Former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz, Jr. will battle all-action heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola in the main event of an all-Mexican boxing extravaganza on Saturday, May 1, headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with an undercard stacked from top to bottom with fan-friendly, action-packed matchups, as the co-feature will see former world champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr. clash with Abel Ramos in a 12-round welterweight bout. Sensational super welterweight contender Sebastián “The Towering Inferno” Fundora takes on hard-hitting Jorge “El Demonio” Cota in a 12-round battle and rising welterweight star Jesús Ramos, Jr., the nephew of Abel Ramos, duels U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina for 10-rounds of welterweight action.
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com. Dignity Health Sports Park will be open to fans in a limited capacity, with all guests remaining socially distanced and subject to local and state health guidelines throughout the event.
The FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View is priced at $49.95.
Ruiz and Arreola, two Mexican-American heavyweights from Southern California, have been circling each other for years. They both had designs on becoming the first fighter of Mexican descent to win the heavyweight title. Ruiz won it and lost it, while Arreola still hungers for it. This high-stakes match will determine who remains in the hunt.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) shocked the boxing world in 2019 when he was brought in as a late replacement to face heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and turned the tables on the champion, knocking him out in the seventh round and taking home the titles. The 31-year-old from Imperial, California, lost his rematch with Joshua by unanimous decision but has now rededicated himself to regaining the heavyweight championship.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on May 1,” said Ruiz, who is now being trained by renowned coach Eddy Reynoso. “Training with coach Eddy in his gym has been amazing. I’m around great fighters like Canelo Alvarez, and we’re putting in the work so that I can look better than ever.
“I have known Chris Arreola since I turned professional. He’s a Mexican warrior just like me, and I expect him to come at me with everything he’s got. This is going to be an action-packed event between fighters who do not go backwards. I will be smart and ready to do whatever it takes to get the win and put myself back in position to become heavyweight champion again.”
Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) has a career that has spanned 17 years, and he remains one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the sport. Born in East Los Angeles to parents from Mexico, Arreola has fought for the heavyweight championship three times and come up short. He began working with renowned trainer Joe Goossen before his last match against Adam Kownacki and appeared to have turned back the clock. It was a back-and-forth, up-tempo match, and Goossen’s work with Arreola was on full display. Arreola acquitted himself well but came up on the short end of the decision.
“Training with Joe Goossen is tedious, hard work,” said Arreola, whose father was a boxer who would take him to Mexico to watch the legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. train. “We’re doing everything that we can so that when Ruiz and I face each other, fight fans will get treated to an all-out war between the two best Mexican-American heavyweights to ever step in the ring. This matchup should be a fan-friendly fight, and I plan on winning behind all of my hard work.”
This is a nice tuneup for Ruiz, and hopefully, for him, it could lead to bigger fights, including with former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, which is a big fight, and who, like Ruiz, is signed to PBC and Al Haymon.
It’s also an opportunity for Arreola to have one last shot to put himself in a position to get a title.
Not giving Arreola much of a shot in this one, but hey, anything can happen in boxing, especially in the heavyweight division.
The weigh-in is done, and now we have a fight, and interestingly enough, Anthony Joshua came in a little lighter, and the champion, Andy Ruiz, came in heavier.
Ruiz came in at 283.7 pounds, which is 15 pounds more than the first fight(268 pounds). Conversely, Joshua came in at 237.8, which is 10 pounds(247.75) lighter than the first fight.
We will see if the weight will matter, but based on what we saw in the first fight, it might not matter.
The pair collide for a second time at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7 in one of the most highly-anticipated Heavyweight rematches in decades, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Photos: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Before June 1, former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua(22-1, 21 KOs) was considered by many to be the best heavyweight in boxing, but then Andy Ruiz(33-1, 22 KOs) happened, and the rest is history.
Ruiz stopped the 30-year-old Joshua in round 7 in their first fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Fortunately for Joshua, on December 7 in Saudi Arabia, he will finally have a chance to avenge his only loss as he battles Ruiz in the rematch.
On Wednesday, at the final press conference, Joshua addressed several topics.
Here is what he had to say:
On this being a great opportunity:
“It’s interesting to be on this side of the table, as you said in my 16th fight, I challenged for the world title, challenged for the title again with Klitschko, then Parker, and now I’m challenging again, so this is my fourth title challenge in a short space of time. I’m used to being in this position, and even when you’re champion, I think Andy being a respected heavyweight he knows you have to have the challenge and mindset. All these quotes that these fighters come up with is reality, challenger mindset. I’ve said that previously when I had the belts around my waist. Now I’m speaking this into existence, this is my challenge and mindset. So I’m going back to my 16th fight, focused and determined on the goal.”
