Beterbiev brutalizes Smith in two

Artur Beterbiev Vs Joe Smith Jr Action10
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

In a highly anticipated light heavyweight unification showdown, WBC/IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) crushed and dethroned WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs) in less than two rounds on Saturday night at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Smith came out aggressively, but Beterbiev dropped Smith to a knee at the end of the first round. Beterbiev finished the demolition by putting Smith down twice in round two and leaving referee Harvey Dock no alternative but to stop it after some additional punishment. Time was 2:19. Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio, continues his reign of terror in the 175lb division.

“My coach told me it’s not too far until I become a good boxer,” Beterbiev said. “Joe’s a little bit open, and it was more easy for me to get him. {Both of us} have a good punch, and both tried to {connect} first. I’m lucky that I was first.”

Sitting ringside was WBO mandatory contender Anthony Yarde, who may be in line for a shot at Beterbiev this fall. Beterbiev’s preference is a fight with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, who recently defeated Canelo Alvarez.

“Unification fights are more interesting, more motivating,” Beterbiev said. “I prefer unification fight. I want to be undisputed.”

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    • Smith gave up his jab and thought he was going to knock out Beterbiev. He got too anxious…. Should have never give up his jab.

      • Smith has a habit of losing his gameplan when he gets pressured and he relies way too much on his instincts rather than trained skill. Lesson learned for Smith in this fight is to listen to your corner and undertsand the value in a gameplan.

          • My good Ajay….there is no gameplan for a wreking ball.Salut! my good Ajay

          • Smith started out with a good job from the outside and Beter was trying to slip around it. Once Beter got past the guard, Smith went into the “trading mode” rather than moving again on outside.

        • You kind of took the words out of my mouth. I don’t know if there was a gameplan… I assume there was considering any decent team would have one, but very quickly Joe fought as if his plan was to just attempt to land the first big punch. As the taller, longer, albeit slower and less skilled fighter, he decided to walk in with reckless abandon and try to connect with very little set up. To do this against a guy like Beterbiev who is faster, better-skilled, shorter, and a harder puncher (there is some questioning of his chin because he’s been down two times, but a lot of that was due to defensive laps), is literally suicide. This is why a guy who is normally durable, never knocked down before in the amateurs or pros, gets taken out in under 2 rounds.

        • Please stop it. Smith had no shot against Beterbiev. Smith is a solid
          fighter and Beterbiev is arguably the
          best light heavyweight in the world.
          I think Bivol will give him a good fight
          but Beterbiev will wear Bivol down.

      • He definitely looked nervous to me. Said to hell with boxing and defense and decided to throw bombs which is exactly what Beterbiev wanted.

        • He was getting countered with the right over the jab and it was hurting him. I think he knew he was in for a bad night so he decided to go down swinging. Can’t really blame him. He was overmatched and he tried to land a home run. Beterbiev is just on another level. Scary fighter.

    • You did call it. I was right there with you. I didn’t think it would happen so early, though. Beterbiev looked like a fighter that deserves consideration for “Best in the World” tonight. That was total destruction, and Joe Smith was a credible opponent. He isn’t beautiful stylistically, but damn, that power is like a freak mutation.

  • After all the build-up and hype, it all comes to a quicker end than I thought. Smith abandoned the gameplan of boxing on the outside after 1 minute into the fight and sucked himself right into the trap landed by Beterbiev. Smith looked rather delicate and weak against Beterbiev after the champion started to get the lunch pail out and throw the bombs. Beterbiev looked real strong, focused, and determined and he delivered. As for Smith, he bit off more than he could chew in this fight.

    • MR.Gaskin: if I can read english, you wrote that:Bivol easy???.Well,my answer is: hahahaha,ouh!!ouh!! hahaha…….

    • You are crazy to think Bivol will beat
      Bererbiev easily. Bivol will win most of the
      early rounds with his movement but
      Beterbiev will wear him down. I think
      Beterbiev will stop Bivol late.

      • it wont be easy but Bivol will win and it could be by stoppage ,Beterbievs been down twice and was buzzed real good on one of those knock downs ,Bivols never been down and he doesnt get tired…its a lock for sure.

