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Parker vs. Ruiz Jr = Andy will have it tough on December 10

Joseph Parker

By Eric Baldwin: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes in his fighter Andy Ruiz Jr’s chances against unbeaten Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KOs) in their fight on December 10 for the vacant WBO heavyweight champion. Arum thinks that Ruiz Jr. will beat the 24-year-old Parker to become the first Mexican to win a heavyweight world title.

For Ruiz Jr. (29-0, 19 KOs) to accomplish that goal, he’ll need to improve over the efforts that he’s shown in his fights against Franklin Lawrence, Raphael Zumbano Love and Siarhei Liakhovich.

It would be big deal for Arum if Ruiz Jr. could win the WBO heavyweight title. Arum obviously wouldn’t care that Ruiz Jr. would be merely one of four heavyweight champions, and not the No.1 champion in the division.

For Ruiz Jr. to become the No.1 guy, he would need to beat Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and likely the winner of the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne for him to become the overall heavyweight champion in the division. That’s just not realistic. On top of that, Ruiz Jr. would need to best Parker, and that could be where he’s weeded out.

Parker, 24, is younger, more mobile and the more complete heavyweight of the two. Arum raves about Ruiz Jr’s hand speed, but I can’t see any of that speed when I watch him fight. Ruiz Jr. looks slow, plodding, and not impressive at all. You can’t blame Arum for pulling for his own heavyweight, but I hope he’s got a realistic outlook on his chances of beating Parker. They’re not good.

“(Matchmakers) Bruce (Trampler) and Brad (Goodman) give him a hell of a shot and Abel thinks that he (Ruiz) can do it. Those are the guys that are important, not a schmuck like me. I’m a business person in boxing, I rely on my matchmakers, and they all believe Andy has a hell of a shot,” Arum said to Fightnews.com.

Trainer Abel Sanchez has a good eye for talent, but if he believes that Ruiz Jr. can honestly beat Parker, then I don’t agree.

Ruiz Jr. is going to need to figure out how to deal with the movement of Parker, and his faster shots. He’s not going to willingly back up against the ropes and just stay there for the entire fight like many of Ruiz Jr’s opponents. That’s not the way that Parker fights. He likes to move around and last jabs and hard hooks. If there’s going to be a knockout in this fight, then I see it coming from Parker.

The Parker vs. Ruiz Jr. fight will be taking place in Parker’s home country in Auckland. New Zealand. It’s going to be a large pro-Parker crowd. It’s going to be doubly hard for Ruiz Jr. to handle fighting in front of a crowd that will be supportive of everything Parker does inside the ring on the night. Ruiz Jr. has probably never experienced fighting in front of a large crowd that is actively rooting for his opponent before.


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