Andy Ruiz Jr claims he did “a beautiful job” in his victory over Luis Ortiz in their WBC heavyweight title eliminator in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
The Californian (now 35-2), who turns 33 next weekend, punched out a unanimous decision over the 43-year-old Ortiz with scores of 113-112 and 114-111 twice.
In the final reckoning it was three knockdowns scored by Ruiz – two in Round 2 and one in Round 7 – which proved absolutely crucial. Outside of that the punch stats were pretty even and Ortiz controlled the pace for long periods.
Ruiz delighted with performance
Despite that, Ruiz was delighted with his own performance, saying: “Everyone was doubting me, but I worked so hard for this fight. Ortiz is a warrior who hits hard. I did a beautiful job boxing him around. I showed more class than I usually do just coming forward.”
Ruiz though did concede that he had not enjoyed an easy night, reasoning: “It was a difficult fight. I was waiting for him to load up and countering him when he did. It was a blessing we were able to be successful.”
Ortiz for his part showed durability and grit allied to his unquestioned quality, though his punch resistance does appear somewhat diminished these days. He had been on the deck twice in his last fight vs Charles Martin before recovering to claim the win.
Ortiz said: “I told you I was going to be a warrior and that’s what I did. This is Cuba vs. Mexico. This is what I live for. To everyone who said that I’m old, I gave you a war today. There are always surprises in boxing, and that’s what you got if you didn’t think I’d give it my all.”
Wilder vs Ruiz anyone?
Now all roads for Ruiz lead to a potential WBC final eliminator vs the winner of Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius. That bout will take place in New York on October 15.
While it would be a foolish to write off Helenius after he re-energised his career with two impressive wins over Adam Kownacki, all the talk right now is unsurprisingly about a potential Wilder vs Ruiz blockbuster.
“If Deontay Wins in October, me and him are with the same management and we can make this fight happen,” said Ruiz. “Let’s do it. Let’s get it on. I’m hungry and I want to be champion again and bring that belt back to Mexico.”
Wilder meanwhile added: “Deontay Wilder is back and I’m always looking for great exciting fights for the fans. If Andy Ruiz Jr. is what’s next, then I’m ready to get it on.”