  • Geez, that was brutal and 1 sided. Smith looked to step to Beter too quick and ate some early thunder. He didn’t recover from the 1st round either. Beter vs Bivol is one of the 3 most intriguing fights in all of boxing.

    • You got the feeling that when Smith felt the power, he figured his only chance was to swing free and hope to land something big. I think he knew very early on that he wasn’t gonna be able to go rounds with Beterbiev.

  • No mas for smith by the referee! Full clip double clutching shots were too brutal to overcome!

  • Once Smith basically threw his game plan out the window and started banging with Artur, I knew it was over… Anti climactic…I was hoping for a few more rounds but it was pretty evident that Smith was going to try to trade with him and just started winging punches….even when he was hurt there in the 2nd, he didn’t get on his bike….he got right back in there and started mixing it up again ..

    • Some fighters naturally can not process pressure, gameplan, and focus all at the same time. Smith is a great example in this fight. Smith fights best when he has the upper hand. However, he falls apart way too easy when he struggles to process his adversity.

  • Bivol will be a real good fight both are undefeated. One is a really great puncher and the other is a great boxer puncher. I would lean towards Bivol based off his footwork and that jab.

      • My thoughts as well. Beterbiev looks like he’s on a different level. Bivol is a great fighter— not just good, but actually great- but I don’t see him going the distance. People thought Gvozdyk could outbox Beterbiev, and he did well early. But he broke down late under the assault. I’m not sure Bivol is any better.

    • Both seem like boxer-punchers to me, though Bivol leans more boxer and Beterbiev more puncher. Will be sneaky counter shots coming from them both.

  • What just happened? Still a fan of both. Everybody at Light heavy about go north or south. Goodness gracious!!!

  • This fight showed that Beterbiev is certainly on that level… Beterbiev threw excellent short, compact power punches on the inside..Showed his boxing intelligence and he finished Smith…Did not allow Smith to weather the storm…Beterbiev did what he was suppose to do against this type of opponent…showing his superiority and finishing the fight within the distance early.,still noticed a few flaws but this fight showed that Beterbiev is a student of the game…As Beterbiev mixed in boxing skills with an excellent display of short compact power punches…He is the man right now in that division… Smith will be back..allowed a slugger to punch “with” him….Smith will learn from this…good fight….!!!

    • Chance. You are crazy. Smith’s corner didn’t
      even protest. Every time Beterbiev hit Smith
      he went down. Smith will beat most of the
      other light heavyweights out there and
      he can make a good living doing it. He will
      not beat the elite fighters in the division.
      Smith is likable like Mickey Ward.

  • This was an easy fight to call.This Artur Beterbiev is one of the most brutal fighters today.Look for him to be called the finest 175 lb champ in years. Besides being able to crack skulls, his boxing skills are for real. Tell you what there are some fabulous fighters today, are we seeing a rebirth of the fight game like when we had Hagler,Duran,Chavez,Hearns? This guy Artur is what real champs are all about, i’d like to see him demolish Canelo.

    • Aussie Oy! Reynoso knew to keep Conelo from Beterbiev. So, you will never see a demo job of Conelo. Beterbiev could’ve lived with any 175’er in history.

    • Aside from the jab, Smith Jr’s shots were too wide and too slow. Smith didn’t see any of Beterbiev’s shots coming. Beterbiev versus Boval is a potentially a great fight. Must happen!!

    • Id like to see him demolish Charlo and Benavidez. Oh wait, arent we talking about guys in a lower weight class? Thought we were since u got the golden stupidity award bringing up Canelo. He tried, he lost. Let it go and give Beterbieve his moment on this thread as everyone else has. Sheesh

      • Did you forget that Canelo was thinking
        about fighting Beterbiev and decided on
        Bivol instead. Also there was all this
        talk of Canelo moving up to cruiserweight and fighting a
        champion from South Africa to win
        another belt.

  • Beterbiev is the best light heavyweight puncher I’ve seen since Michael Spinks. Bring on Zurdo & Bivol!

  • Arthur is a beast. I don’t think anyone in boxing has that kind of power. In Joe’s defense though a few of Arthurs rights landed in back of the head. They should take a very close look at Joe before releasing him.

  • I called this fight I knew if Joe Smith did not stay on the outside and Jab he would lose and that is exactly what happened

  • just watched the fight and have to say that Joe Smith and his corner had the worst game plan for this bout you can possibly imagine. It looked like it came directly from Beterbiev’s camp!

