Sergio Mora has doesn’t have much faith that Andy Ruiz Jr will ever be able to become a heavyweight world champion again after watching him labor to a 12 round unanimous decision over way past his best 40-year-old Chris Arreola last Saturday night.
Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs), who was one fight removed from losing his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua in December 2019, looked vulnerable throughout the Arreola fight in their headliner clash on FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, California.
Using his new fighting style, which was taught to him by trainer Eddy Reynoso with tips being given to him by gym-mate Canelo Alvarez, Ruiz was knocked down in the second round by Arreola (38-7-1, 33 KOs) and hurt several times.
Although Ruiz Jr came back strong to win the fight by the scores 118-109, 118-109, 117-110, it was closer than those generous scores, and he didn’t look like championship material at any time during the bout.
It’s not just Mora that doubt that the one-hit-wonder Andy Ruiz Jr will ever become a world champion again. Many boxing fans said the same thing on social media last Saturday night, comparing Ruiz to Buster Douglas, a fighter who pulled off a huge upset in stopping Mike Tyson many years ago but whose career went downhill immediately after.
Mora doubts Ruiz Jr will become champ again
“I’d say less likely, and I’m going to give you some factors,” said Mora to DAZN’s JABS on Tuesday when asked if the 31-year-old Andy Ruiz Jr can ever win another heavyweight title again.
“Inactivity always kills fighters,” Mora continued in trying to explain why Ruiz looked vulnerable against 40-year-old past his prime Arreola.
It’s not just the inactivity for why Ruiz looked average against Arreola last Saturday. Ruiz was never a great fighter during his entire career before pulling off a huge upset 7th round knockout win over Anthony Joshua in June 2019.
In that fight, Joshua dropped Ruiz hard with a big left hook in the third round. Instead of picking Ruiz apart with single power shots, Joshua went for the kill, leaving himself open for a left hook counter.
The shot badly hurt Joshua, and he ended up getting dropped a couple of times by Ruiz. Joshua never recovered from the shot in the third, and Ruiz was able to batter him at will until he quit in the seventh.
In the Joshua-Ruiz rematch in December 2019, Joshua exposed Ruiz for the fringe-level heavyweight that he is by easily out-boxing him for 12 rounds in winning an easy 12 round decision.
“Losing weight and punch resistance, that does happen,” said Mora in explaining his theory on why Ruiz was dropped by Arreola.
“When you’re losing that much weight that fast, it looks good, but it does take away that ability to take a punch.”
“He [Ruiz] fought a motivated and hungry Chris Arreola. It was a perfect storm of why Andy Ruiz didn’t look like a former heavyweight champion,” said Mora.
The chopping right hand that Arreola dropped Ruiz with would have hurt him even before he lost a ton of weight. That was a good shot that Ruiz had no defense.
He used his new trainer Eddy Reynoso’s fighting stance to attack Arreola, and it was a bad idea to crouch in front of Arreola, who has an excellent overhand right that he throws.
“It was the first fight with new trainer Eddy Reynoso, so I’m hoping he looks a little more polished and a lot better, but after this performance, I’ve got to say less likely,” said Mora about Ruiz’s chances of winning another world title.
It looks like Reynoso is messing up Ruiz’s natural fighting style by trying to remake the 31-year-old from top to bottom at this advanced stage in his career. Let’s face it; Ruiz got to where he is now by being an aggressive combination puncher.
What Reynoso is trying to do is change him into another Canelo Alvarez, and it’s not going to work. It isn’t brilliant even to try.
If Ruiz were a teenager, then maybe it wouldn’t be dumb to mess up his natural fighting style, but for Reynoso to be doing it now with him in his 30s, it’s a huge mistake.
That’s why Ruiz needs to consider dumping Reynoso before he ruins his career and go back to one of his two past trainers Abel Sanchez or Manny Robles.
Ruiz’s punch resistance isn’t there.
“Andy Ruiz picked up a lopsided decision over Chris Arreola last Saturday, but Ruiz was knocked down, and he was hurt,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN’s Jabs.
“So does this make you think it’s more or less likely that Ruiz wins a heavyweight championship again?”
“I’m going to say less likely as well, and my reason is that Ruiz was knocked down by a 40-year-old Chris Arreola,” said Mannix.
Ruiz won’t win another heavyweight world title unless he faces WBA secondary champ Trevor Bryan. But it’s not because Ruiz’s skills or chin have gone downhill since his loss to Joshua in 2019, and it’s not because he’s not gelled with new trainer Reynoso.
Again, Ruiz was never a world championship-level heavyweight, to begin with, and the only reason he beat Joshua is that the British fighter got careless against him.
If Ruiz faces Luis Ortiz or Deontay Wilder next, as mentioned as possibilities, his career as a top contender will be over with for all intents and purposes.
Ruiz will likely lose badly to Wilder or Ortiz, and he’ll he won’t get another world title shot that he’s pushing for against Joshua.
After that performance against Arreola, it’s doubtful that Ruiz’s handlers will dare put him in with Ortiz or Wilder. They won’t want to mess up his chances to get another big $5 million+ payday against Joshua or Fury.
So what they’ll almost surely do is match Ruiz against these type of heavyweights in his next two fights while he waits for a likely title shot in 2022:
- Michael Hunter
- Agit Kabayel
- Adam Kownacki
- Bogdan Dinu
- Derek Chisora
- Joseph Parker
- Kubrat Pulev
“We’ve been saying for two or three years now that Andy Ruiz has a granite chin, and then we watch Chris Arreola knock him down in the second round, said Mannix. “That wasn’t a huge knockdown.
“Ruiz was a little off-balance when he went down to his knees, but he was hurt a couple of more times over the course of the fight.
“So I’m watching that and thinking, ‘Maybe Andy Ruiz doesn’t have as good a chin as we think he did, or maybe all this weight loss has had an effect on that punch resistance.
“I don’t know. But if Andy Ruiz is someone that can be knocked out, which I didn’t think before that fight, then he’s vulnerable.”
Ruiz never fought big punchers during his career before his fights with Joshua and Arreola, so it wasn’t surprising that both guys dropped him.
You can argue that Joshua would have knocked out Ruiz in their rematch if he’d fought him aggressively instead of playing it safe the way he did.
“He’s still very good with good hand speed and accuracy,” Mannix said about Ruiz. “I think he’s only going to get better with Eddy Reynoso, but if that chin is vulnerable, put him in with Deontay wilder, Adam Kownacki, or any of the top heavyweights; he might get knocked out.”
“I think Chris Arreola has earned the right to continue his career if he wants to as a gatekeeper type opponent, but no, we do not need to see a rematch,” Mannix said about Arreola vs. Ruiz.