Andy Ruiz, who’s on a path towards redemption, has a harmful battle in opposition to Luis Ortiz on Sunday night time, however the former heavyweight champion can also be trying far forward at a possible megabout versus Deontay Wilder.
It’s exhausting responsible Ruiz as a result of he solely has one victory prior to now three years, which got here in opposition to Chris Arreola in Could 2021, a bout that was sandwiched in between two 16-month layoffs.
A number of paths are a superb signal for a fighter making an attempt to remain on the street to redemption. Ruiz’s (34-2) return to the ring will headline a Fox pay-per-view occasion at Crypto.com Area Sunday in opposition to 43-year-old Ortiz (33-2-2) in Los Angeles.
“Folks needed to see this battle, and I assumed it was an ideal battle,” Ruiz mentioned. “I do know it was going to be a harmful battle, however I’ve the talents to win this battle. We like challenges.”
Ortiz, a hard-hitting southpaw, shall be a problem for Ruiz. The Cuban fighter has 28 knockout victories, and his energy punches damage Wilder a number of instances of their two bouts.
Ruiz has comparable energy, which he used throughout his gorgeous victory over Anthony Joshua in 2019. The knockout put Ruiz into the highlight and he turned a family identify. He’s 1,100 days faraway from that victory and now must show that he is without doubt one of the greatest heavyweights within the division to have a showdown with Wilder.
The division has modified because the two-fight rivalry between Joshua and Ruiz.
Earlier than their first encounter, Joshua was often called a brawler who wasn’t afraid to combine it up. Ruiz dropped him quite a few instances, and that would clarify why Joshua has had a safer combating fashion within the ring. Joshua is coming off two straight losses to Ukrainian heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk with the newest battle occurring two weeks in the past in Saudi Arabia.
“I had so many messages on Instagram and texts saying, ‘You tousled his fashion earlier than you fought him, he was once tremendous aggressive, and he was a monster,’” Ruiz mentioned.
With Usyk taking good care of Joshua, it has left the door open for an undisputed championship match in opposition to Tyson Fury. However that doesn’t imply that the remainder of the contenders can’t battle one another, akin to Wilder in opposition to Ruiz.
“It’s a straightforward battle to be made,” Ruiz mentioned.
Ruiz must beat Ortiz on Sunday, whereas Wilder might want to deal with his enterprise in opposition to Robert Helenius on Oct. 15 at Barclays Area in Brooklyn, New York.
Since 2019, Ruiz has had three totally different trainers. Manny Robles and Ruiz parted methods after the loss to Joshua. In Could 2020, Ruiz joined “Crew Canelo” with coach Eddie Reynoso, who helped Ruiz lose vital weight and get into one of the best form of his life.
He beat Arreola with Reynoso in his nook, however that was a one-match relationship due to a distinction in combating philosophy. Reynoso’s fighters are sometimes counter punchers, whereas Ruiz is an aggressor. Ruiz made the stunning announcement that he had left “Crew Canelo” and employed Rafael Osuna to arrange him for the Ortiz bout.
“We’re targeted,” Ruiz mentioned. “We’re within the fitness center each single day.”
Wilder and Ruiz appeared to be headed on a collision course to face one another if Ruiz may have crushed Joshua the second time. Wilder has gone by his personal hardships, being knocked out twice by Fury.
Wilder lately predicted that Ortiz would win in “devastating trend” when requested in a latest interview.
“That’s his Compa (buddy),” Ruiz mentioned about Wilder selecting Ortiz to win. “I feel all people has a plan till they get hit. He’s not the one in there combating for him, and all people has their very own prediction, however on the finish of the day, whoever desires to battle probably the most goes to win that battle.”
A victory on Sunday may catapult Ruiz again to the highest of the heavyweight image. He’s solely 32, and he is aware of he has choices if he is ready to get previous a harmful Ortiz.
“I’m actually hungry as a result of I do know what I’m able to doing,” Ruiz defined. “I do know precisely what to do and what to not do once I get these belts again.”
Battle Night time
Who: Ruiz vs Ortiz
When: Sunday Night time
The place: Crypto.com Area
TV: Fox PPV, 6 p.m.