  • One thing that AB has – complete dedication. He doesn’t budge an inch with his commitment to his training or skills and seemingly has an unbelievable mental toughness. This man will be incredibly difficult to defeat as who can see him ever giving up? With that kind of determination and power I don’t pick any other light heavyweight over him.

  • I’d like to add to my other comment, if Beterbiev fights Bivol look for Bivol to wind up in the hospital.Beterbiev will BRUTALIZE him, no way does Bivol keep Artur off of him, and I will add this,Beterbiev will be put in the category of the all time great 175 lb fighters, that category includes Bob Foster,and Archie Moore,yes Moore who was the king of the 175lb division for many years.

    • Respect your opinion…but damn….top light heavyweights of all time…better than the great Ezzard Charles…Archie Moore with over 140 KOs…Spinks…Matthew Saad Muhammad…just because Beterbiev beat Joe Smith…a C+ ..B- .,.fighter…stick to the weed…stay away from the shrooms.!!!! Just kidding!!!! Yet to be seen if Beterbiev but good win though….

      • Well you do know Ez Charles fought as a heavyweight? M.Spinks was a good light hwt but in truth he was a gawky type fighter who was not exciting at all.His claim to fame was he was a hwt champ for 3 minutes or so, until Tyson put him out of business.I stand by what I said,Beterbiev is the finest light hwt I’ve seen in years, and I believe he has the tools to beat any 175 lb fighter they put in front of him.Bivol would do himself a favor by him AVOIDING Artur completely, because otherwise he might wind up in the morgue.

        • Respectfully Steve…Certainly,…know that Ezzard Charles fought at heavyweight,,I also know that Charles fought at light heavyweight.check the facts…easy to get knowledge today… especially with the internet….I am a sincere student of the game…..Studied the greats…Keep up with boxing in all aspects…just love history period from the biblical days till today… specifically follow boxing history…and that does mean that I know it all…
          I do know that .. particularly with boxing you cannot crown someone as an all-time great just over mystic and a few good fights… Beterbiev had a spectacular win over someone He was suppose to beat…now he is ranked amongst the greatest light heavyweights.? Just by beating Joe Smith?
          I also know that Ezzard Charles is a certified bad ass when it comes to boxing…I mean certified…yes he was so great that Charles left the Light heavyweight division and spectacular ly fought at heavyweight…check the facts…so great that his fighting style is still used to date…now Beterbiev’s own trainer noted that he was improving as a boxer and Beterbiev displayed a fine arsenal of short compact power punches kinda like Kotsya Tszyu threw in his boxing career…While that KO was special …Beterbiev is no Ezzard Charles..not saying that he will not get there but heard the same said about another fighter until he faced Andre Ward..twice.that is just my humble opinion

          • *Correction…that does not mean that I know it all when it comes or relates to boxing history* left the “not” part out…

          • Trying to put Beterbiev along with the Cincinnati Kid is a joke. Charles is the greatest lightheavyweight of all time and he beat Joe Louis. Spinks and Foster are boxing royalty enough said. Braxton Gregory and Galindez would have run him over as would have Franklin. I dont even want to go back to the days of guys fighting every week when Beterbiev would have been nothing. Wow he beat a glorified club fighter wow.

  • Outside of his jabs Smith was all looping punches with huge holes down the middle. Oddly Beterbiev looks like he has little power but he can obviously hit.

    • No. But it would be a fun fight because Canelo would likely try to trade punches. But I think Beterbiev is way too strong for him.

    • Beterbiev is too big and physically strong! Canelo has made forays into light heavyweight, but he is best now at middleweight, and may be approaching the end of his career. Funny how no one expects GGG or Beterbiev to go up in weight and challenge bigger fighters.

  • If I was Bivol, I would avoid Beterbiev like the plague, with a RIGHTFUL excuse of exercising the rematch with Canelo. Bivol, much like the reason Canelo didn’t speak of fighting AB, know the outcome is KO By. His amateur background, with his power? Not getting beat any time soon, kids.

