By Mark Eisner: Two-time heavyweight world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz will be fighting journeyman Scott Alexander (16-3-2, 8 KOs) on the Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Chris Arreola undercard on November 7.
The card will be shown on PBC on Fox, and it’s NOT expected to be pay-per-view. @MikeCoppinger is reporting the news of the Ortiz vs. Alexander fight.
Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) will be fighting for the first time since losing to former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder by a 7th round knockout on November 23 last year.
Ortiz coming off a long layoff
The pandemic has gotten in the way of the 41-year-old Ortiz from staying active since his loss, which has resulted in him losing a year of his career. In some ways, it might be a good thing that Ortiz hasn’t fought because it gives him a chance to recover from his knockout.
Ortiz was getting the better of the 6’7” Wilder through the first six rounds in their rematch last November when he ran into a powerful right-hand in the 7th and was knocked flat from the shot.
Although the talented Cuban Ortiz tried to get up, the referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight on the spot.
Alexander, 31, has lost in the past to Travis Kauffman, LaRon Mitchell, and Rodney Hernandez. He also draws against Tracey Johnson and Marcus Dickerson.
Ortiz’s management at Premier Boxing Champions is putting him in a confidence booster type of fight by matching him against 2nd tier fighter Alexander. Still, these are fighters that they work with, and that makes it easy to set-up fights.
It’s not surprising that Alexander is being used as an opponent for Ortiz, especially now with the pandemic going on. It’s not accessible to set-up quality fights right now due to the lack of crowds.
Ruiz and Ortiz expected to fight
If Ortiz and former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr (33-2, 22 KOs) win their respective fights, they’re expected to face each other next in a WBC title eliminator. Ortiz is ranked #3 with the World Boxing Council, whereas Ruiz is at #4.
The obvious thing for PBC to do would be to match Ortiz and Ruiz together for the November 7th card instead of putting them in with lesser foes. That would work in terms of attracting boxing fans and giving Fox an excellent event to bring in the viewers, but Ruiz needs a tune-up.
Ortiz won’t have to worry about getting clipped by a big shot from Alexander, as he doesn’t possess a lot of power. In Ortiz’s two fights against Wilder, he’s done well for the first half of the wars, but then he’s ended up getting nailed by the Alabama native’s right shots.
Technically, Ortiz is perhaps the best heavyweight in the division, but his chin isn’t at the level. The shots that Tyson Fury absorbed against Wilder, Ortiz was all over the place after getting hit.
Luis needs to be busy
At 41, Ortiz can’t afford to waste too much of his career with tune-up fights, considering he’s already lost a year due to the pandemic.
He was beaten by Anthony Joshua last December, and he looked poor in losing a 12 round decision. Since that fight, Ruiz Jr has taken a crash course training regiment to trim off the pounds, and he’s looking remarkable.
For the Joshua rematch, Ruiz weighed a fat 283 lbs, and he was sluggish at that weight. Right now, Ruiz looks like he’s in the 250s, and he could drop down to the 240s by November.
The problem with Ruiz losing all that weight is, we don’t know he’s going to perform. He might be too thin for him to fight at the same level that he did when he was weighing in the 260s and knocking guys out.
The 39-year-old former three-time world title challenger Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) is a contender in the division, so this isn’t a traditional tune-up fight for Ruiz.
Arreola threw 1125 punches against Kownacki
He’s facing a guy with a lot of talent still, and who is arguably in better shape than he was when he first challenged for a world title eleven years ago against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in September 2009.
In Arreola’s last fight against previously unbeaten Adam Kownacki in August 2019, he threw 1,125 punches in losing a 12 round unanimous decision. Kownacki threw a lot of blows too, and he landed the more challenging shots. But it’s incredible for a heavyweight the age of Arreola to throw over 1,000+ punches, especially given how large he is as a person.