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Luis Ortiz – Andy Ruiz in Sept 4th on FOX pay-per-view in Los Angeles

Image: Luis Ortiz - Andy Ruiz in Sept 4th on FOX pay-per-view in Los Angeles

By Robert Segal: Former undisputed heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. will be returning to the ring after a 16-month layoff to face Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz on FOX pay-per-view on September 4th, Labor Day at the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles.

The two-time world title challenger Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) had a tough time in his last fight, having to get off the deck twice to rally to score a sixth-round knockout win over former IBF champion Charles Martin last January.

Ortiz’s power is still there, but his legs have stiffened up due to his advancing age, and he cannot move around the ring or get out of the way of shots like he used to.

Still, you can’t count out Ortiz in this fight, as Ruiz Jr is a one-hit-wonder, a fighter that got lucky against a reckless IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua to knock him out.

That would have never happened if Joshua didn’t take Ruiz for granted, as he was brought in on three weeks’ notice as a replacement opponent.

In their rematch in December 2019, Joshua easily beat an out-of-shape, poorly trained 283-lb Ruiz. That was the end of Ruiz’s brief six-month stint as a heavyweight world champion.

Since that defeat three years ago, Ruiz has fought just once, showing little in the way of ambition with his career after making a bundle of money from the two fights with Joshua.

Ruiz’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, which might have something to do with him fighting only once in the last three years. If Ruiz were living paycheck to paycheck, it’s safe to say he’d been busier since 2019.

It’s a risk on FOX on Premier Boxing Champions’ part in placing Ruiz vs. 43-year-old Ortiz on PPV, as it’s not a pay-per-view worthy fight in the least. This is a fight that Ruiz should have taken in 2020 rather than waiting until 2022.

They are counting on Ruiz’s fanbase from the brief amount of time he held three world titles to purchase his match against Ortiz.  Ruiz wasn’t a famous fighter before pulling off a miracle seventh-round knockout win over Anthony Joshua in June 2019.

In what has now become a pattern for the former IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs), he’s fighting another older heavyweight on PPV after a long break in the action.

In Ruiz’s previous fight, he returned from a 17-month layoff and defeated 40-year-old journeyman Chris Arreola by a 12-round unanimous decision last year in May 2021. That was Ruiz’s first fight since losing his IBF/WBA/WBO titles to Anthony Joshua in December 2019.

By waiting until now to face the 43-year-old Luis Ortiz, Ruiz has increased his chances of winning because he might have lost two years ago against the hard-hitting, better-skilled Cuban fighter.

Don’t be surprised if Ortiz wins this fight because he can still punch and is hungry for another title shot. Even at his age, he’s still arguably more talented than Ruiz.

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