By Jim Strobridge: In an importantly heavyweight fight next Saturday on May 1st, Andy Ruiz Jr will be fighting Chris Arreola in a loaded card on Fox Sports pay-per-view at the Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California. If Ruiz, 31, is back to where he was in his first fight with Anthony Joshua in 2019, Arreola won’t last long.
The undercard has some really great fights with welterweight Omar Figueroa Jr taking on Abel Ramos, Jesus Ramos fighting Javier Molina, and junior middleweights Sebastian Fundora battling Jorge Cota.
Fox Sports PPC pay-per-view sells the card for $49, which is a great bargain for a boxing card nowadays.
While this is considered a tune-up for former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr (33-2, 22 KOs), it’s a tough one, especially if the 40-year-old Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) is in the form that he was in for his last fight against Adan Kownacki.
Arreola threw over 1000+ punches and fought well enough to deserve the victory. Ruiz is an excellent fighter, but he’s not capable of matching Arreola’s work rate, no matter how much improvement he’s made under the watch of new trainer Eddy Reynoso.
Ruiz working on mobility
“What he was missing in his last fight was more mobility,” said trainer Eddy Reynoso to PBC on Fox about Andy Ruiz Jr. “A little more movement in his waist and legs, and above everything, he drops some weight so he can move better in the ring.”
It might not be possible for Ruiz to improve a great deal with his mobility, considering he’s got heavily muscular legs, and he’s still carrying a lot of upper body size.
Ruiz’s upper body is too big for his legs to move around the ring the way he needs to against mobile heavyweights like Anthony Joshua.
Fortunately for Ruiz, he won’t have to deal with movement on Saturday in his fight with Arreola, as he’s someone that is going to be right in front of him all night.
“In the Canelo gym, we are trying to perfect everything we do,” said Andy Ruiz Jr. “Here we try to bob & weave a lot, counter punch a lot. It’s a lot.
“There’s a lot of different ways that we try to change the Mexican style of boxing. Everything he [Reynoso] tells me, I try to stick inside my head. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m learning from the best,” said Ruiz.
It looks like much of the work that Ruiz has been doing in the Canelo gym is head and upper body movement.
That seems to be the main focus. Ruiz has always been an excellent puncher, so that’s less of a problem for him than learning how to get out of the way of punches.
Arreola looking forward to a war
“I’m training every day hard,” said Chris Arreola. “I’m giving it my all. It’s going to be nonstop rock em’ sock ’em Mexican fighters giving their all to win a fight. I live for this, I love what I do, and I’m still an elite fighter. I’m a blessed man to still be a fighter at this age,” said Arreola.
Ruiz can’t afford to fade against Arreola on Saturday night because he’s going to be throwing a massive amount of punches.
Fading in the second half of the fight could be a nightmare for Ruiz, seeing that Arreola will be unloading nonstop punches.
Those shots that Arreola landed on Kownacki took something out of him because he wasn’t the same fighter in his next fight against Robert Helenius.
“In my last fight, I didn’t do the things that I was supposed to do,” said Ruiz about his loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2019. “Now that I made a change in my life, this is a new beginning for me.