Former Unified Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz Jr. made a successful return to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Chris Arreola at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., On Saturday night.
Although the scores were wide, with two judges seeing it 118-109 for Ruiz and the third at 117-110, there was a bit of drama early on as the former champion had to adapt after surviving a early reversal.
Many expected Ruiz (34-2) to stop Arreola, 40, after employing Canelo Alvarez’s coach Eddy Reynoso and changing his diet to show off a new body. But most people underestimated the changes Arreola made before they fought; he’s slimmed down to just over 220 pounds. And those changes almost resulted in Ruiz’s demise in the second round.
Ruiz tried to start quickly but Arreola backed him up in the second with a right hand that knocked Ruiz down. From there, Arreola started to leave his mark on Ruiz with hard right hands that clearly had an effect. It may have been the product of the rust of an almost 18-month layoff. Ruiz regained his legs in round three, then used sharp boxing and picked his spots to keep Arreola from landing the big blow.
Ruiz bombarded Arreola with combinations in the middle and at the end of the round but never put his opponent in danger. Instead, he racked up points as Arreola struggled to find his target; Ruiz would land suits then slide out of range. Rinse and repeat.
The performance represented a huge turnaround after an overweight Ruiz was dominated in his rematch with Anthony Joshua in December 2019. Having shown greater commitment to his training, it is evident that Ruiz will remain a force in the division. .
Here’s how it all went (still in the East):
Andy Ruiz Jr. survives a knockdown to win the decision over Chris Arreola
Round 12 (00:31): It is obvious that Arreola’s left shoulder is cooked but he will fight this last round. Ruiz knows this and crackles him with a combination that arrives. Arreola eats a few big shots but he looks fine. Ruiz worked his way to a 12-round decision and won it all. 10-9, Ruiz (117-110, Ruiz)
Round 11 (00:27): Ruiz lands a right hand as Arreola arrives. Uppercut from Ruiz. Arreola tries to put pressure on him but gets ripped apart by a jumpsuit. Run to the right through the lands of Ruiz. Ruiz starts coming after Arreola as Arreola tries to fight him, Ruiz with another right hand. Arreola doesn’t have a lot of power on his shots. 10-9, Ruiz (107-101, Ruiz)
Round 10 (00:23): Ruiz lights Arreola with his left hand. Another combination. Arreola has to let go of her hands at some point. Ruiz walks Arreola in a right hand and lands on the body. I don’t know what Arreola is thinking at this point. He needs something big. 10-9, Ruiz (97-92, Ruiz)
Round 9 (00:19): Arreola just doesn’t pitch and Ruiz lets opportunities present themselves to him. Jumpsuit by Ruiz. Arreola is too patient. Ruiz with another combination. Another trick and the same story. Ruiz lands with a little more frequency and takes another turn. 10-9, Ruiz (87-83, Ruiz)
Round 8 (12:15 p.m.): Arreola searches for a way in but can’t find a place to fire powerful shots. Arreola lands a right hand. Ruiz lands a right hand and it looks like Arreola has injured his shoulder. The left hook lands for Ruiz. Not much was happening in this round but, again, Ruiz was busier. 10-9, Ruiz (77-74, Ruiz)
Round 7 (00h11): Arreola doesn’t throw a lot of punches and allows Ruiz to participate in activities. They exchange blows. Ruiz with a body head suit. Ruiz with a dazzling combination that Arreola takes well, but Arreola offers nothing in return. Ruiz’s activity gives him the advantage. 10-9, Ruiz (67-65, Ruiz)
Round 6 (12:07 am): Ruiz opens the sixth with a combination of three hard knocks. Right hand by Arreola. Ruiz’s left hook backs Arreola, another three-punch combination from Ruiz. Ruiz lands on the body but Arreola intervenes with his right hand. Ruiz begins to take steam and make rounds. 10-9, Ruiz (57-56, Ruiz)
Round 5 (12:03 am): Arreola sneaks into a right hand a minute into the lap. It feels like both are waiting for the other to make a mistake. Arreola finds Ruiz’s face with a hard right hand. Great left and right combination of Ruiz. Arreola makes Ruiz feel on a big right hand. A tight lap but Ruiz being more active will give him the lap. 10-9, Ruiz (47-47)
Round 4 (11:59 p.m.): Ruiz opens the fourth with a combination but Arreola takes it well. Arreola waits for an opening and cuts Ruiz with his right hand. Ruiz is committed to the body. Straight ahead next to Ruiz. Much better tour of Ruiz. 10-9, Ruiz (38-37, Arreola)
Round 3 (11:55 p.m.): Arreola opens and cracks Ruiz again! Ruiz is injured! What the hell is happening ?? Arreola has discovered Ruiz and hurts him at will. Arreola’s right hand is like a heat seeking missile. Ruiz with a combination that drives Arreola back. Ruiz with a short left hand that stuns Arreola but he retaliates with a right hand that staggers Ruiz. It’s a big fight. 10-9, Arreola (29-27, Arreola)
Round 2 (11:51 p.m.): Not much happens in the first minute until Arreola lowers a hard right hand and falls for Ruiz! Ruiz is back on his feet and they push him back briefly. Ruiz seems to have his legs under him. Ruiz’s left hook lands and Arreola pulls a tough combination that appears to hurt Ruiz! Whoa. What a second round for Arreola. 10-8, Arreola (19-18, Arreola)
Round 1 (11:47 p.m.): Ruiz immediately begins to apply pressure. Arreola with a bullet to the body and Ruiz returns with a combination. Right right hand lands for Ruiz. Ruiz hitting the body. Ruiz’s quick and hard right hand. It is sharp. Ruiz’s hands seem extremely quick. To Arreola’s credit, he has been healthy defensively. But it was a Ruiz round. (10-9, Ruiz)
11:40 p.m .: Both fighters are in the ring and it’s time for a heavyweight clash.