    • No way. This is a legit toss-up fight with with maybe a 55%/45% edge for Beterbiev. All kinds of potential outcomes here, which makes this a must-happen fight in my book. ….and let’s be real….Joe Smith Jr. doesn’t have anywhere near the skill and pedigree Alvarez does. In many ways, Bivol’s win over the smaller, but #1 PFP fighter in Canelo Alvarez is much more impressive than Beterbiev’s win over Smith Jr.

  • That ended alot quicker than I thought! Beterbiev is a flat out monster. It was scarey to see the way Smith looked like he ran away almost and then bounced off the ropes and was wobbling. That ref saved him from serious brain damage.. or at least from taking more.

  • Beterbiev = SUPER MANSTER (1/4 Man & 3/4 Monster).

    Let’s hope Beterbiev gets more active because boxing historians have to figure out where to rank him in the history of 175. I hope Beterbiev can fight five (5) more times before going to the HOF. It is sad Beterbiev was not more active, but I am VERY tempted to rank him as the GOAT at 175…final ranking remains on hold.

    Anyhow, Beterbiev used the first (1st) round to get a little warmed. In the 2nd round, Beterbiev went to work with more battering right hands, stiff jabs and nasty uppercuts. Beterbiev’s chin held up quite well. Beterbiev did a great job. I wonder what is Bivol thinking at this time.

    Who is next??…time for Bivol to get in there with Beterbiev. Ramirez and Yarde can wait or scrap each other. I personally want to see Beterbiev go through Bivol, Yarde and Ramirez.

  • “Fight of the year” quickly morphed into blowout of the year. Smith really overestimated his abilities in the ring! That said, I still think he beats 95% of the light heavies out there.

  • Bivol will never trade with Beterbiev. He’ll try to jab Beterbiev and keep him off balance so he can’t get leverage for his full power. Beterbiev will eventually break down Bivol and stop him late – copyright 2022 Coach Packy

    • You should go back and watch Beterbiev vs Callum Smith. Smith is slow and plodding, with bad footwork and defense, but was still able the hurt Beterbiev and had a chance to put him away. Had he gone all out, he may have been successful. Beterbiev looked great last night, but he’s not invincible. Beterbiev vs Bivol would be an epic fight.

  • Bet., was devastating. And it is refreshing to see another modest sportsman, like Bivol, instead of the shrieking chest pounding gloating we’ve gotten in boxing ever since it was started by now-glorified by the media Cassius Clay.

  • Smith looked good early on with the jab but he got rocked and went into survival mode quick.

    I was rooting for Smith but Beterbiev proved his status. He just retired Smith, and May the best man between Beterbiev vs Bivol!

  • When did rules change and now allowing thick heavy beards? Also boxers wearing different brand gloves? I always remembered that being a negotiated thing. As far as the fights no real surprises except Joe panicking so quickly. I thought he’d go 4-5 rounds before getting caught before he could catch B with a hard one.

    • Actually, both good questions. Beards seem to be from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Don’t know of any set rules, except some places don’t allow them. As for gloves, I think that happened a decade or so ago? Back in the day, it required an agreement as to which gloves would be used. Now, most places let you select what you want. I’ll takes the Reyes’, please.

  • It was when Smith Jr came forward with his jab that he was cought. More than once.

    Beterbievs counter-boxing came with surprising ease to me. I must admit that I was really impressed. When your jab is neutralised like that there are perhaps no gameplans left to deliver.

    Well done Beterbiev! Good stoppage!

    I am really looking forward to some very interesting fights in the Light heavyweight. I am particularilly curious about what Zurdo can bring to the table.

  • Someone tell Yarde to sit down before he gets seriously hurt. Beterbiev may be 37 but he is not Kovalev. He will
    Brutalize him like he did Smith. Bring on the undisputed fight!

  • Was sure of the outcome, but thought it would last longer and a little more competitive. Smith did try to box at midrange, but the first sharp, short right hand over the jab hurt Smith. He had a shocked look as if he could not believe how hard it was. A few more and he said FK it, if I am going out I am swinging for the fences and go out swinging. He knew in short order he was in way over his head.

  • Was expecting the outcome 100% wasn’t even impressed.. 5 years i know he is the big deal in the division he’s too tough and too powerful, he’s a freak of nature!

