel like I used to be at my 100% however we acquired the victory. I simply wish to keep busy.”
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox