In a WBC heavyweight title eliminator, former champ Andy Ruiz Jr. earned a unanimous decision win over Luis Ortiz at Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles in the Fox Sports Premier Boxing Champions PPV on Sunday night.
Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) who previously held the unified heavyweight championship in 2019, before losing it back to Anthony Joshua in a rematch, got the fireworks started early with a knockdown of Ortiz (33-3, 28 KOs) with a right hand in the second round.
Ortiz shook it off but found himself down for a second time in the same round, although the final moments of the round saw him close it strong with a series of left hands.
Over the next few rounds, Ortiz managed to get himself back in the fight, outboxing Ruiz and using his jab and combinations to keep Ruiz at bay.
In the seventh round, however, Ruiz landed two hard rights that sent Ortiz down for the third time in the fight.
Ortiz again, found his footing and boxed well in the final stretch but the three knockdowns were just enough for Ruiz to earn the nod. Final scores were 114-111 twice, and 113-112.
“Everyone was doubting me, but I worked so hard for this fight,” said Ruiz afterward. “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.”
“It was a difficult fight,” said Ruiz. “I was waiting for him to load up and countering him when he did. It was a blessing we were able to be successful.”
Ruiz also called out former WBC champ Deontay Wilder who was at ringside for the fight to a fall showdown.
“If Deontay Wins in October, me and him are with the same management and we can make this fight happen,” said Ruiz Jr. “Let’s do it. Let’s get it on. I’m hungry and I want to be champion again and bring that belt back to Mexico.”