An intriguing heavyweight showdown will go down on Saturday, July 16, as WBO #5-, IBF #5-, and WBC #7-rated and current NABF heavyweight champion Andy “The Destroyer from Mexicali” Ruiz (27-0, 18 KOs) has agreed to face comebacking KO artist Joshua “Josh Dempsey” Gormley (22-4, 21 KOs) in his next ring appearance.
26-year-old Ruiz, from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, will face the determined and upset-minded 41-year-old Gormley, from Torrance in a non-title fight in the 10-round main event of Salita Promotions’ next “Detroit Brawl” installment at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit.
Ruiz has made four successful defenses of his NABF Championship. Before that, he held the WBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight Championship and made an additional three successful defenses before relinquishing. In his last in-ring appearance, he stopped former world title challenger Ray Austin in the fourth round on May 14 in Studio City, California.
Gormley, who bills himself as a distant relative of former champ Jack Dempsey, reportedly trains with Dino Spencer and Luis “Chiro” Perez at the 5th St. Gym in Miami, Florida. He is on a three-fight KO streak since coming back from a 16-year layoff in late 2015. Despite having had no amateur boxing career, Dempsey fought his way to up-and-comer status in the late 90s and was a fan favorite. He also worked with former champion Lennox Lewis as a sparring partner. Gormley is a former California State Wrestling Champion and MMA fighter and the older brother of UFC fighter Chase Gormley.
Giving the “Detroit Brawl” crowd its usual international flavor will be welterweights Giorgi Gelashvili (4-0, 2 KOs) Brooklyn via Georgia and Serdar Hadurbadyev (2-0, 2 KOs) of Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan in separate six-round bouts.
Also, making his long-awaited four-round pro debut that night will be “Southpaw Prince” Gheith Karim, a three-time national amateur champion from Dearborn, Michigan. A product of the Kronk Gym, Karim was being touted as a future star by legendary Kronk founder Emanuel Steward since the age of 11. He will compete as a junior middleweight.
Also scheduled for action that night are crowd-favorite Detroit prospects including cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (7-0, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder; middleweight Dorell Van Horn Jr (9-0, 6 KOs) in a six-rounder; as well as promising Detroit bantamweight Jarico O’Quinn (1-0, 1 KO); super bantamweight Zach Shamoun (3-0-1, 3 KOs) of Bloomfield Hills Michigan; and cruiserweight Clarence Dubose (3-0, 3 KOs) of Eastpointe, Michigan, in separate four-rounders.