(East Los Angeles, CA) May 8, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: For our many Boxing fans in the audience, we bring you our coverage of the two veteran Chicano Heavyweight Boxing Ring Warriors, Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz, age 30, (Imperial Valley, CA/Mexicali, MX), record of (33-2) with 22 KOs, who weighed in at 256 lbs. vs. Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, age 40, (East L.A./Riverside, CA), record of (38-6-1) with 33 KOs, who weighed in at 228 lbs, in their World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Heavyweight Title Elimination fight of May 1st. Although the bout took place a mere eight days ago, there is still “buzz” going around the heavyweight fight game as well as among the fans who would like to see more of the same that was put on display by these two very game warriors/guerreros. Full stop.
A bit more about the boxers, Ruiz, Jr. is a former unified heavyweight champion, who dramatically upset Anthony Joshua to win the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles in 2019 in boxing’s Mecca, Madison Square Garden. He became the first male boxer of Mexican-American heritage to become a World Heavyweight Champion. Arreola, well-known to his faithful fans, and highly respected in the ranks, is a four-time Heavyweight Title Bout Challenger, who has traveled far and wide in his admirable career in search of the World-Famous Belt. A victory in this bout could have better positioned him in that all-important pursuit as a prize fighter.
The fight took place at the Carson, CA Dignity Health Sports Park on “May Day”, which also softly coincided with the annual celebration of the Mexican and Mexican-American historic “Cinco De Mayo” Day & Week. To its great credit, Dignity Health Sports Park has now become a very welcoming, reliable, and convenient professional boxing venue, where “in-person” attendance has been approved for the boxing faithful from all over Los Angeles, City, County, and Southern California. The “sold-out” attendance at the venue was 3,940.
The FOX Sports/Premier Boxing Champions Pay Per View (PPV) package was offered to the public at $50.00 and it’s decent enough to say that it was worth the price since there were a total of four fights including the Main Event. Not shown on PPV, there was the half-day of boxing that included several Fox Sports Broadcasting teams in English & Spanish, televising several undercard bouts featuring up and coming Mexican and Latino fighters.
(Bout Summary): To begin, we’ll focus on the Big Boys of the sport and give you our reporting perspective. The first four rounds were controlled by Arreola, the (20-1) underdog. This was evidenced when he dropped Ruiz with a clubbing, and downward right-hand sledge hammer to the head at (1:55) of the 2nd round. As is Ruiz’s style, he took the knee and was given the (8) count. He responded to Arreola as he did in his first title fight against then Unified World Champion, Anthony Joshua, and bounced back without being overwhelmingly glazed in the eyes, or wobbling at the knees. Arreola’s big mistake was that he didn’t swarm, or follow up like an assassin with heavier combination shots to the head and body, although there was more than a minute to go in the round.
Into the 3rd round they went with Arreola’s corner confident of their fighter finding the adequate landing range on Ruiz, and proved it by wobbling the ex-champ twice. The magic punch for Arreola was his left hook and right cross that helped him score with big exchanges. Despite that rough patch, Ruiz continued to stalk Arreola and scored heavily for the judges at ringside with just (:05) seconds left in the round. He caught Arreola with a big right hand in the exchange of blows.
The middle four rounds were give-and-take, with both boxers standing each other off with combinations, body blows, and peppering jabs. There was slight puffing on both fighters faces, but nothing that caused their corners grave concerns. The explosive “thunder and lightning” bombardments and punishing shots that fans were expecting, never materialized with any regularity, and thus it would be up to the three judges to place themselves at the mercy of scoring a heavyweight title elimination bout, basically on fighting styles and points.
The final four rounds that were scored (10-9) could have been split, with each boxer winning 2 of the 4, instead of all 4 going to Ruiz, Jr. At the end of the fight, in our opinion, the better decision is that it should have been declared a split-decision or possibly even a draw. No boxer was dominated or hurt badly by the other. Many asked about the knockdown being valued at (10-8) and how that appeared to not have been taken into a broader consideration. To Arreola’s credit, arriving in his best ring condition in years, Ruiz did not, and could not score a knockdown. Where does that leave one to score the fight based on a clear and dynamic dominance by one over the other? And even though Arreola gave the Referee a flinch while taking a misaligned punch to his upper left tricep in the 7th and 11th rounds, he did not overwhelmingly dominate Ruiz with “power-punches” after his early round successes.
And so to the Compu-Box technical computer judge they went and added up all of the blows and power-punches, etc. The read-out apparently tipped the scoring scales sharply in Ruiz’s favor, and quite disgustedly in Arreola’s reaction to them. When asked about the decision by the Fox Sports ring reporter, Arreola described the decision to the PPV audience in blunt and profane terms. And, thus, at the end of the day, Andy Ruiz, Jr. was awarded the unanimous decision by (118 to 110) on one judge’s card and (117-110) on the two others. When it was all said and done, Ruiz outlanded his opponent by a margin of (161 to 109), according to CompuBox, and connected on 45% of his power shots overall. When a rematch was discussed during the post-fight interview, Ruiz said, “We did what we had to do and we got the victory which was to counter-punch and work the body to slow him down a little bit. If he wants to run it back, we can run it back. We can have Chris Arreola-Andy Ruiz rematch and run this back here if the promoter wants.”
The two judges’ scorecards that scored the fight (117-110), favored Ruiz, Jr. winning Rounds 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12, all by a (10-9) count. While Arreola was only given Round 2 with a (10-8) due to the knockdown and Round 3 with a (10-9). Arreola was surely and understandably angry at the final (10-2) rounds discrepancy scoring of the fight. Both fighters looked none the worse for wear after a heavyweight fight of that class.
What’s next for both fighters you might ask? Let’s generally take a look at what the former Unified World Champ, Andy Ruiz, Jr., can expect because of his victory in this elimination bout. He is now positioned to possibly fight a slate of potential challengers who are seeking a shot at Anthony Joshua, British professional boxer, the two-time unified world heavyweight champion, No clear date has been mentioned for Ruiz’s next opponent or bout.
For Chris Arreola, he continues on a path not looking too favorable for another title run right now, unless an impromptu offer is made to substitute in a “big time” fight for an injured boxer, just as Ruiz did in his first bout with Joshua. Or perhaps, his Manager, Joe Goossen, can find an opponent with appeal and upward mobility in the heavyweight ranks. But, as we’ve seen so many times before, anything can happen in this sport, like many others. But, here in the sport described as the “Sweet Science”, it can be either quite celebratory and/or disappointing, due to the singularity and semi-isolation of the athletes in this sport.
For their day’s work, Andy Ruiz, Jr. took home $1,000,000, while Chris Arreola earned $300,000 for his efforts. The PPV receipts are reportedly not included in those figures.
(Special Thanks To): Mario J. Serrano, Boxing Publicist, Las Vegas, NV for his timely assistance in providing us access to the media Press Releases and the great action photos you see in our posting, and in our photo gallery. First Class All the Way!! Mil Gracias Mario!!