Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz knew he was in for a test against fellow heavyweight Contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz Sunday night in Los Angeles. And, in the end, Ruiz was able to do enough with three knockdowns to get a narrow, unanimous decision nod.
Ruiz outpointed Ortiz 113-112 on one card and 114 – 111 on the other two for the main event win of the Fox Sports / Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view from the Crypto.com Arena in downtown L.A.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 5, 2022
It did not look like it was going to be a long fight, as the home region favorite Ruiz, who had previously stunned former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for a 7th round TKO in June of 2019, looked like that same fighter early in this bout.
That’s when he dropped the 43-year-old Cuban with a hard right hand in the second round and then, kept the pressure on before dropping him a second time making it look as though referee Thomas Taylor might stop the fight.
However, to Ortiz’s credit, he hung in, lasted the round and actually began to score his own big straight lefts out of the southpaw stance. Still, Ortiz wasn’t able to sustain success and Ruiz continued to catch him with hard right hands.
This included another knockdown from another big right that had Ortiz briefly in trouble, again.
But, similar to earlier in the fight, Ortiz survived and was actually scoring punches in the latter rounds of the bout. Ortiz, with his left eye swelling badly, actually won two of the final three rounds of the fight on all three judges cards including the 12th and final round.
But, in the end Ruiz had done enough, especially with the knockdowns in the first seven rounds to get the decision victory.
The win improves Ruiz to 35 – 2 with 22 KOs and sets him into position now to fight the winner of next month’s Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius bout for a high-stakes WBC contender fight in 2023. Ruiz lost the WBA/WBO/IBF titles almost as quickly as he won them, when Joshua beat him by decision in the rematch in December 2019. He had only had one fight since, a decision over veteran Chris Arreola in April of last year.
Ruiz told Fox Sports post fight, “I’m staying active. I do not want to be waiting so long until I fight. I want to fight at least 3 or 4 times a year. I’m ready man. I’m hungry. I want to bring that championship belt back to Mexico.”
As for Ortiz, who lost two times previously by knockout to Wilder, he drops to 33 – 3 and likely is off the biggest stage now for good.