Former champion Charles Martin to return on Ruiz-Ortiz undercard

Former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin will highlight non-televised undercard action when he takes on former U.S. Olympian Devin Vargas in an eight-round attraction on September 4 in PBC action during Labor Day Weekend from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

The event is topped by a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT featuring former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. battling top contender Luis “King Kong “ Ortiz in a WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator in the main event.

The non-televised lineup will also include unbeaten Mexican flyweight Juan García (10-0-2, 7 KOs) in a four-round bout taking on Gilberto Mendoza (19-13-3, 19 KOs), plus a battle of unbeaten lightweights as Los Angeles’ Anthony Cuba (4-0-1, 3 KOs) faces Houston’s Óscar Pérez (5-0, 4 KOs) in a six-round attraction.

Rounding out the card is San Francisco’s Anthony Garnica (9-0-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round super bantamweight matchup against Anthony Casillas (8-2, 4 KOs), super lightweight Jesús Carrillo (10-7-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round attraction and lightweight prospect Kel Spencer (1-0), the younger brother of rising super welterweight Joey Spencer, stepping into the ring for a four-round duel.

Martin (28-3-1, 25 KOs) became heavyweight champion in January 2016 when he won by TKO against then unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov. After losing his title to Anthony Joshua, Martin won five of six fights, with all of those wins coming inside the distance. Originally from St. Louis, now living in Las Vegas and currently training in Southern California with Manny Robles, Martin most recently challenged Luis Ortiz in a New Year’s Day showdown that saw him send Ortiz to the canvas twice before eventually losing in round six.

A 2004 U.S. Olympian, Vargas (22-7, 9 KOs) has fought professionally since 2004 and was a two-time National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion as an amateur. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Vargas last fought in November 2020, dropping a contest to unbeaten Zhilei Zhang. Throughout his career, Vargas has challenged champions and top prospects and contenders including Andy Ruiz Jr., Dominic Breazeale and Junior Fa.

Ruiz on fight with Ortiz: ‘We didn’t come here to cherry-pick anybody’

 Former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. and top contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz faced off for the first time on Wednesday, at a Los Angeles press conference to preview their much-anticipated WBC Heavyweight World Title Eliminator which headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View on September 4 in a Labor Day weekend clash at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Here is what Ruiz and Ortiz had to say Wednesday from City View Terrace at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles:

ANDY RUIZ JR.

Photos: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

“We’re here again and I’m thankful for another opportunity. We didn’t come here to cherry-pick anybody. We wanted a tough opponent and that’s why we picked Luis Ortiz. He’s strong, he’s awkward, he’s a lefty, but we’ve had a long training camp and we’ll be ready.

“The main thing for me is going to be staying busy. I’m not underestimating Luis Ortiz, because he comes to fight. He wants to be world champion. On September 4, we’ll go toe-to-toe and we’ll see who’s going to win.

“It feels good to have this fight set. We know this isn’t going to be an easy fight. He has a different style than what I’m used to, but we’ve trained really hard at the gym to perfect the craft. He’s going to bring it, but we just have to do the best we can to get this victory and go on to win world titles. This is a big fight for me to climb back up the ladder.

“The main focus has just been training my skills. This isn’t a weightlifting contest, so I’ve been getting back to what originally made me a champion. I’m not here to lose weight or look the part, I just want to be the part.

“I think this is a similar fight for me to the Anthony Joshua fight, it’s just that he’s a lefty. We have a great team and we’re working hard. September 4 is going to be a hell of a fight.

“I wanted to work with (new trainer) Alfredo Osuna a long time ago, it just wasn’t the right time then. He’s used to training for lefty fighters. I feel like this is exactly what I needed for this fight. My team is going to bring the best out of me.

“I’ve been doing this all my life. I’ve been fighting since I was six-years-old, so the muscle memory is there. I needed this long training camp for this type of fight. That’s going to help me get comfortable in this fight.

“I love fighting here in California. I always wanted to fight at this arena. The first time I ever saw Luis Ortiz fight was here at this arena, and my dad told me that one day I was going to fight him. Now that day is here.

“The people wanted this fight and we’re going to give the people what they want. It’s going to be a hell of a show.

“This might not go the distance, but I’m prepared to go all 12 rounds. We’re going to get this victory no matter what on September 4.”

