Trainer Eddy Reynoso was pleased with Andy ‘The Destroyer’ Ruiz’s performance last Saturday night in defeating former two-time heavyweight world title challenger Chris ‘The Nightmare’ Arreola (38-7-1, 33 KOs), and he firmly believes he’ll win a world title soon under his guidance.
The fight was a WBA world title eliminator, which means Ruiz is now the mandatory challenger to World Boxing Association ‘regular’ champ Trevor Bryan.
Arreola knocking Ruiz down in the second round and hurting him in the third isn’t a good omen for the future.
Getting hurt by the past his prime Arreola and appearing to lose three rounds to him suggests that Ruiz is light years away from accomplishing the vision that his ambitious trainer Reynoso has of him.
Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) outworked the 40-year-old underdog Arreola, beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision by this set of seemingly out-of-place scores: 118-109, 118-109, 117-110 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
On social media, many boxing fans felt that Arreola deserved at the minimum three rounds, possibly four, but virtually none agreed that he only deserved to win one round, which is how two of the judges saw the fight.
Looking much thinner than he was for his last fight in 2019 against Anthony Joshua, the 256-lb Ruiz labored to a victory last Saturday in the main event against second-tier heavyweight Arreola on FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view.
Reynoso promising Ruiz will be world champion again
“Mentally, he’s [Ruiz Jr] is so far above and beyond when he lost to Anthony Joshua,” said trainer Eddy Reynoso at the post-fight news conference after his win over Arreola. “And I will promise you this: He [Ruiz Jr] will be world champion again.
“We will keep working hard and achieve what we want to achieve. Andy told me after the fight while he was getting dressed, ‘I want to go back to the gym again and get back to work.’
“That made me so happy. That’s the mentality of a world champion. I want to congratulate him, that’s what a world champion does, and full credit to him for winning this fight,” said Reynoso about Ruiz.
You have to agree with Reynoso that Andy Ruiz can become a world heavyweight champion once again, albeit if he faces WBA secondary belt-holder Trevor Bryan (21-0, 15 KOs).
That guy is believed to be the weakest link among the three champions in the heavyweight division. Technically speaking, Andy Ruiz CAN become a heavyweight champion again, but he would be a secondary belt-older if he beats Trevor for his WBA ‘regular’ strap.
But if Reynoso is thinking that Ruiz can dethrone the elite champions Anthony Joshua [IBF, WBA, and WBO] and Tyson Fury [WBC], it’s so so farfetched that it doesn’t pass the laugh test.
We don’t know what the true angle is for Reynoso and Ruiz to get a title shot against Joshua or Fury. One can argue that it’s more about the money Ruiz would get in fighting them rather than whether he can beat them because he’ll make a fortune fighting one of them.
As far as Ruiz’s chances of dethroning Joshua or Fury, it’s very, very unlikely. The way that Ruiz struggled against the past of his best Arreola last Saturday night, he’s not going to beat Joshua, Fury, or even Deontay Wilder.
Losing three rounds against an old heavyweight like Arreola is troubling because this is a guy that Wilder destroyed in eight one-sided rounds five years ago in 2016, when Chris was 35, and not nearly as old as he is now.
What made that victory all the more impressive by Wilder is he did it with one arm, only using his left hand because his right hand was out of commission with an injury.
Ruiz looks worse since Reynoso took over
All the tinkering that trainer Reynoso has done with Andy Ruiz’s game has arguably made him worse, not better as a fighter since taking over.
Reynoso isn’t a trainer that focuses on heavyweights, and it appears that he’s been remaking Ruiz into a middleweight like Canelo Alvarez, and that style is too defensive-focused.
Ruiz wasted a lot of time last night, moving his head and upper body instead of attacking Arreola. The old Ruiz, who was trained by Abel Sanchez and Manny Robles, would have used his slugging fighting style to mow Arreola down.
But with all the remake of Ruiz’s fighting style to turn him into a poor replica of Canelo Alvarez, he was wasting time and energy moving and not throwing punches.
That style is now going to work against the good heavyweights. Getting dropped and losing three rounds against Arreola showed clearly that Reynoso is hurting Ruiz rather than helping him.
If Ruiz had any sense, he’d wake up, smell the coffee and dump Reynoso and go back to either Robles or Abel Sanchez to revert back to his old fighting style. Believe me; Ruiz will get embarrassed by Joshua and Fury with the way he’s fighting now.
Heck, you can argue that Ruiz would lose to eight of the top 15 heavyweights with how he’s fighting now, which is why it would be a good idea for his management to continue to carefully match him until he’s given his big payday against the winner of the Joshua vs. Fury fights.
Ruiz will likely lose badly to either of them, but make a lot of money. The process will start again with Ruiz matched in the same way against older heavyweights to get him another title shot for another payday. It’s utterly predictable.
Reynoso is correct about his prediction that Andy Ruiz CAN become a world champion again, but what he isn’t saying is that it will only be by defeating WBA secondary belt-holder, Trevor Bryan. Ruiz can beat Bryan, but he’s arguably what you call a paper champion and not the main belt-holders, Joshua and Fury.
Ruiz would likely lose to all of these heavyweights:
- Deontay Wilder
- Anthony Joshua
- Tyson Fury
- Tony Yoka
- Daniel Dubois
- Joe Joyce
- Luis Ortiz
- Filip Hrgovic
- Dillian Whyte
- Joseph Parker
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Frank Sanchez
You could throw in cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie to that list as well because I think he would beat Ruiz easily if he moved up to heavyweight.
Ruiz is a good fringe-level heavyweight, but not in the upper tier class with the best in the division. The one thing that Ruiz has going for him is his huge fan base in the United States.
He’s like a Canelo in terms of having a huge fan base, which gives him a special status that better heavyweights don’t have.
Ruiz: I underestimated Arreola
“I think I’m going to stay at this weight , but tighten up,” said Andy Ruiz Jr after the fight.
“I think the ring rust really showed. Again, I wasn’t fighting a bum [Arreola]. He’s a veteran, and he knew exactly what he was doing.
“How he trained, he trained really hard and he was really well prepared for this fight. Chris Arreola did really good. The main thing is, he dropped me, I got back up and I pursued and got the victory,” said Ruiz.
“It’s not as if I looked super bad. I threw my combinations, I got him with a good shot, he got me with a good shot.
“I did underestimate him, but I’ve got to get back to the gym. That’s the main thing. Get back to the gym, stay disciplined and keep moving forward,” said Ruiz.
I don’t buy Ruiz’s excuse for his poor showing against Arreola. The reason Ruiz looked bad against him ISN’T because he “Underestimated” him.
The reason he was so poor is he’s not that good of a heavyweight, to begin with, and his new trainer Reynoso made him a lot worse by changing what had worked for him to get him this far.
Ruiz got this far in the sport because of his pressure-oriented fighting style, and now his new trainer Reynoso has tinkered with his style; changing him into a Canelo-esque defensive fighter clearly isn’t worked. Getting dropped by Arreola and losing three rounds to him shows that the new style is all wrong for him.
What Reynoso has done with Ruiz is like taking the late baseball home run king Babe Ruth and changing him into a singles hitter. It’s stupid. Hopefully, Ruiz wakes up and dumps Reynoso before it’s too late.
If it were me, I would look at the replay and be on the horn to dump Reynoso immediately afterward. It’s too late for Ruiz to go back to his old fighting style because it’s only been one fight. With the hope of Manny Robles or Abel Sanchez, Ruiz can get his way back to his old fighting style that actually works.