By Dan Ambrose: Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. will be taking on former two-time world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz on September 4th in Los Angeles, California. The fight will occur at the Crypto Arena, formerly known as the Staples Center.
ESPN Deportes is reporting the news of the Ruiz vs. Ortiz fight on September 4th, and it should please the fans. In addition to Ruiz fighting 43-year-old King Kong Ortiz, the undercard will have former lightweight world title challenger Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz battling a still-to-be-determined opponent and former three-division world champion Abner Mares competing.
The 32-year-old Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) has been dragging his feet for the last two years, talking about fighting ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) but not doing it.
Ruiz losing to Luis Ortiz won’t be a shock because the difference in pedigree between them is enormous. Before Ruiz pulled off a significant upset of Joshua in June 2019, he was viewed as a basic ham & egger heavyweight and nothing special.
Eddie Hearn chose Ruiz as a replacement opponent for Joshua to fight on three weeks’ notice, and AJ paid the price by fighting recklessly. Ortiz should beat Ruiz without any problems on September 4th, sending him in search of another new trainer to resurrect his career.
Instead of taking the challenge of fighting Ortiz, Ruiz thought 40-year-old journeyman Chris Arreola last year in May and labored to an unimpressive 12-round unanimous decision.
“The long-awaited return of former heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz will not take place on September 4 in Los Angeles against the experienced and dangerous Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, sources close to the press confided. negotiations to ESPN KNOCKOUT,” said Salvador Rodriguez to ESPN Deportes. They also announced that Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz is expected right there and perhaps the three-time world champion Ábner Mares can return to the ring.”
Andy Ruiz is currently ranked #5 WBA, #5 WBO, #8 IBF, and #12 WBA and is in a position to challenge for a world title if he can get a solid win under his belt.
Ruiz has talked incessantly about wanting a trilogy fight against former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua after losing his three titles against the British fighter in December 2019.
That was the fight in which Ruiz threw away by coming into the contest in an obese state at 283 lbs after failing to put in the hard work required during training camp.
Ruiz’s former coach Manny Robles was vocal about how Andy failed to work hard during camp, seemingly going through the motions after having pulled off a significant upset of Joshua in their first fight in June 2019.
Some boxing fans believe that Ruiz suddenly becoming a millionaire overnight changed him, taking away his ambition and causing him to enjoy himself too much and not work hard for the rematch.
Unfortunately, Ruiz has done precious little since losing to Joshua in 2019, fighting only once against journeyman Chris Arreola and looking poor in that fight.
Although Ruiz trimmed down to 256 lbs from the 283 he’d weighted for the rematch with Joshua, he labored against Arreola and was surprisingly dropped in the second round.
Some believe that the weight loss did something to Ruiz’s punch resistance, but it’s more likely the case of the inactivity being the main culprit for him being dropped.
Before fighting Arreola, Ruiz had been out of the ring for two years after his loss to Joshua, taking his time getting back in action.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said that if Ruiz wants a trilogy with AJ, he must get some solid wins under his belt to earn it. If Ruiz beats Ortiz, that could help him greatly in his goal of getting a third payday against Joshua.
Of course, it would be better if Ruiz follows up the fight against Ortiz by facing Joe Joyce or Filip Hrgovic to increase his chances of a trilogy against Joshua, but Dan Ambrose isn’t holding his breath waiting for that to happen.
Luis Ortiz stopped former IBF champion Charles Martin earlier this year on January 1. Ortiz was dropped twice by Martin before rallying to knockout the 6’5″ fighter in the sixth. Currently, Ortiz is ranked #2 IBF, #7 WBO, and #8 WBC.