LUIS ORTIZ

“I’m very grateful to be back in this position and fighting at the top level. I’m thankful to Andy for taking this fight and I’m truly looking forward to it.

“As of right now we’re preparing for the best Andy Ruiz. We know that he’s not just any fighter. He’s a former world champion and that doesn’t happen by luck. I’m ready for him and may the best man win.

“I’m very excited. The fans are going to see two fighters who love to battle and love to punch and punch hard. This is a dream come true and we’re not going to disappoint the fans on September 4.

“I got good experience from fighting Charles Martin. There were some hiccups in the fight, but I’m going to carry the lessons that I learned into this fight.

“I don’t believe there’s any advantage to the fact that I’ve been more active than Andy. I believe in hard work and the mental makeup of a fighter. That’s what I’ve been focusing on day after day.

“My main objective right now is to win on September 4. Then after that, I’ll see who crawls out and steps up. So far there haven’t been too many at the elite level.

“This fight is going to end in a knockout. I’m sure Andy thinks the same thing. This one isn’t going to go 12 rounds.”

Ruiz on Arreola: ‘If he wants to run it back, we’ll run it back with him’

When the fight was made between former unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Chris Arreola, not many gave Arreola a shot to win this fight. In fact, many thought Arreola would get dominated and stopped, but that was not the case. Arreola battled and dropped Ruiz hard in the second round, but Ruiz took control in the second half of the fight to defeat Arreola by unanimous decision on Saturday night from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California(FOX PPV).

After the fight, Ruiz explained what happened with the knockdown.

“He got me with a good clean right hand in the second round,” said Ruiz. “I was too overconfident and dropped my hand a bit. Hats off to him. We just kept pushing and pushing. I switched up and started focusing on counterpunching and working the body.”

The battle between two Mexican-American heavyweights in Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) and Arreola (38-7-1, 33 KOs) was an exciting affair, which included a lot of back and forth action. However, the judges’ scorecards were a little shaky. Ruiz won 118-109 on two scorecards and 117-110 on another.

Ruiz did own a 106 to 75 advantage in power punches, and he landed 161 of his 626 punches thrown, while Arreola landed 109 of his 521 punches thrown. Arreola appeared to hurt his left arm in round eight, but he fought through the pain.

While he acknowledged he might have lost to Ruiz, Arreola was not very happy with the scorecards.

“A lot of punches he threw were hitting my gloves,” Arreola said. “He never put me in danger. It’s dejecting to not get the respect from the judges that I feel I deserve.

“There’s no moral victory. I came here to beat Andy. He might have beat me, but I felt like he won seven rounds at the most.”

This was Ruiz’s first fight in over 16 months, and according to him, there was some rust.

“I felt a little rust, but I know other fighters can relate to that,” said Ruiz. “If he wants to run it back, we’ll run it back with him.”

We’ll see what happens next with Ruiz. There was talk of a fight with Luis Ortiz, and that would be fun, and there is former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, which would be a big fight, or maybe he gives Arreola a rematch, which probably does not make much sense for Ruiz at this point. There are options for Ruiz, and we’ll see where he goes from here. Regarding Arreola, he was in shape on Saturday night and fought well, and at age 40, a rematch with Ruiz makes a lot of sense for him, but I doubt he gets it.

Overall, while Ruiz-Arreola probably did not belong on pay-per-view, it was well worth it for those who purchased the fight.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Ruiz: ‘He’s(Joshua) trying to take my belts away, so I’m going to do everything that’s possible to win’

Heavyweight World Champion Andy Ruiz Jr has been knocked out…by the iconic venue in Saudi Arabia where the Clash On The Dunes, his colossal rematch with Anthony Joshua, is set to take place.

The American-Mexican fighter – known as ‘The Destroyer’ – toured the custom-built Diriyah Arena in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site ahead of the epic bout on December 7.

The 15,000-seater stadium has been constructed in the ancient remains of Saudi Arabia’s first capital, a place fittingly known as the ‘home of kings and heroes’.

Touring the Diriyah Arena, Andy Ruiz said: “It’s amazing man, it’s crazy how they built everything in a month and a half. It’s amazing to be fighting over here, it’s going to be really historic and I’m planning to make history over here.”

