Andy Ruiz Jr. (35-2, 22 KOs) labored to an impressive 12 round unanimous decision win against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (33-3, 28 KOs) in a WBC heavyweight title eliminator on Sunday night at the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles.
The scores were 113-112, 114-111, and 114-111. Ruiz Jr was greatly helped by his three knockdowns of Ortiz, as without them, he would have lost to the more talented Cuban fighter. Ruiz was outboxed in 9 of 12 rounds and was fortunate to score the three knockdowns.
Ruiz dropped the 43-year-old Ortiz twice in round two, and once more in the seventh. In those rounds, Ruiz resembled the explosive fighter that had upset Anthony Joshua in their first fight in June 2019.
However, in the remaining ten rounds, Ruiz looked like the fat heavyweight that Joshua easily defeated in their rematch in December 2019.
It’s fair to say that if Ortiz were ten years younger, he would have destroyed Ruiz, as he was clearly the superior fighter in terms of boxing skills. There was no comparison.
In the championship rounds, Ortiz dominated the action, using his jab to keep the shorter fighter Ruiz on the outside, unable to throw his counters.
Ortiz lit Ruiz up in round twelve, hitting him repeatedly with jarring left hands and making him look once-dimensional.
In the second round, Ruiz caught Ortiz with a right to the head and sent him down to the canvas. Ortiz got overly aggressive after he got back up, and he was soon dropped for a second time in the round.
In round seven, Ruiz caught Ortiz with a big right hand high on the head to send him down. After that round, Ortiz got smart, choosing to stay at range, jab, and move to keep the stocky Ruiz from getting in position to land anything.
The lack of reach and more mobility of Ruiz hurt him in rounds eight through twelve, as he couldn’t get to Ortiz. Again, it was the same thing that we saw in Ruiz’s rematch with Anthony Joshua. He couldn’t get to the taller fighter to land anything because he used his mobility and hard jab to dominate Andy.
This wasn’t the type of performance that Ruiz needed that would suggest that he’ll stand a chance against WBC champion Tyson Fury or IBF, WBA & WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk. Both of those fighters would easily beat Ruiz if he fought like he did tonight.
“He looked really, really good. Every exchange, he wins,” said Chris Arreola to Fighthype after Andy Ruiz Jr’s win over Luis Ortiz. “His hands are so fast, and he’s just the stronger fighter.
“The thing is, the exchanges were short-lived. If you had more exchanges, he probably would have taken him [Ortiz] out by the eighth.
“Of course, he [Ruiz] can compete with Wilder. The difference is that he can’t sit on the outside and get punched like that against Wilder. Wilder is eventually going to drop that hammer and put him to sleep. You can’t be doing that.
“Of course,” said Arreola when asked if Ruiz could compete with world champions Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury. “He has two hands. It’s not that hard, especially for someone like Andy, who has been doing it his whole life. It’s easy for him. It’s a cakewalk,” said Arreola.
I’m not sure that I agree that Ruiz can compete with Wilder, Usyk or Fury. After the way Ruiz looked tonight, he’ll lose to all of those fighters, including a half dozen contenders in the division.
Ruiz is too lazy in the ring, and gives away many of the rounds for lack of effort. We saw the same thing in Ruiz’s loss to Anthony Joshua as well as his fight against Arreola.