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Chris Arreola on Andy Ruiz Jr fight: This isn’t a comeback for me

Image: Chris Arreola on Andy Ruiz Jr fight: This isn't a comeback for me

By Allan Fox: Chris Arreola says his fight with former three-belt heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr on May 1st won’t be a comeback for him. Arreola is the underdog with no pressure on him to win this fight against the younger Ruiz, but he plans on pulling the upset.

The 40-year-old Arreola has been picked by the inactive Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) as his first fight back after a long layoff to battle in the main event on Fox Sports PBC pay-per-view on May 1st at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The two-time world title challenger Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) points out that he’s never stopped training during the year and a half since his last fight against Adam Kownacki in August 2019.

Chris better than ever

Arreola threw 1,1125 punches during the 12-round fight with Kownacki, which is an insane amount of shots to throw. Many fans felt that Arreola did enough to deserve the victory against Kownacki, as he was working him over with shots in each round.

As the B-side in the promotion, Arreola didn’t get the nod from the judges in a fight in an impressive performance.

‘The Nightmare’ Arreola is dead serious about wanting to win this fight, as he’s got a lot to gain from beating Ruiz.

Like Ruiz, Arreola has taken off a lot of weight and looks better than he did in his last fight against Kownacki.

If Arreola defeats Ruiz, it’ll make him an attractive choice for the winner of the two fights between world champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

At the very least, Arreola will get a well-paying rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr on pay-per-view, which will further his dream of fighting for a world title for the fourth time. Arreola was beaten when he fought for world titles against Vitali Klitschko, Bermane Stiverne, and Deontay Wilder.

Those fights were many years ago. Arreola has continued to improve his game over the years, and he’s a much better fighter now than he was when he fought those guys.

Arreola: This isn’t a comeback

“My priority is to get in the best shape possible, so I can give Andy a run for his money to come out with that win on the 1st,” said Arreola to Behind the Gloves about his weight loss.

Image: Chris Arreola on Andy Ruiz Jr fight: This isn't a comeback for me

“It ain’t no comeback fight for me. I’ve been doing this; I don’t stop. This is what I do; I’m a boxer.

“I just recently fought against [Adam] Kownacki and set a record for punches,” said Arreola.

Being out of the ring for a year and a half is one reason why Arreola is viewed as making a comeback. The other reason is that Arreola’s fights have taken place under the radar in recent years, with very little attention placed on them.

Years ago, the spotlight was on Arreola each time he fought on HBO, and he was a popular guy. But after his losses to Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne in the last seven years, Arreola’s popularity has waned.

‘The Nightmare’ Arreola not expected to win

There’s no pressure on me. I’m the old dude, and I’m not supposed to win this fight,” said Arreola of the Ruiz clash. “I’m not. People are already counting me out.

Image: Chris Arreola on Andy Ruiz Jr fight: This isn't a comeback for me

“All the pressure is on him,” said Arreola. “He’s the young buck. And he’s the one with something to prove, and he’s the ex-champion.

“He’s the one that has to make a mark. For me, I just got to kick his a** by any means necessary. Once I do beat him, you’ll be like, ‘Oh Chris,’ and I’ll be, ‘F*** you. You guys counted me out.’

“I respect Andy; I respect him a lot. There’s no need to s*** talk him because why? We’re going to get in the ring, and we’re going to fight each other.

“The truth is coming to come out that day. He was a world champion; he did accomplish something that I didn’t.

“And he did leave me in the shadows. I’m in his shadows now. So why talk s*** to somebody? Why wake up a monster.

“Regardless, that monster is coming, and I better be ready for him,” Arreola said about wanting to match what Ruiz has done.

Obviously, Arreola is seen as the opponent in this fight with Ruiz, and he’s viewed as the underdog by the odds-makers and the fans.

Ruiz using Arreola as a tune-up

The former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz, gained many fans with his seventh-round knockout win over Joshua in 2019, and he’s still viewed as a super talent despite losing his belts in the rematch with the British fighter in December 2019.

Ruiz gained a ton of weight before his second fight with AJ, and he continued to put on the pounds in the aftermath. He was reportedly over 300 lbs when he started training to return to the ring.

Ruiz has changed trainers and is now working with Eddy Reynoso to turn his career around, but there are no guarantees that he will.

Ruiz’s management picked Arreola as someone they feel he can beat, but his career could be over with as a major player if they’re wrong.

Ruiz and his new trainer Reynoso want a third fight with Joshua, but they’re going to need to beat Arreola to keep that vision alive. Arreola in the position of being a spoiler, but he also wants a title shot of his own.

He can take Ruiz’s spot by beating him on May 1st to try and earn a title shot against whoever emerges as the winner of the two Joshua vs. Fury fights.

Arreola on sparring Ruiz many years ago

“Yeah, many, many years ago,” said Arreola when asked if he’d sparred Andy Ruiz in the past. “I probably had six or seven professional fights. He didn’t have no professional fights.

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“He was probably 16 or 17-years-old I remember he was a fat kid. I looked at him, ‘Am I really going to spar with this kid?’

“And that’s when you really got to not judge a book by its cover because that kind came with hand speed, came with heart.

“There was a time where we had an exchange, and we were going hard. His dad was, ‘Hey, hey, hey, hey,’ and Andy stopped and said, ‘Nah, dad, we’re going, we’re working, and we kept working hard.

“That’s when I knew he was someone that I have to deal with in the future.

“Not only do I have to deal with him, but also he became a champion. He became something I wasn’t,” said Arreola in realizing Andy Ruiz’s potential early.

It would have been interesting to have seen the sparring between Arreola and a young teenager Ruiz, many years ago.

That sparring occurred in the early years of Arreola’s 18-year pro career before he’d become a big name in the division.

On what Chris will get by beating Andy

“It just makes me one of the best Mexican boxers out there,” said Arreola when asked what a win over Ruiz would do for him. “It puts my ae even higher.

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“Other than that, that’s all it does because it’s not a world title. It’s not like I’m winning a world title.

“It doesn’t leave me as an ex-world champion like he was,” said Arreola.

Beating Ruiz will give Arreola a chance to fight him a second time on pay-per-view to make money, and if he wins that fight too, it’ll put him in a position to fight for a world title potentially.

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