By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
In a WBA heavyweight title eliminator, former unified heavyweight champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) scored a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision over Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-7-1, 33 KOs) on Saturday night in front of 3,940 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California in the first boxing event since the shutdown and first-ever Mexican heavyweight showdown on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View.
Wasting no time, Ruiz and Arreola began throwing at from the opening bell with Ruiz connecting solidly and going to the body. During an exchange in round two, Arreola connected with a short right on top of Ruiz head scoring a knockdown as everyone was on their feet. Ruiz was up fighting but Arreola once again connected with a right hand. Arreola continued where he left off as he staggered Ruiz to the ropes but the former champ continued to fight and hang on.
In the fifth, Ruiz got his composure as Arreola slowed his pace. The former world champion appeared to have adapted and neutralize Arreola, Ruiz boxed and used combinations to score, Arreola didn’t appear to be phased. In the seventh, Ruiz worked the jab and mixed in combinations. The eighth-round saw, Ruiz connect with a solid right, moments later Arreola appeared to be bothered by pain on his arm.
Late in the fight in the ninth, Ruiz let his hands go but Arreola was still on the hunt. Ruiz outworked Arreola in the tenth round, jabbing away and mixing in combinations as Arreola was limited and appeared to be hurt from his arm. Coming out strong for the eleventh, Ruiz attacked despite have blood trickling down his nose as Arreola continued to stand his ground making it thus far. The final round was all pressure for Ruiz as Arreola held his own in giving a valiant effort and making it entertaining.
In going the distance, the judges scored the bout 118-109, 118-109, and 117-110 as Ruiz wins a unanimous decision.
“He got me with a good clean right hand in the second round,” said Ruiz. “I was too overconfident and dropped my hand a bit. Hats off to him. We just kept pushing and pushing. I switched up and started focusing on counterpunching and working the body.”
“I felt a little rust and I know other fighters can relate to that. If he wants to run it back, we’ll run it back with him.”
Arreola stated, “I respect the judges, but I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. He might have won, but don’t tell me I only won two or three rounds. I got hit in the shoulder and it kind of threw it off. It wasn’t a big deal though. It’s a part of boxing. I didn’t take too much punishment. I’m ready to run it back with Andy.”