This is a preview of Andy Ruiz Jr vs Chris Arreola. For a full report on how Ruiz prevailed by unanimous decision you can click here.
Andy Ruiz Jr vs Chris Arreola sees the eagerly-awaited return to action of the former world heavyweight champion after 16 months out of the ring.
That memorable night in June 2019 when Ruiz Jr upset the odds and handed Anthony Joshua his first pro defeat now seems a distant memory.
The last time we saw the 31-year-old ‘Destroyer’ in action he was a pale imitation of the man who had stopped AJ at Madison Square Garden. He arrived for their Saudi Arabia rematch in December 2019 looking distinctly flabby.
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At 283lbs – some 15lbs heavier than he had weighed for their first meeting – Andy was not built to cope with a Joshua who learned from his mistakes and boxed smartly from the outside to gain a comfortable points victory.
Since then Ruiz has clearly had plenty of time to reflect on his battles with the refrigerator. And to regain some focus on getting back the titles he held for such a short time.
Now the Californian is quite literally a new man under the tutelage of trainer-of-the-moment Eddy Reynoso. Working alongside the likes of ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Ryan Garcia is clearly working wonders for Ruiz.
On May 1 we’ll find out just what the new Andy has to offer. Veteran Arreola will at least give him a stern examination. It’s been a long wait and the excitement is real.
Ruiz vs Arreola date, fight time and venue
Ruiz vs Arreola will take place on Saturday May 1, 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Ring walks for the main event are expected to be at around 2100 PT time locally (0000 ET) which is 0500 BST on Sunday May 2 in the UK.
Ruiz vs Arreola TV channel and live stream
Ruiz vs Arreola is a pay-per-view show in the United States, with Fox Sports broadcasting it at a cost of $49.95.
In the UK the fight will be screened on BoxNation, which is broadcast on the Premier Sports platform. So if you’re a Premier Sports subscriber, you’ll get to see Ruiz vs Arreola in the UK. You can also subscribe directly to BoxNation online.
Ruiz vs Arreola weights
The weigh-in for Ruiz vs Arreola took place on Friday April 30 in Carson, California. It was almost as eagerly awaited as the fight itself given Andy’s well-documented battles with the scales.
Ruiz Jr was 283lbs for that rematch with AJ – 15lbs heavier than he had been for their historic first meeting at MSG six months earlier.
But here he tipped the scales at an impressive looking 256lbs (18st 4bs). Gone were the “chi chis” and gut he said had stopped him throwing his punches properly.
Arreola meanwhile also surprised on the scales, coming in at 228lbs (16st 4lbs) – the lightest of his professional career. Quite something at the age of 40.
Ruiz vs Arreola odds
While Arreola is a seasoned vet and Andy has been away for a while, you won’t get rich betting ‘The Destroyer’ in this one.
UK bookmakers have Ruiz Jr at a best-priced 1/20 while Arreola is as big as 10/1. The draw is a 33/1 shot.
The American oddsmakers have Ruiz Jr at a best price of -2000 (bet $2000 to win $100) while Arreola is a big outsider at +1000 (bet $100 to win $1000).
Our betting expert has previewed Saturday night’s showdown, and you can read his big-fight preview and predictions in full.
Ruiz vs Arreola predictions
Our expert will be here in fight week to preview the big showdown and give you his expert predictions and picks. Check back for updates as we post them.
Andy Ruiz Jr record and profile
Andy Ruiz Jr, 31 years old from Imperial in California, has a professional record of 33-2 – 35 fights total with 33 wins and two defeats. Some 22 of those victories have come inside distance. He stands 6ft 2ins tall (1.88m) and has a reach of 74ins (1.88m).
Ruiz Jr – despite his chubby physique (in the past at least) – has astonishingly fast hands and can unleash punches in bunches to stun any elite big man. Just ask AJ.
