Ruiz survives a scare to have all judges rule in his favor over a game Arreola on Saturday night.
Andy Ruiz Jr. got back into the win column, but it was a lot more difficult than he might have expected.
The former unified world heavyweight champion survived a second-round knockdown and followed trainer Eddy Reynoso's gameplan to punch a unanimous decision victory over a very game Chris Arreola at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., and live on pay-per-view Saturday night. Judges had it 117-110, 118-109, and 118-109, all in favor of Ruiz.
"We did what we had to do to get the victory," Ruiz said.
After Ruiz looked razor-sharp with his jab in the first round, Arreola caught him with a punishing right to the temple for a knockdown in the second. In the third, Arreola badly hurt Ruiz with a left hook, which nearly delivered another knockdown.
But during the fourth and fifth rounds, Ruiz began inviting Arreola to move forward as the aggressor. He then began finding a comfort zone as a counterpuncher. That would pave the way for Ruiz to sit back and carve out enough space between him and Arreola to land his jab at will — whether to the body or upstairs — while also opening up his offense to connect on lightning-quick combinations.
The eighth round had Ruiz finding a rhythm with his jab and ring generalship, even stunning Arreola in the shoulder with a flush shot. Arreola grimaced and shook out his shoulder in an attempt to get some feeling back in it. He'd have to do the same in the 11th round as well.
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) May 2, 2021
Despite some desperation attempts by Arreola in the 12th, Ruiz was the sharper fighter, having recovered from that second-round knockdown to assert the jab and box his way to banking a majority of rounds thereafter.
Arreola felt the scores should have been much closer, but there was no doubt that Ruiz had successfully weathered the early storm and made the adjustments necessary to win comfortably.
Here's how the entire event went.
Ruiz vs. Arreola main card
Andy Ruiz Jr. def. Chris Arreola by unanimous decision (117-110, 118-109, 118-109); Heavyweight
Abel Ramos def. Omar Figueroa Jr. via sixth-round TKO; Welterweight
Sebastian Fundora def. Jorge Cota by fourth-round TKO; Junior Middleweight
Jesus Ramos def. Javier Molina via unanimous decision (99-90, 99-90, 97-92); Welterweight
Arreola's corner is imploring him to be "smart, but aggressive" this final round. Ruiz comes out firing, catching Arreola with a right hook. Three-punch combination from Ruiz stings Arreola. A right jab splits Arreola's guard, and Ruiz follows that with a left hook to the head. A straight right to the head from Ruiz as well. One minute left. Uppercuts inside connect for Arreola. Left hook from Ruiz connects. They clinch. Final 10 seconds. Ruiz with a quick combo. They embrace and head to their corners. (10-9 Ruiz, 116-110 Ruiz)
Sharp right hook lands for Ruiz. Left uppercut now from Ruiz, too. Ruiz catches Arreola with a lightning-quick combo, which makes Arreola shake out his shoulder. His shoulder is bothering him. Right-left hook combo lands for Ruiz. Exchange to end the round. (10-9 Ruiz,106-101 Ruiz)
Ruiz has outlanded Arreola 111-73 punches through nine rounds. Ruiz is upping the volume now, whether a right hook or that jab, which has been excellent. Ruiz goes to the body with a jab, then heads upstairs with a jab to the face. Ruiz catches Arreola coming in and connects with a right. Arreola tries to come over the top with a right and misses. Left hook grazes Ruiz and another. Once Ruiz let Arreola come to him, he created the distance necessary for his jab to thrive. (10-9 Ruiz, 96-92 Ruiz)
Ruiz catches Arreola with a right-left hook combo. Another combo follows. Arreola was stung in the shoulder due to a Ruiz punch there last round. Can't help but wonder how much that shot is bothering the 40-year-old Arreola at the moment? Left hook from Ruiz lands. Left hook brushes Arreola back. (10-9 Ruiz, 86-83 Ruiz)
Eddy Reynoso tells Ruiz what he's doing now is "perfect," encouraging him to box how they practiced during training camp. Hook lands for Arreola. Moments later, Arreola goes over the top and lands a right flush. Arreola seemingly adjusts his shoulder. Ruiz is moving forward and jabbing. Both catch each other with straight hands. Ruiz is doing a great job managing the distance and getting that jab off at will. (10-9 Ruiz, 76-74 Ruiz)
