It's heavyweight boxing week baby! Former unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (34-2) faces the grand old man of the heavyweight division, Luis Ortiz (33-2), in a WBC title eliminator. For those unfamiliar with their nicknames, it's “The Destroyer” vs. King Kong. This wasn't on many fans' radars as a “must-see” fight, but it is slowly making its way to becoming just that. Both men have solid fan bases and aren't afraid to mingle with their supporters at live events. There are a ton of questions to be asked from both men, and Sunday should answer them all.
According to BetMGM, Andy Ruiz Jr. is the favorite at -350, while Luis Ortiz is the underdog at +275. For this fight, I reached out to the NYF crew and those that are closely affiliated to give their take on who they see coming out victorious on FOX PPV this Sunday.
Michael Woods (Founder, NYFights): Ruiz by KO
I thought Ortiz looked chinny AF last time out. Maybe that was then, and this now will be different. But maybe not…I think Ruiz finds that chin and drops n stops Ortiz in the first two rounds.
David Philips (NYFights, Awards Daily): Ortiz by KO
Oh lord, must I be forced to care? Ruiz doesn't take care of himself, and Ortiz is 206. This fight being PPV tells you all you need to know about the state of the heavyweight division and the low standard having mofos who will shell out $74.99 for a couple of mediocre fighters. Alright fine. Arm twisted by Abe. I'll go with Ortiz by 9th round TKO. I'll have to read about it though because you couldn't pay me to watch it.
Matt Andrzejewski (NYFights): Ruiz by UD
As long as Ruiz is in shape and motivated, or somewhat in shape and somewhat motivated, he should take care of business in this spot. Ortiz is showing signs of his age, and since that number may be higher than reported, the downfall could be rapid. Ruiz has a significant speed advantage which I see as being just too much for Ortiz to overcome at this point in his career. Give me Ruiz by a lopsided unanimous decision.
Vladimir Lik (Boxing Journalist): Ortiz by KO
Andy Ruiz has not looked the same since the AJ rematch. In what was supposed to be a showcase fight against Chris Arreola, disaster almost struck, and Ruiz was lucky to escape with the victory that night. This is still the same Ortiz who gave Wilder all sorts of problems twice. While Ortiz had his own near mishap vs. Charles Martin- he himself right and stopped Martin in the 6th. The largest concern, of course, is Ortiz's age at 43 years old but in the end, an in-shape and focused 43-year-old can defeat a younger man who may have lost a few steps himself. Ortiz will win this one and get a world title shot again.
Ernie Green (Niagara Gazette, Founder of #TheChat): Ruiz UD
Ruiz/Ortiz's fights are difficult enough to predict when they aren't fighting each other because 1) we will never know how hard Ruiz has trained for a fight until we see him in the ring, and 2) I don't think we will ever know Ortiz's actual age. So, pitting them against each other makes it insanely difficult to predict.
But here's my prediction, and trust me, I'm not confident in it at all – Ortiz gets off to an early lead using his boxing skills, size, and reach, but Ruiz overcomes all that in the second half of the fight with his speed, combinations and age advantage. I'll take Ruiz UD in what should be an intriguing, competitive fight.
Lucas Ketelle (ITR Boxing): Ortiz
I like Ortiz. He hits hard and is tricky.
Colin Morrison (NYFights, Japan-Forward & Spit Balling Pod): Ruiz by KO
Ruiz is looking good to my eye. While Ortiz may be tricky initially, I think Ruiz will come with intent to live up to his ‘Destroyer' nickname. Ruiz will deliver a stylish KO in the second half of the contest.
Hamza Ahmed (NYFights): Ortiz by TKO (10th round)
This is an extremely tough fight to call. Ortiz is the older of the two but fought the most recent. Granted, he was dropped twice by Charles Martin and certainly looked every bit his age, but the power is still there and as legit can be. It only took one straight left to change the entire fight around, and he can land that punch at any time. Ruiz can be hit, but he's the younger man with the much superior hand speed. The trainer change is an issue; I believe this is his 3rd trainer in his past three fights now, so there's no real consistency yet, and this is quite an acid test for a fight with a new trainer. Ruiz has also been out for even longer as it's been over a year since he decisioned Arreola, who himself was past prime and caught Ruiz cold early.
I expect ring rust and Ortiz's age to be a factor in the first four rounds as both fighters feel each other out, get accustomed to a groove, and take their time, even more than usual, because this is genuinely a must-win fight for both if either man wants to stay in contention. Then I can see a firefight kick in, and to be honest, just based on their past performances, I believe both men will hit the floor at least once, Ruiz will be up, but he'll get caught with a left hand from Ortiz who'll secure a stoppage late in a fight he's badly behind on. I can also see it being the opposite way with Ruiz stopping Ortiz too, but my gut is saying Ortiz.
Glen Sharp (Author, NYFights): Ruiz
I like Ortiz a lot. He is one of the most skilled and experienced heavyweights fighting today. But he is clearly old, and I imagine Ruiz's fast hands and good combinations will prove too much.
Marquis Johns (NYFights): Ruiz
Got a fun heavyweight matchup this Labor Day weekend between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Luis Ortiz. The best part, aside from Ruiz's body mural along his backside and confirming the actual age of Ortiz, is that we get to see two of the best heavys in the PBC stable. It's just a matter of what's left in either one, as both looked iffy last time out.
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) August 29, 2022
Raise your hand if you're fired up for Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz 3? Put that sharp object down. I expect the age of Ruiz and hands to win by late stoppage as I write down Wilder-Ruiz on my 2023 Fights to Watch.
Gayle Falkenthal (NYFights): Ruiz by stoppage
It's always fun to watch the big men bang! The matchup test the fast hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. against the primate strong punching of Luis Ortiz Jr. Whatever age Ortiz Jr. claims to be on his Cuban birth certificate, the veteran always gives himself a chance with the power to end a fight at any time. But he's slowed down and can be knocked down. Ruiz Jr. needs to use his speed and stamina to move in, strike, and get out of range. After getting a closeup look at The Destroyer last week, he's in great condition. As long as Ruiz Jr. can avoid incoming fire., I predict he will stop Ortiz Jr. in the second half of the bout, teeing up a showdown with the winner of Wilder vs. Helenius.
Prediction Panel Results: 7-5 Ruiz.
My Three Cents:
Although the panel results favor Andy Ruiz, I am going with the old man Luis Ortiz getting the job done. It really is an interesting matchup but just not a PPV matchup. I understand that the fight's business makes it a PPV event, but if we are strictly focusing on the fight itself, it is hard to lean on a definitive side to determine a winner. Who wins Sunday night? You will have to tune into FOX PPV or PPV.com to see who comes out on top and is next in line for a title shot.