  • Let’s put things in perspective and stop with the emotionalism. Good win for any fighter that is a world champ, especially by KO. Beterbiev was levels above Smith and besides Bivol, there aren’t many dogs at Lightheavyweight, it is a weak division. I respect Joe Smith as a fighter, and he has good power, but let’s be honest, Joe Smith was gifted this title, the same way he was gifted a union job, and made the best of his “priveledge” and was clearly the weakest link of the Lightheavyweight champions. He can go back to his priveledged union job and retire from that in 20 years and be okay, plus the money he made from being one of the luckiest Lightheavyweight champions of all time. Only if, all young men from tough economic backgrounds got those same opportunities…smdh.

    • Joe Smith earned everything his opportunity in this sport and he capitalized on it with hard work.. can’t knock a man for that….as far as Smith’s employment.., can’t speak on Smith’s personal life cause I do not know Smith ….but in my humble opinion and experiences….a person has to be in a position to receive an opportunity …take or accept the challenge of the opportunity and work hard to develop and maintain it..Smith got everything the”American”way…Smith earned it,..He may have fallen short here but a guy like that will be back…Look at Lennox Lewis…two devastating …knockouts among Lewis losses but he had a remarkable …Hall of fame career….countless examples in boxing.,..This is what makes it one of the greatest sports around…

  • That was a destruction. Beterviev was a better boxer and seemed more powerful. He looked unbeatable. That said, I’ll take Bivol over Beterviev. Unless Beterviev tags Bivol early and stops him, I think Bivol will frustrate, neutralize & tire out Beterviev. I have a feeling that Bivol will give Beterviev a boxing lesson.

  • There’s no one out there that can beat him not even bivol,he needs to go into heavy weight after unified titles

  • Wow,
    Here I thought Smith was going to take the fight to Beterbiev. Guess, I was wrong, Beterbiev is a beast and I would love to see the unification bout with Bivol. Hope boxing politics doesn’t prevent Hearn and Arum from making this fight happen.

    Yarde should stay away from Beterbiev for a while until he gains more experience and that is coming from a Brit.

  • damn i thought Smith would have lasted longer but oh well lets set up Beterbiev vs Bivol its all or nothing

  • People don’t talk about game plan for Joe who????Just admit Beterbiev is a beast that’s it!!!!

  • Smith can say thank you to the referee, he saved his life yesterday by doing his job correctly.

  • I think a rematch is in order. Joe will be better prepared. Within 3 months and I’ll predict Joe wins on a split decision

  • This fight went about as I expected, I knew Beterbiev would royally beat the crap out of Smith but he did a few rounds sooner than I thought, Smith was perfectly made for Beterbiev as Joe Frazier was for George Foreman. Screw Yard as mandatory, let’s see Bivol verses Beterbiev the top two 175 lbers in the sport.

  • Beterbiev has the opportunity to join the ranks of Joe Louis and create his own “bum of the month” club. The power people should fight Beterbiev often and against all comers. PPV will make him a multi millionaire.
    Smith realized after Beterbiev landed his first punch of the fight that he was in a different shell shocked world.

  • He punches behind the back of the head. Throws you equilibrium off for the entire fight. A warning just doesn’t do it.

  • Smith was never a threat and Beterbiev knew it even before the first bell rang. Smith has always been overrated.

  • I was wondering if hitting the back of the head was still illegal or not. I know Joe was ducking his head and thought that might be it, but then I began to think that Bieterbiev might be hitting him there on purpose. Regardless, Harvey Dock didn’t say anything, so I figured it must have been a legal punch. The boy sure packs some power in those short, compact shots. Joe Smith can take a shot, at least, so I always thought. And still do, just not Bieterbiev’s shots.

  • Joe Smith Jr is a tough kid who worked his way to winning the WBO belt. He beat the odds multiple times, and floored many a fighter who was a betting favorite.

    That being said, he fell in love with his chin and power and believed it would carry him in this fight. Granted, I think if that was any other fighter, they’d get knocked out, but you can’t be keeping your hands down and taking unnecessary shots from a guy like Artur.

    Seemed to have an effective plan fighting him early on with the jab, but he got hit in the back of the head and went into survival mode.

    I don’t think he’ll beat Bivol or Beterbiev, but I think he beats everyone else in the division.

