By Dan Ambrose: Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. says his fight against Luis Ortiz on September 4th will prove that he will be world champion again. The card will be shown on FOX Sports pay-per-view from the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles.
There are a couple of good fighters on the undercard in Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz and Jose ‘Rayo’ Valenzuela, but they are not fighting each other, unfortunately.
Ruiz is going about it the wrong way if he wants to prove to fans that he’s going to become a world champion again because he’s fighting the wrong type of opposition, and he’s not competing often enough.
Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) is fighting his second consecutive 40-ish opponent in ‘King Kong’ Ortiz after beating 40-year-old Chris Arreola last May.
Moreover, it’ll have been 16 months since Ruiz last fought when he faced 43-year-old Ortiz on September 4th. Ruiz fought last against Arreola, and he’d been out of the ring for 17 months.
The motivation to stay active isn’t there for Ruiz, and it looks like he wants another payday from Anthony Joshua after fighting him twice and becoming wealthy from those two matches.
If Ruiz does beat the southpaw Ortiz, it will not prove that he will be a world champion again. On the contrary, it will prove that Ruiz is just looking for that Joshua payday.
“This is my chance to prove to everyone that I’m going to be heavyweight champion of the world again,” said Andy Ruiz Jr. about his fight against 43-year-old Luis Ortiz.
“I’m super motivated to be facing a great fighter like Luis Ortiz, so my fans can expect to see me at my best. Everyone has wanted to see this fight, and we’re going to give everyone a war on fight night,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz is ranked #5 WBC, and he would be rated higher if he fought more often. When you’re only fighting once every 16 to 17 months against strictly older fighters, it’s difficult to get pushed up the rankings quickly.
If Ruiz and his promoters at PBC are counting on him getting a title shot with a victory over Luis Ortiz, they will be in for a rude awakening. Ruiz will need to beat a solid fighter, preferably one in their 20s or early 30s.
Don’t be surprised if Ruiz’s next opponent is 41-year-old Kubrat Pulev if he defeats Derek Chisora next month on July 9th in their rematch.
- Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz vs. Eduardo Ramirez
- Abner Mares vs. Miguel Flores
- Jose ‘Rayo’ Valenzeula vs. Jezreel Corrales
The former three-division world champion Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) is coming off a four-year layoff since his lopsided 12-round unanimous decision against Leo Santa Cruz in 2018.
That’s a long time to be out of the ring, and it won’t be surprising if Mares loses to Miguel Flores (25-4, 12 KOs) in their 10-round bout. Flores has lost two out of his last three fights in defeats against Santa Cruz and Eduardo Ramirez.