Sunday’s heavyweight matchup between Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz is, in all likelihood, the last chance for either man to battle their way back into contention for a world title. It is that reality that adds more weight to a showdown between men most known for their roles as the B-side in fights with some of the best heavyweights of their era.
Ruiz (34-2, 22 KO) shocked the world in December 2019, knocking out Anthony Joshua to capture the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles. It was a perfect example of what Ruiz is capable of: speed, strength and combination punching that goes against what a casual observer would expect given his body type.
Having learned from those experiences, Ruiz, the former unified world heavyweight champion, takes on top contender Ortiz at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, and live on pay-per-view, Sunday night. With this being a WBC title eliminator, the winner of this clash will put himself in position for a shot to become champion.
The rematch with Joshua the following December was the opposite, with Ruiz’s worst traits on display. Ruiz entered the fight at 283 pounds, up from 268 in the first fight. Ruiz seemed disinterested in putting in the hard work required to be the best in the world and it resulted in a poor showing as Joshua ran circles around him.
Ruiz has only fought once since losing his three world titles, a somewhat underwhelming showing against Chris Arreola in May 2021. Ruiz was dropped in the second round of that fight but did take a unanimous decision on fairly wide scorecards.
Ruiz vs. Ortiz card, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
One way to hinder Ruiz’s vaunted quick hands is to tie him up in the clinch. There, Ortiz could opt to lean on Ruiz in attempt to sap his energy. But he’s got to unleash compact, yet thudding blows while in the clinch, too. Short shots to the head and body in the clinch could go long ways to slow Ruiz down a bit and possibly even make him drop his hands slightly enough for “King Kong” to land the thumping blow that drops the “Destroyer.”
FAVORITE UNDERDOG WEIGHT CLASS
Andy Ruiz -400 Luis Ortiz +320 Heavyweight
Isaac Cruz -800 Eduardo Ramirez +550 Lightweight
Abner Mares -230 Miguel Flores +190 Lightweight
Jose Valenzuela Edwin de los Santos Lightweight
Date: Sept. 4 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Crypto.com Arena — Los Angeles
TV channel/PPV: Fox PPV | Price: $74.99