Andy turned pro way back in 2009, and won his first 29 fights in the paid ranks. That run though ended when he stepped up to world-title level for the first time. That came on the road against New Zealander Joseph Parker on December 10, 2016.
Their meeting in Spark Arena, Auckland went the distance as they locked horns with the vacant WBO world heavyweight title on the line.
It was a tense fight and by the end of the 12 rounds the decision was still very much in doubt. It was a verdict which went to the home fighter Parker by a wafer-thin majority decision. Two judges scored it 115-113 for Parker, with the other scoring it a draw at 114-114.
Ruiz Jr bounced back from that agonising setback with three more victories before his second world title chance arrived – unexpectedly – in the summer of 2019.
Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller had been lined up to be the opponent for Joshua’s eagerly-awaited Stateside debut. But after he failed multiple drugs tests late in the day, the search was on for a stand-in. Step forward Andy Ruiz Jr.
Andy was a double-digit odds underdog when he stepped into the ring at hallowed MSG, but he was absolutely not overawed. Even when he was decked by Joshua in Round 3.
Ruiz Jr quickly recovered his poise and had Joshua down by the end of the third. From that moment on the champion was in serious trouble as Andy poured it on. The end came in the seventh when Joshua – having been down once again – failed to step forward when asked to by referee Michael Griffin, who promptly waved the bout off.
Andy – in an absolute fairytale – was the new IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion. He agreed to an immediate rematch with a life-changing purse of £10million guaranteed. But his real battle this time would be with the refrigerator – and not Joshua.
By the time he arrived in Saudi Arabia in December, he weighed some 283lbs and was in no shape to stun Joshua again.
He has since admitted: “I had chi-chis, I had tits that wouldn’t let me throw the right punches and all that.”
In the aftermath of the points defeat which ensued, Ruiz Jr ballooned yet further – up to 310lbs.
But now under the tutelage of the aforementioned Reynoso he appears to have rekindled his love for the game, and more importantly a love for hard work and focus.
We’ll see just how far that will take him – starting May 1 in Carson.
Chris Arreola record and profile
Chris Arreola was born in Los Angeles on March 5, 1981 and is now 40 years old. A heavyweight veteran, he has a pro record of 38-6-1. A total of 38 victories, six defeats and a draw. Some 33 of his 38 wins have come inside distance.
Now based in Escondido, California, ‘The Nightmare’ stands 6ft 3ins tall (1.91m) and has a reach of 76ins (1.93m).
Chris made his professional debut back in 2003 and destroyed everybody in his path for the first six years of his career. Then he came up against Vitali Klitschko in a challenge for the Ukrainian star’s WBC world heavyweight title.
They met on September 26, 2009, in Staples Center in Los Angeles – home turf for Arreola. But the big American hope had no answer to Klitschko and after being dominated for 10 rounds the fight was stopped before the 11th.
It was five long years before Arreola would get another world title shot – this time against Bermane Stiverne in L.A. in May 2014. Chris had met Stiverne for the first time in a non-title bout in 2013 (in Canada) and dropped a unanimous decision. Second time around the defeat was more convincing as Stiverne prevailed via a sixth-round stoppage.
The last time Arreola fought at the very highest level came in July 2016 when he challenged Deontay Wilder (again for the WBC heavyweight title) in Birmingham, Alabama. The fearsome punching of the unbeaten ‘Bronze Bomber’ took its toll on Chris and his title bid came to an end when he retired in round 8.
Arreola has fought only three times in the near five years since that defeat by Wilder. His last outing was a respectable showing in a points defeat by Adam Kownacki in Brooklyn in August 2019.
Chris is promising ‘a barnburner’ against Ruiz but it would crazy to imagine he remains the man he was 10 years ago. We’ll find out just what he has left on May 1. Whatever happens – it should be entertaining.
Ruiz vs Arreola undercard
The undercard for Ruiz vs Arreola has some decent action in prospect – here’s how it stands right now: