Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola were not the only big men fighting last night, there were two young (ish) and unbeaten heavyweights in action also. On the card in Alabama, Gerald Washington went to 18-0-1(12) with a 4th-round KO over veteran Ray Austin, 29-8-4(18). While in Detroit, Michigan, 26-year-old Andy Ruiz Junior stopped another veteran in Josh Gormley, via 3rd-round TKO. Ruiz is now 28-0(19), Gormley, who was having just his fourth fight since 1999, falls to 22-5(21) and the 42-year-old’s comeback looks to be over.
Ruiz Jr is next slated to face yet another veteran in Franklin Lawrence in September. A talented and fast-handed fighter whose physique belies his skill, Ruiz needs to step up the quality of his opposition. It seems a long, long time ago now when he was impressively halting decent, young fighters such as Joe Hanks and Elijah McCall.
Washington, who came to the sport late, does not have the natural talent Ruiz has, but he has stepped up his level of opposition. Last night’s win didn’t see him matched tough, but he has to his name useful wins over “Fast” Eddie Chambers and Nagy Aguilera as well as a draw with the dangerous Amir Mansour (who he was to have fought in a rematch last night, only for the fight to fall through). Washington is a big guy at 6’6” and he has some raw power.
With the heavyweight division always looking for new and exciting fighters, maybe there is a place for Washington and Ruiz Jr. Maybe they could face each other in what would be an interesting match-up. Time is not on Washington’s side, whereas Ruiz Jr does not have a massive need to rush. That being said, fans are curious about the Mexican/American and they want to find out just how good he really is. Here’s another bit of amateur match-making for you: Ruiz Jr against either Eric Molina or Chris Arreola later this year?
That return bout between Washington and Mansour also remains a fight worth watching though.