On feeling less pressure without the belts:
“I’ve been boxing a while now, and when I came into boxing I didn’t really come to take part, I came to take over. I came with full force, fully committed. The focus has already been there, but never had a chance to reflect. It was European Championships, Olympics Championships, British Title, World Championships. I’m not here to put on show I’m here to win. I’ve been around the block for a short space of time, so you have to understand I’m experienced and know what I’m doing. Through reflection in my own time, me and Andy are very different, but like everyone in this room we have time. I just have to use my time and as soon as I got back from New York I got that commitment back, got into shape, I didn’t lose any heart, didn’t lose any fire in my belly, started hitting the heavy bag, preparing for this day. I’m actually really looking forward to it. No fear in my heart, no fear in my eyes. I’m just looking forward to putting on a show, and I’m confident.”
On how special a win will be:
“I was asked if this will be a special moment and I said no because I know I belong there. It’s not special, I’ve been there, I know what I’m doing. When I regain those belts I will probably keep calm and stay focused. It’s not a time to celebrate, it’s time to keep that challenge, mindset and find the next target, so one by one I’m picking them off. I’ve been doing that since I started boxing and Ruiz is just my next target on my list.”
On fighting in Saudi Arabia: “
This the Mecca of boxing I’m hearing. The real Mecca of boxing. I’m going to turn this into something special, a real event. As you can see we have put together a great undercard and a great show. I went to the venue, its perfect, perfectly designed, said my prayers, I took time to really embrace what’s going to happen Saturday. I’m just going in with confidence, and I want everyone to have that same confidence and have a great time.”
Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Ahead of the highly-anticipated rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Antho
ny Joshua this Saturday December 7, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, all fighters from the stacked card worked out in front a lively crowd in Riyadh this evening. In June, Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) spoiled the U.S. debut of then-undefeated Heavyweight kingpin Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs), leaving New York as the unified IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight Champion.
The upset is considered one of the largest upsets in Heavyweight boxing history, drawing comparisons to other historic heavyweight upsets such as Buster Douglas’ shocking victory over Mike Tyson and Hasim Rahman’s knockout win over Lennox Lewis.
Here is what Joshua had to say:
On his preparations: “It’s been about being confident, about knowing my capabilities. I’ve had a great training camp, I am well prepared, and ready to showcase my skills.”
On what change we will see Saturday night: “I’m forever changing, that’s what training camp is about, evolution, like night and day. I shed the skin from last time, re-built myself, and all I’m doing is going to win, that’s what I’m focused on.”
On looking to have more speed in this fight: “I’m quick anyway. I’m not looking for anything except the win, that’s the objective. It’s about speed, it’s not about nothing else, the objective is just to win, win, win.”
On how much Andy Ruiz had been on his mind since the first fight: “He’s been on my mind five weeks prior to June 1 because that’s when he came in as my replacement, and he will be on my mind forever. If Andy Ruiz is dedicated to the game we will see each other a third time down the line as well. This won’t be the last time I see Andy Ruiz in the ring.”
On a third match with Andy Ruiz: “Yes because I think we make for good fights. I think there will definitely be a knockout, and people want to see bloodshed and a knockout. I think we will see each other a third time.”
On getting the victory: “If God calls it that’s what’s going to happen. I feel it in my heart, and believe in myself, so yeah I’ll be victorious. Shout out to all of my sparring partners for preparing me. You are going to see fireworks on Saturday. This is an important fight and like I said, this fight isn’t going 12 rounds.”
Photos:Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Andy Ruiz Jr has warned Anthony Joshua that he could beat him “even faster” than he did when he ripped the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts from ‘AJ’ on a memorable night at Madison Square Garden in New York back in June.
The pair collide for a second time at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7 in one of the most highly-anticipated Heavyweight rematches in decades, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
‘The Destroyer’ believes Joshua will aim to regain his crowns by adopting a cautious in-ring strategy following their explosive first meeting that saw Ruiz knock down Joshua four times on route to a monumental seventh round stoppage win.
“I’m expecting that,” said Ruiz Jr. “But if he wants to bang, it’s better for me. I love to bang because that’s the fighter that I am. December 7 we have to pressure, work the body, break him down. Especially his mentality.
“We’ve got to see where he’s at because all the pressure is on him. The pressure isn’t on me because I followed my dream, made my dreams come true. Of course I want more though – I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz Jr.”
Ruiz Jr had previously explained that his sparring partners were being “slick” in anticipation of Joshua trying to be elusive.
“People haven’t seen me cut off the ring,” Ruiz Jr warned. “I actually break them down even faster when they try to box me around. We all have a plan until we get hit, like Mike Tyson would say. I’m pretty sure he will want to box me around.
“One punch can change the fight. That’s what happened on June 1. It might be a little harder than the first time. I’ve got to show my skills, my talent.”
Ruiz Jr’s only defeat in 34 fights came via majority decision to Joseph Parker in 2016, a verdict he still disputes. He insists that his style will always be a problem for Joshua.
