By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
Andy Ruiz may be the fourth best heavyweight or even the third if you believe he could be Deontay Wilder. It was not that long ago he defeated Joshua for his heavyweight title before losing it in a rematch. When Ruiz fought Joshua in his rematch, he weighed 285 pounds but for Chris Arreola, this was his last opportunity for a big event. Having lost three shots for the heavyweight title, Arreola last bout was a loss in 2019, pre pandemic and at 40, he was the overwhelming underdog.
Andy Ruiz does not have the svelte body, but he has some of the heavyweight fastest hands and at 31, he was at his peak compared to Chris Arreola. There was a time that Arreola was the guy everyone thought could be the first Mexican American heavyweight but that was never to happen as he fell short, Ruiz did become the first Mexican-American to win the title. Arreola has been a good fighter who never seem to be able to be part of the elites of the division . Ruiz on the other hand, has been to the top and shown that he could compete with the elites as his first victory over Joshua showed when he stopped the British fighter. Coming overweight in the rematch, Joshua out boxed Ruiz and used his reach to stay out of harm’s way of Ruiz.
Ruiz won the first round and it looked like a long night for Arreola but in the second round, Arreola nailed Ruiz with a right hand and sent Ruiz down. Ruiz got up quickly but discovered that there was still dynamite in Arreola’s right hand . At the end of the second round, Arreola nailed Ruiz with another solid right at the end of the round.
From that point, Ruiz settled in and dominated the bout. In the middle of fight, Arreola appeared to have injured his shoulder, but he gamely continued. After the third round, this fight was all Ruiz as he landed combinations and Arreola could not compete with Ruiz .
The stats told the story as Ruiz connected on 161 punches vs only 109 for Arreola. Ruiz threw more punches and hit at a slightly higher rate. I had the fight 118-109 with Ruiz taking 11 rounds and two of the judges agreed with and the third gave Arreola an extra round for a 117 to 110 . Ruiz did what he was supposed to do, beat Arreola but maybe fans viewed this as fight that would not go the distance.
Ruiz is now back in the hunt for the heavyweight title and just waiting for Fury-Joshua fight to happen or who knows, maybe a third Wilder-Fury fight before we get to Joshua. In the world of boxing, who knows what will happens until contracts are signed and fighters show up at the weigh in. Ruiz will keep fighting to stay in contention.