The World Champion first visited Diriyah for the official launch press conference in September, but since then 175 workers have created the arena in the 10,000 sq m site using 295 tonnes of steel.

Ruiz said: “It’s a lot different. When I first got here none of this was here so it’s unbelievable. All the workers and all the people who have put their efforts in, their designs in, this event and this arena is just something amazing.”

Ruiz arrived in the Kingdom early Monday morning to set up his training camp ahead of his rematch with Joshua, with the US boxer determined to keep hold of the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO belts he snatched from the Briton when they faced off in New York earlier this year.

“Right now, we are meditating, we are preparing, we are getting sharper in the ring and training as well. We are visualizing the fight and becoming victorious,” said Ruiz.

“To all my fans please come and support me, it’s going to be a huge fight, it’s the Clash On The Dunes. We are two big guys fighting each other looking to be the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

“He’s trying to take my belts away, so I’m going to do everything that’s possible to win and I’m going to do it for all my people.

“They can expect to see someone who is not giving up and doing everything possible to win, God willing we are going to take this victory.”

Fans will approach the Diriyah Arena via the Diriyah Oasis, a huge sprawling entertainment hub which includes ice-skating outdoors, sky diving, jetski-ing and ziplining among a host of activities on offer. The Diriyah Oasis is split into the four zones – Nature, Imagination, Reflection, Excitement- giving families a place to come together, and at its heart lies an astonishing grand installation by world-renowned Italian artist, Edoardo Tresoldi.

The Clash On The Dunes forms part of the Diriyah Season, epic month of sports which kicked off with  Formula E at the weekend, the Diriyah Tennis Cup featuring eight of the best men’s players on the planet, and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, an elite competition with Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifying points on the line.

Bradley to Ruiz: ‘Hey, hold your ground; they need you'(VIDEO)

On Monday, at a press conference in London, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn announced that Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua 2 would take place on December 7 in Saudi Arabia. The first fight, which was in New York City at Madison Square Garden back in June, ended with Joshua getting stopped by Ruiz.

For Ruiz to get the first fight with Joshua, he had to agree to a rematch clause, and according to Hearn, Ruiz knows what he agreed to in the contract, and Ruiz knows that Joshua’s side would determine where the rematch will be staged. However, Ruiz has an issue with the location of rematch.

“AJ got the rematch, yes we do got the rematch,” Ruiz said in an Instagram video on Tuesday. “But, it’s gonna be on my terms. We’re gonna bring it back here in the United States.”

Also, there were reports that Ruiz is unhappy with his purse, which will reportedly be around $9 million.

Former world champion Timothy Bradley gave his thoughts on this issue, and according to Bradley, Ruiz’s handlers should not have agreed to certain terms in the contract.

“You signed a contract, man, and when you sign that contract, man, your people gotta be smarter than that, bro,” Bradley said. “Come on, man. You sign a contract for money after you win the fight. Bro, you shouldn’t of put nothing in there. You should of just said, ‘nah, will do the rematch clause, but we not going to talk figures. That’s how you do it. You don’t put a figure there; you know what I’m saying? Because if you pull off upset, and you put the figure, and now, you are binded(bound) by the contract. That’s what happens.”

Bradley did have a little advice for Ruiz.

“So, he’s going to do whatever he needs to do to try to get more money, be stubborn,” Bradley said. “He’s the champ now, and he’s going to do what he needs to do to get that extra money. I think he’s gonna get that extra money no matter what, he will. Hey, hold your ground; they need you.”

It should be interesting how this saga plays out. On the surface, it would seem that Ruiz does not have much leverage, but as Bradley said, they need Ruiz, so in the end, Ruiz will probably get a little extra money and make his way over to Saudi Arabia on December 7.

Listen below:

Twitter reacts to Andy Ruiz’s stunning victory over Anthony Joshua

In a total shocker, Andy Ruiz(33-1, 22 KOs) Jr. stops Anthony Joshua(33-1, 21 KOs) in round 7 to capture Joshua’s three belts at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.

It was Joshua’s first time fighting on American soil, and the first time he suffered a loss as a pro. With the victory, Ruiz becomes the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion in the history of boxing.

After the fight, Twitter reacted.

Here is a sampling:

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing UK