Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the world when he stopped Anthony Joshua to win the WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight boxing titles in 2019. The Mexican would go on to lose those titles in a one-sided decision just six months later. Now, Ruiz will return to the ring to take on former championship challenger Chris Arreola on Saturday night in Carson, California.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) became the first Mexican to win a major heavyweight boxing title when he beat Joshua, and remains ranked among the top fighters in the weight class even after a lackluster performance in the rematch.
Whyte Questions Legitimacy of Matchup
The former champion came into the second fight with Joshua overweight and out of shape, and did little to challenge the British fighter over the course of 12 plodding rounds.
Now, Ruiz will take a significant step down in competition to fight Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs). While Arreola retains some name value, he’s not considered a legitimate contender for a world title. He never posed a significant threat to the top names in the division, and his best days are years behind him. In his most recent fight, he lost a clear unanimous decision to fringe contender Adam Kownacki.
|Ruiz vs. Arreola Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Andy Ruiz Jr.: -3335||Chris Arreola: +900|
|Method of Victory|
|Ruiz by KO/TKO: -400||Arreola by KO/TKO: +1400|
|Ruiz by Decision: +333||Arreola by Decision: +4000|
In other words, the 40-year-old Arreola isn’t really in Ruiz’s league. The betting odds on the fight reflect this. DraftKings Sportsbook lists Ruiz as an overwhelming -3335 favorite over Arreola (+900).
Nonetheless, Fox Sports and Premier Boxing Champions are placing this fight at the top of a major pay-per-view card – a decision that has stunned some fans and fellow heavyweight fighters.
“It’s a fight that’s going to make [Ruiz] look good,” heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte told Sky Sports. “Chris Arreola has been shot for a few years. If he was fighting Chris Arreola a few years ago, people would be like, ‘No, that’s a garbage fight.’ Now it’s the same, if not worse.”
Ruiz, Arreola See Opportunities in Fight
Naturally, the two fighters are talking about their bout in a slightly different tone. Ruiz says he’ll use the fight to show that he still has what it takes to compete for a heavyweight title.
“I was at 310 pounds when I started this camp. We started losing weight slowly but surely,” Ruiz said at the prefight press conference. “I believe I have the fastest hands at heavyweight. I’m not where I want to be at right now, but I’m a lot better than where I was. I have so much to prove starting Saturday night.”
Meanwhile, Arreola sees an opportunity to earn the biggest win of his career.
“I always want to win, but facing someone like Andy, who’s accomplished what he has, can add another notch to my belt,” Arreola told reporters. “He’s the man that beat the man, so I want to beat that man.”
Oddsmakers largely expect a Ruiz knockout. DraftKings is offering just -400 on Ruiz to win by KO or TKO, and the over/under on the length of the fight is just 6.5 rounds.