The three knockdowns Andy Ruiz scored on Luis Ortiz en route to a unanimous decision victory on Sunday night bode well for Ruiz’s chances of reclaiming the heavyweight world title.
Former three-division world champion Abner Mares fought Miguel Flores on the undercard of the pay-per-view event, and the judges scored it a majority draw. During the second round, lightweight Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz knocked out Eduardo Ramirez twice.
Ortiz (33-3), a former contender for the world title, lost to Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) in the main event. Two times in the second round and once in the seventh, the Southern California native knocked the 43-year-old Ortiz to the ground, but his Cuban opponent was more accurate with his punches during long stretches when both boxers were largely passive.
Since Ruiz was aware of his opponent’s reputation as a “fighter and powerful hitter,” he trained diligently for the bout. She even went so far as to say, “I thought I handled his pressure and coming forward well.”
According to the judges’ scores of 114-111, 114-111, and 113-112, Ruiz was declared the winner of the bout. According to The Associated Press, the knockdowns were the determining factor in Ruiz’s 114-111 victory.
In 2019, Ruiz pulled off one of the biggest surprises in modern heavyweight history when he won all three of Anthony Joshua’s championship belts, only to return them to the British fighter six months later. Even though Ruiz hadn’t fought since, he went back to the gym to train in the hopes of winning the belts again.
“I don’t want to be waiting,” Ruiz said. I need a battle at least thrice a year, preferably more. I really need to eat. I’m hoping to achieve success again.
After entering the ring with a blue and gold robe and trunks adorned with the colours and helmet horns of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, Ruiz knocked Ortiz to the ground with a quick right hand early in the second round. While trying to clinch with Ruiz, Ortiz struggled to his feet and then fell back, but he still made it to the bell.
Unfortunately for the Ruiz faithful in the stands, the next four rounds were marked by a lack of significant offensive output and risk-taking. A right hand from Ruiz late in the seventh knocked Ortiz to the canvas.
After much thought, Ruiz finally said, “It was quite challenging.”
It’s a good thing I can throw a counterpunch instead of sitting around and waiting for him to fill up.
Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) previously crushed Ramirez in two rounds, dropping him face first with a left hook to the jaw and then finishing him with a combination in the corner. The case for Cruz fighting Gervonta “Tank” Davis again was established convincingly.
Davis, who won a close decision against Cruz in December, laughed off the constant chants of “We want Tank!” from Cruz’s fans.
The last time we saw Mares (31-3-2) in action was in June of 2018 after his second loss to Leo Santa Cruz. He had surgery to fix a detached retina just before the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus. The time it took him to get well was extended by his efforts to find and accept a commentary role with Showtime.
Mares, though, made the decision to come back, and he promptly knocked out Flores (25-4-1) with a barrage of right hands. Even though Mares faded in the second half, she still managed to pull off a 96-94 victory on the judge’s scorecard. They both scored it a perfect 100.
Mares acknowledged that she was little sluggish and out of sync with her activities due to the passage of over four years. I felt great, and I thought I was hitting the harder shots. Definitely, I had a sense of triumph.
A lightweight from the Dominican Republic named Edwin De Los Santos came in at the last minute and stunned the boxing world by knocking out the previously undefeated Mexican contender Jose Valenzuela in the third round of the first fight on the pay-per-view card. De Los Santos was not included until recently.