Andy Ruiz Jr Feels Blessed For It To Be His ‘Turn’ In Los Angeles Headliner
For Andy Ruiz Jr., he said Sunday’s fight against Luis Ortiz at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles means a little bit more to him.
Four years ago, Ruiz watched Ortiz score a tenth-round knockout over Travis Kauffman on the undercard of Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder’s 2018 rematch at the then-Staples Center.
“The first time I’ve seen Luis Ortiz fight in person was at Staples Center,” Ruiz told Boxing Scene.
“… My dad told me, ‘Look, Andy, one day you’re going to fight one of these guys.’ What do you know, now I’m fighting one of these guys and hopefully fighting the other soon.
“At that time, I was still trying to get back into the heavyweight rankings. I fought Joseph Parker (for the vacant WBO title in December 2016, suffering a majority decision defeat) but was still trying to fight my way back and get to the point of possibly fighting one of those guys.”
Then a year later, in June 209, Ruiz scored his biggest pro career win – he technically knocked out then undefeated and unified IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, which he accepted on five weeks’ notice.
Ruiz became the first boxer of Mexican descent to become a heavyweight champion. He lost the belts to Joshua in their December 2019 rematch.
He’s fought just once since then. He recorded a unanimous decision victory against Chris Arreola on May 1, 2021.
But now he returns to a 12-round WBC semifinal title eliminator. A win would mean a step closer to one of the belts he once held.
“It’s a blessing for me to have my turn to fight there as the main event,” Ruiz added.