Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. moved one step closer to a possible fight with former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder after scoring three knockdowns on his way to a unanimous decision victory over Luis Ortiz in their WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator Sunday night from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles(FOX PPV).
The first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent won by scores of 114-111(twice) and 113-112.
Photos: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions
Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) knocked Ortiz down two times in the second round and one time in the seventh. In the second round, Ruiz delivered a clean right hand to score his first knockdown, and Ortiz (33-3, 28 KOs) would hit the canvas a second time in the round from Ruiz combination.. In round seven, Ruiz struck again, backing his opponent up with a straight right before moving close and dropping Ortiz with an overhand right.
“Everyone was doubting me, but I worked so hard for this fight,” Ruiz said. “Ortiz is a warrior who hits hard. I did a beautiful job boxing him around. I showed more class than I usually do just coming forward.”
To Ortiz’s credit, he battled in this fight. In fact, Ortiz even owned a slight 78-76 edge in punches landed according to CompuBox, but it was Ruiz’s 67 power punches to Ortiz’s 56 that made the difference.
“I told you I was going to be a warrior, and that’s what I did,” said Ortiz. “This is Cuba vs. Mexico. This is what I live for. To everyone who said that I’m old, I gave you a war today. There are always surprises in boxing, and that’s what you got if you didn’t think I’d give it my all.”
After the fight, Ruiz stated his willingness to meet Wilder in a possible blockbuster showdown if Wilder is successful in his ring return on October 15 against Robert Helenius on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View. Wilder, who was ringside, seemed interested in the potential matchup.
“If Deontay Wins in October, me and him are with the same management, and we can make this fight happen,” said Ruiz Jr. “Let’s do it. Let’s get it on. I’m hungry, and I want to be champion again and bring that belt back to Mexico.”
Wilder-Ruiz is a big fight and, as Ruiz said, an easy fight to make since both fighters are with PBC. It would be interesting to see if Ruiz could stand up to Wilder’s power or whether Wilder could avoid getting caught with those explosive shots from Ruiz.
Would be fun to find out!!