Ruiz is finding comfort and rhythm in his jab, moving forward skillfully with it now. He has outlanded Arreola 68-51 punches through the sixth. Three-punch combination from Ruiz, who's boxing well. Ruiz goes back to the body with that jab. Arreola moves forward and gets caught with grazing shots. (10-9 Ruiz, 66-65 Ruiz)
A lightning-quick combo pops the head back of Arreola. Sharp stuff from Ruiz, whose hand speed for a heavyweight is special. Arreola with a right hook. Now, a right-left hook from Ruiz, who's in a better rhythm. Left hook by Ruiz connects. Blood on Arreola's nose. (10-9 Ruiz, 56-56)
Ruiz is pumping the jab — both to the body and face of Arreola. Right hook from Arreola bangs on Ruiz' temple. Ruiz rips a vicious left hook. Overhand left follows—another jab to the body from Ruiz. A three-punch combo from Ruiz connects before the bell tolls. (10-9 Ruiz, 47-46 Arreola)
The knockdown came on a hard right hand to the head in that second round. Arreola with a counter left hook that drives Ruiz back. Ruiz is hurt. They're exchanging fire toe-to-toe! Ruiz clinches. Ruiz digs a right hook to Arreola's body. Sharp hook from Ruiz lands. Now, Ruiz drives Arreola back with a right hook. Uppercut stumbles Arreola for a second during the waning seconds, though he nods it off as if it didn't faze him. (10-9 Arreola, 29-26 Arreola)
Ruiz digs a jab into Arreola's body to start. Moments later, a right jab to the body from Ruiz. Arreola misses but lands to the body seconds later. Ruiz is moving forward with his jab. He misses on the right and left hook but digs back into the body, trying to soften up Arreola's core. Hard, quick right-hand lands for Ruiz. Another jab to the body from Ruiz, who keeps showing his fast hands. (10-9 Ruiz)
We'll see what a difference Andy Ruiz Jr. linking up with trainer Eddy Reynoso makes. Already, Ruiz is about 50 pounds lighter. He looks and feels like a new man. Let's see what he shows us against a battle-tested Chris Arreola up next.
It took Ramos a couple of rounds to figure out Omar Figueroa Jr.'s awkward movement and style. But when he did in that third round, Ramos started timing his shots and landing right hands at will. While right hands across the jaw and head-popping uppercuts were connecting over the subsequent rounds, a steady body attack crumpled Figueroa at the end. A well-earned WBA welterweight world title eliminator win for Ramos.
Figueroa lands a whipping left hook, which catches Ramos' attention. Ramos with a solid body shot. He ducks under a hook and lands a right. Hard right hand, followed by an uppercut from Ramos now. Another uppercut. He's breaking down Figueroa surgically.
Ramos with three crunching body shots, which all make Figueroa grimace in pain as the round ends. Figueroa is spitting up blood in his corner, and that's it. His corner calls it off. Vicious, piercing body shots that punctuate the big victory for Ramos.
Body shot! Body shot! Body shot! 🥊
Abel Ramos continues attack hurt Omar Figueroa Jr at the end of RD6
Ramos' power showing up big time with a mark under Figueroa's left eye. Figueroa eats a right across the jaw now. Ramos is seemingly landing his right hand at will now. Figueroa isn't moving forward as recklessly now. (10-9 Ramos, 48-47 Ramos)
The IBF super middleweight champion says he hopes to fight the winner of the May 8 fight between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders this fall, vowing that he'll become the first undisputed 168-pound fighter in boxing history.
Figueroa seems to react to a piercing body shot from Ramos, who is upping his volume. Ramos with a right. Ramos is timing Figueroa's awkward rhythm well and is making him pay now. Hard right hand from Ramos and Figueroa certainly feels the power behind it. Now, an uppercut from Ramos finds its mark. A five-punch combo that Ramos puts together. They trade to end the round, but Ramos takes another frame. (10-9 Ramos, 38-38)
Ramos is picking his punches against Figueroa, who remains a moving target, and lands. If Ramos can land a power shot, count on Figueroa's movement to slow down a bit. Ramos is digging into the body and adding shots upstairs as well. Ramos smiles at Figueroa's movement before popping him with a straight right hand. Ramos lands a hard right hand. Figueroa keeps lunging forward but isn't coming up with much offensive output. Another right hand connects for Ramos just before the bell. (10-9 Ramos, 29-28 Figueroa)