Get a couple of heavy punchers in the ring and you have a lot of window shopping on your hands.
On Sunday, Andy Ruiz Jr. and Luis Ortiz danced, perused, and exchanged some devastating blows. By the end of 12 rounds, it was pretty obvious. Bigger is better when it comes to Ruiz.
A lot of emphasis was put on weight in the lead-up to the heavyweight main event. Ruiz clearly believes he is more dangerous at 268 lbs., and I’m not about to argue.
He sent the mountainous Ortiz to the canvas with body blows and hooks you could feel from the media gallery.
"Everyone was doubting me, but I worked so hard for this fight,” Ruiz said after the 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.”
Looking heavier than he was just a couple of days ago, Ruiz still commanded the speed he is known for at this weight division. After a significant layoff, you can’t really argue with the strategy of building up gradually to take on another championship attempt.
The unanimous decision was scored by two judges as 114-111 and the third official as 113-112. It was far tighter than I saw it as Ruiz was often the aggressor. While the 32-year-old from Imperial Valley certainly tasted some of that famous left-hand from Ortiz, his power punches were the ones that determined this fight.
Ortiz, for his part, waited for an opening that never quite came. Though he showed his power more than a few times.
"To everyone who said that I'm old, I gave you a war today,” Ortiz said. “There are always surprises in boxing, and that's what you got if you didn't think I'd give it my all.”
Of course, this fight wouldn’t be complete without Deontay Wilder making a cameo in the ring, not saying whether he would fight Ruiz next but certainly not not saying he would either.
Ruiz touched on that hypothetical, “If Deontay Wins in October, me and him are with the same management and we can make this fight happen. Let's do it. Let's get it on."
The Angelenos in the house got what they wanted. Ruiz was the same bold fighter he was when he took down Anthony Joshua.
He waited for his chances and showed off his deft speed when given the opportunity. The crowd favorite took home a victory.
Also, earlier in the evening, Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz dominated in all of two rounds and Abner Mares capped off a comeback with a majority draw.
Hell, even a fight broke out in the crowd during that bout. The vibe was anxious all evening with the crowd looking ahead to the next big blow. They aren’t alone.
Ruiz is also looking forward with a career that is very much back on track.
"I want to fight at least three or four times a year. I'm hungry and I want to be champion again and bring that belt back to Mexico.”