Andy Ruiz has been down, up, down again and wanted to get back to a higher ground, with a win over grizzled vet Luis Ortiz. The California resident Ruiz, age 32, brought a 34-2 mark to the Crypto.com Arena ring on Sunday, atop a PPV put together by PBC and Fox. Foe Ortiz, age 43 or so, was 33-2 entering. Ruiz got the job done, dropping Ortiz in the second and seventh, coming away with a UD12, by scores of 113-112, 114-111, 114-111. No, it was not a FOY candidate, Ortiz wasn't busy and Ruiz was less so. But, it's a win, BoxRec doesn't offer “style” points and he's in a position for a meaningful bout next time out.
Ortiz said after he accepts the decision, and that hell yes, he will fight on. Ruiz post-fight thanked God, and then said that he worked very hard for the fight, because he knew Ortiz is a tough out. Ruiz gave himself high marks, and thought he showed new wrinkles as a pugilist. I must pipe up to say there will be others who will point out that people pay $75 for the right to watch this and some main venters like to factor in that factor as they operate.
Ruiz said he wants to fight more often, three or four more times, and yep, he's happy to fight Deontay Wilder if Deontay gets past Robert Helenius on Oct. 15.
Deontay then came into the ring, and told the crowd that they saw a great fight, which, really, they didn't. But Deontay is a positive guy, and was asked if he'd want to meet Ruiz after Helenius. “We can get it on,” he said, if that is the plan. It was classy, he didn't want or need to make a spectacle. Props to the Bronze Bomber.
Neither man has been overly busy, which is par for the course for name heavies these days. Ortiz (245 pounds) is almost once a year fighter now, he was last in the ring with Charles Martin in January, and looked chinny before scoring a TKO6 win. Ruiz (268 pounds) was last in the ring in May 2021, when he scored a UD over Chris Arreola.
In the first, Ruiz moved left and right, because in camp he'd get clipped by lefties when he was trying to avoid the power left, and move to his left. This was the first lefty that Ruiz has taken on as a pro. That lefty landed a sharp right hand, pretty clean, in the last minute. In round two, a right dropped Ortiz. He was on bad legs, he went down again, while trying to hug Ruiz and buy time. Ortiz came back bombing, he's as dangerous as any man when hurt, a straight right landed pretty flush and tested the Ruiz chin.
In the third, Ortiz jabbed and moved, like how Anthony Joshua did in their second scrap.
Ruiz popped Ortiz in the belly, and he didn't like it at all. In round four, Ortiz continued to move, but then late in the third and fourth, that movement ended after a minute or so. Ruiz was very patient, too patient probably, he didn't throw the last two thirds of the session.
In the fifth, the pace stayed slow. Was Ruiz deliberately being sparse with his output, because he wanted to take the geriatric man into deepest waters? There were boos popping up toward the end of the sixth. Rightly so, frankly, if you paid decent money to watch.
To round seven–Ruiz threw more, after being told to do so by trainer Herman Caicedo.There were more boos being flung two minutes into the round. Andy, mostly quiet, then dropped Ortiz with a right, after a jab-freeze, with 20 seconds to go. Right on the temple. He got up, and as the bell rung, landed a left zinger.
In the eighth, would he put foot on gas? Not really, he didn't come out particularly impatient. In fact, the round mostly had Ortiz setting pace with the jab. Ruiz looked to body hunt, with his right hand.
In the ninth, Ruiz went down, off a push, no knockdown scored. Ortiz by now wasn't bothering to move much.
In round ten, the crew touched on the fact that Andy was heavy, Lennox Lewis pointed that out. Joe Goossen was kind, and said that Andy trained hard, but yes, maybe he ate more. Lewis said basically “one guy is old, the other guy is overweight,” the best line he's had in seven maybe eight years. “We need more,” said trainer Caicedo to Ortiz before the 11th began. “The uppercut with the left,” also, Caicedo called for.
Brian Kenny said that last round, Ruiz threw nine and landed one, not very impressive, he noted. A right hand buzzed Ortiz, with a swelling right eye, at 1:30 in round eleven. In the 12th, Ruiz wanted to land a walk off right hand and about three or four times Ortiz dialed it up, for a flurry. We'd go to the cards, not what I'd predicted in the PPV.com chat during that scrap.