  • Well I was wrong about this, I thought Smith would last at least till the 5th. it was interesting how Smith was backing up Berbetev at the beginning, but it was almost like Berbetev knew he could sucker Smith in, and then go for the kill. fI really don’t know if Smith had any other way of winning. Not only was he in with a better boxer, he was for the first time in with someone who hits harder than he does. Berbetev-Bivol please. Yarde, please step aside, if you got stopped by a faded Kovalev, what chance do you have with Berbetev. And Calum Smith, you want Berbetev after your display against Alvarez. Try being the best light heavyweight first in Great Britain, among Butasi and Yarde.

  • This is how boxing fans get fighters in trouble. People love to see the rock’em sock’em robots, and they hate the slick boxing. So they cheer fighters who try to be the tough guys and come out swinging, and the problem is the slick boxer will slow things down and set up the brawler any day. Beterbiev took his time while Smith was swinging away, set things up, and put him away calmly. Ignore the fans and stick to your strategy

  • I found it funny that the announcers were billing this as a 50/50 fight. I have been watching Beterbiev for a while now and he deserves to be in that top pound for pounds list imo. I just hope that Bivol doesn’t try to duck him now.

  • Everyone has a plan till they get knocked down three times, amazing how quick that changed. Clubber Lang’s ghost was in the house.

  • Odd though…styles makes fights…I see Canelo with a better chance at beating Beterbiev than Smith…Smith did hit Beterbiev though Smith later got blasted…wonder how Beterbiev would react to getting hit by Canelo… believe that Beterbiev beats Canelo…but would be interested to see if Beterbiev could withstand Canelo power as Beterbiev is not the boxer Bivol is….

    • Canelo gets KOed by Beterbiev. If Canelo wanted an easy belt at 175 his camp should have got Smith in the ring. Beterbiev vs Bivol could be interesting if Bivol can nullify the punching of Beterbiev and move around. Hope they arent trying to hype Yarde as an opponent for Beterbiev since he will get wrecked quickly too

  • I knew he was the big deal after he dispatched Gvodzyk in an excellent fight. Gvodzyk was an undefeated freak with mental toughness, power and skills too.. Bivol if he uses the jab like he did against Canelo while circling around Beterbiev to maintain him off balance has a chance but only if he commits 100% to the gameplan..

  • When will you people realize Smith and Kambososa are nothing but club fighters closer to Tomato cans than contenders.

  • Smith is in shape and has heart but was a champ on the same level as Trevor Bryan. Never thought Smith was this crude. Betterbiev is usually patient but Smith tried to bum rush a dominant champion and got smoked. Yarde will be competitive early but has a limited gas tank so another KO coming for the Chechen warrior.

    Betterbiev is better then prime Kovalev and prime Stevenson. Only challenge left is unification with Bivol

    • I don’t think Yarde would be competitive at any pointof the fight against Beterbiev. I think Joe Smith would beat Anthony Yarde. I thought it was kinda funny-Beterbiev once again proved he is on an entirely different level then the rest of the 175lb field, then they scan out into the crowd and show his next possible opponent (victim) Anthony Yarde! I don’t think Yarde started boxing until the age of 21 and looked awesome crushing the sacrifical Euro fodder. He has the look, he has the physique, he has the KO resume’, but he does not have the skill or experience to share the same ring as Beterbiev. I would like to see the fight for the same reason I’ll look at the aftermath of a brutal accident on the highway.

  • Beterbiev is a throwback to the old-time fighters. Good work ethic combined with black trunks, black shoes, black socks & no tattoos. Tattoos have become so mainstream, that a boxer like Beterbiev not covered in ink is like a modern day rebel!

  • no rematch beterbiev is a throwback fighter old schooljust too tough for the light heavys

  • Smith looked amateurish at times. No adjustments. His trainer needs to call in an assistant. He looks like he did five years ago. Beterbiev’s first hard right appeared to stun Smith. Smith thought he could out macho him. I imagine Alvarez is glad he didn’t pick Beterbiev. After Golovkin who knows.

  • I wish Beterbiev would get the same publicity Andy Ruiz got after stopping Anthony Joshua. It seemed like Ruiz was on every talk show & partying at the time. Beterbiev is champion but continues to hone his craft in the gym. Ruiz, on the other hand, spends his time a tattoo parlor getting a huge back piece!

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