“Especially me staying small. I don’t think he likes fighting against that style. I don’t think he’s ever fought a short guy that pressures, and is pretty slick. I felt like I was boxing him around even though I was the shorter guy. I was counter-punching him. When he would throw, I would throw back with more punches.
“He saw something that he’s never seen before. People said before, who would you rather fight: Joshua, Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury? I always said Joshua because of his style. Styles make fights. His style was perfect for me to become the unified Heavyweight Champion.”
Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 tops a huge night of boxing in Saudi Arabia.
Russian powerhouse Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) returns from his August triumph over Hughie Fury to take on USA’s fast-rising Heavyweight talent Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) in an Eliminator for the WBA World Title, Brixton Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) takes on Poland’s former World Title challenger Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs), undefeated Croatian Heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) steps up to face former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) as he puts his WBC International Championship on the line for the third time, Tom Little (10-7, 3 KOs) will be targeting a huge Heavyweight upset as he takes on former Amateur Word Champion Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1 KO), and the talented young duo of Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) and Los Angeles Super-Middleweight Diego Pacheco (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be eager to impress at Diriyah Arena, Zuhayr Al Qahtani (7-0) clashes with Omar Dusary (7-0-1, 1 KO) for the WBC Middle East Lightweight Title and UAE Lightweight Majid Al Naqbi (3-0, 1 KO) aims to improve his perfect record.
Photo: Matchroom Boxing
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has landed a spot on the colossal Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Anthony Joshua 2 World title rematch taking place at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Whyte will take on Poland’s former World title challenger Mariusz Wach in his first fight back since climbing off the canvas to outpoint Oscar ‘Kaboom’ Rivas in an exciting battle at The O2 in London back in July that saw him move to 26-1 (18 KOs).
Wach (35-5, 19 KOs) was due to face Whyte back in 2017 before ‘The Body Snatcher’ withdrew from their contest with an injured foot, but ‘The Viking’, a former opponent of Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin, will now have the opportunity to lock horns with Whyte following back to back wins in his homeland.
Fellow Brit Tom Little (10-7, 3 KOs) will also be targeting a huge upset on the undercard as he takes on Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1 KO), the former world amateur champion.
Alexander Povetkin’s explosive encounter with Michael Hunter has already been confirmed, along with Filip Hrgovic’s step-up in class against Eric Molina on an action-packed evening of Heavyweight fights.
The talented young duo of Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) and Los Angeles Super-Middleweight Diego Pacheco (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be eager to impress at Diriyah Arena.
“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” said Whyte. “He’s probably got one of the best chins in the Heavyweight division.
“I have been training and working hard to fight so it’s great to get a date and it’s very exciting for me to be fighting somewhere different like Saudi Arabia.
“I want to fight in different places and different settings and this card has the biggest Heavyweight fight on it that we have seen in years.
“I’m just going to keep chasing the World titles, so if I keep winning then I hope to land that World title shot in 2020, that’s the plan for December 7.”
“This wraps up a huge card for what will be a historic night for the sport,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. “Ten big Heavyweights will descend on Diriyah to cause a shockwave through World boxing as Saudi Arabia hosts one of the biggest Heavyweight fights of all time. Ten days to go!”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Anthony Joshua’s epic rematch night has even more heavyweight fireworks as Dillian Whyte battles Mariusz Wach on a bill which is brimming with big punchers.
“Whyte will be seeking to showcase his power against the battle-hardened Mariusz Wach, while the likeable Tom Little receives a dream fight against Mahammadrasul Majidov, the former world amateur champion.
“Hopey Price and Diego Pacheco are also keen to display their talent on a momentous night for the sport as we build towards Joshua’s spectacular showdown with Ruiz Jr.”
In the sport of boxing, anything can happen, especially in the heavyweight division, where one punch can change it all. And in reality, that is what we saw back in June when Andy Ruiz Jr. defeated then unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua.
After getting knocked down by Joshua in the round 3, Ruiz got back up and would eventually drop Joshua two times in that third round. Joshua was never the same after the third round and would get dropped two more times before the fight was stopped in the seventh round.
Since there was a rematch clause in place, Ruiz and Joshua will get it on again, and according to reports, the fight could take place in the fall, but where it will take place, is a mystery at this point, and recently, Ruiz had stated that he is not interested in fighting in the U.K.
When the fight does happen, according to former heavyweight champion Ray Mercer, Joshua will be victorious.
“I think he(Joshua) should go in there and knock that bum out,” Mercer recently told Paul Gant at Larry Holmes’ Heart of a Legend Celebrity Golf Weekend. “I think he’ll knock him out. He got caught, and he got caught on the temple, and he couldn’t recover. I definitely think he is the better fighter.”
While Mercer believes Joshua will handle Ruiz in the rematch, he does not think that Joshua is the best heavyweight in the world. According to Mercer, it’s Tyson Fury.