11:28 p.m .: The main event comes next as Andy Ruiz Jr. makes his highly anticipated return to the boxing ring to take on Chris Arreola in what is sure to be an action fight.
11:17 p.m .: Abel Ramos ran away with this fight and completely broke Figueroa. Ramos’ commitment to the body started to pay off in the sixth round and a brutal body attack sent Figueroa to his corner coughing up blood. His corner had no choice but to stop the fight. An incredible victory for Ramos and an absolute beat of a much-vaunted former prospect. The Ramos family had a great night.
11:06 p.m .: After three laps, Ramos is strong and consistent enough to give Figueroa a few problems. Figueroa tries to be cunning but Ramos doesn’t fall for any of his traps. He struggled in the first two laps but Ramos seemed to understand his opponent and landed with more frequency.
10:52 p.m .: Next up is the co-main event as Omar Figueroa Jr. faces a tough test against Abel Ramos in a welterweight showdown. Figueroa returns to the ring after suffering his first loss to Yordenas Ugas in July 2019. Ramos also just lost a loss to Ugas, but it was a split decision. Both need a win in this WBA world title eliminator.
22:36: As expected, the fight did not last the distance. Fundora seriously injured Cota in the fourth lap and landed with alarming frequency. Cota tried to land the home run but was crushed by a variety of power punches. The referee finally intervened after a hard left hook. The crowd booed because they wanted Cota to come out on his shield but he could be seriously injured. Excellent performance from Fundora, who continues to rise through the ranks with her unique size, reach and skills.
22:25: Fundora and Cota spent the first six minutes throwing hard leather at each other. This fight is unlikely to go the distance, so enjoy it while it lasts.
10:15 p.m .: Next, 6-6 super welterweight Sebastian Fundora (16-0-1, 11 KOs) steps into the ring with seasoned veteran Jorge Cota (30-4, 27 KOs). Cota rebounded from back-to-back losses to Jeison Rosario and Jermell Charlo to win two fights in a row. Fundora is aiming for their third consecutive knockout.
10:02 p.m .: After 10 laps, Jesus Ramos wins the unanimous decision. He was unable to recover the knockout but Molina was cunning enough to avoid any significant damage. Ramos showed maturity once he realized Molina would not be committing to give him the openness he needed and used the pressure and bodywork to make the decision.
21:41: After five rounds, Ramos is in control but Molina does not help matters. The veteran was skillful and forced Ramos to work to land punches. Ramos has started working on the body to slow down Molina’s movement as he continues his 15th knockout.
9:17 p.m .: We kick off the Ruiz-Arreola undercard with Jesus Ramos (15-0, 14 KOs) against Javier Molina (22-3). Ramos has shown impressive power, but Molina has proven to be durable.
What time does Ruiz Jr. vs. Arreola?
- Dated: Saturday May 1
- Main card: 9 p.m. ET
- Main event of Ruiz-Arreola: Around midnight ET
The Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola pay-per-view main card begins at 9 p.m. ET, fighters are expected to walk into the ring around midnight ET, depending on the length of previous fights.
How to watch Ruiz Jr. vs. Arreola
The Ruiz vs. Arreola fight is a Fox Sports PBC event that is available via pay-per-view from many cable and satellite providers; consult your local supplier for more information.
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola fight card
- Andy Ruiz Jr. def. Chris Arreola (117-110, 118-109, 118-109).
- Abel Ramos beats. Omar Figueroa Jr. via 6th round TKO (3h00).
- Sebastian Fundora def. Jorge Cota via TKO in the 4th round (2:35).
- Jesus Ramos def. Javier Molina by unanimous decision (97-92, 99-90, 99-90).