“Tyson Fury, I have to give it to him; He’s a great fighter. I love him. I think he can be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Mercer said.
Listen below as Mercer talks Larry Holmes, Tommy Morrison, the heavyweight division, and so much more:
When Andy Ruiz beat Anthony Joshua back in June, many were shocked, some were amazed, and others pointed to his body. Ruiz is not a guy who is going to win a bodybuilding contest, but many forget that boxing is not a bodybuilding contest, and Ruiz proved that against Joshua.
One man who dominated the heavyweight division in the ’80s, the great Larry Holmes, was another boxer that did not have the greatest physique. However, it did not matter. Holmes would go on to have 20 straight title defenses, and at one point, was 48-0, and one win away from tying Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0, before losing to Michael Spinks in 1985.
While Holmes did not have the body, he sure had the jab, which is considered by some to be the greatest jab in history of the heavyweight division.
“I had no body, no chest,” Holmes told Paul Gant. “I had big arms, but that’s all I had, but you know what, it’s this.”(Holmes begins to throw his legendary jab)
In the end, Holmes believes if you use the jab effectively, you will have a lot of success.
“If you can work a jab, you gonna win,” Holmes added.
Holmes also had toughness. Whether it was winning the 15th round against Ken Norton to capture his first title in 1978, or getting off the mat to stop Ernie Shavers, Holmes always did what he needed to do to get the victory.
Through it all, “The Easton Assassin” also gave back to his community, which is one of the reasons there is a statue of Holmes in his hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania.
Last weekend, we caught up with Holmes at his 5th annual Heart of a Legend Celebrity Golf weekend in Easton, PA.
Listen below as Holmes talks the importance of giving back to his community, his jab, and more.
For more information about the Heart of a Legend foundation, go to the website www.heartofalegend.org.
Joseph Parker is ready to step up his ambitions to reclaim his World champion status as he faces Alex Leapai at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Parker (25-2 19 KOs) returned to winning ways at home in Christchurch, New Zealand in December with a third round stoppage following two blockbuster nights in Britain. The Kiwi first took on Anthony Joshua in a unification battle in Cardiff in March 2018, surrendering his WBO crown on points. Parker then returned to the UK and met Joshua’s old foe Dillian Whyte and served up a fight of the year contender in London in July, climbing off the canvas in the second and ninth rounds to floor Whyte in the final session, but being edged out on the cards.
Parker landed the vacant WBO title against Andy Ruiz Jr, whose recent stunning win over Joshua in New York has thrown the division wide open. The Kiwi was in the Big Apple that weekend after signing a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and Eddie Hearn, and the 27-year-old had warned that the Mexican was a real threat to the unbeaten Briton’s World reign.
With Ruiz and Joshua set to meet in a rematch later in the year, while Whyte meets Oscar Rivas in another blockbuster clash in England’s capital in a month’s time. With WBC king Deontay Wilder and former World champion Tyson Fury likely to clash in rematch in 2020, Parker knows he must see off Leapai (32-7-4 26 KOs) in style in Rhode Island to get into position to retain his World champion status.
“The only way to settle the score is to fight again,” said Parker. “I will fight any top fighter but I want to fight for World titles again, I know where I am and that I need to climb to the top again.
“Andy’s got a great chin and so do I. We’re different fighters from 2016, he’s improved dramatically and we saw that in the performance, and I am a lot better than I was when we first fought back then.
“Everyone was leaning towards AJ getting an easy victory but we knew what Andy presented and what he brought to the fight, so it wasn’t a surprise to us, but we didn’t know he was going to stop him like that so it was a surprise in that sense, but we knew he had the ability to put in a great performance like that so congratulations to him and his team.
“I don’t know how the rematch is going to go which is why it’s so exciting and people will look forward to it because we don’t know how it will unfold. We’re not sure if AJ is going to come back and look better, box from the outside, or if Andy is going to come and put on more pressure and throw more punches, so I am excited to see it again.
“Andy has got the blueprint to beat him. I wouldn’t say exposed him, but you put pressure on, throw punches and combinations and you do your best to land, that’s what Andy did. I am a different fighter to Andy, he takes a punch to give a punch whereas I try my best to avoid punches, but he showed that it works and he took some to land a lot more.
“Tyson and I have a great relationship, he’s kind of like an older brother in the same division as me. From the time I was with him in Manchester in September 2017 until now, he’s completely changed physically and mentally, he’s a lot happier. You never say never when it comes to fighting anyone.”
Parker’s clash with Leapai is part of a huge night of World title action in Providence as hometown hero Demetrius Andrade defends his WBO Middleweight strap against Maciej Sulecki and unbeaten WBA Super-Flyweight king Kal Yafai defends his strap against mandatory challenger Norbelto Jimenez.