Andy Ruiz returns to the win column with unanimous decision over Chris Arreola
Heavyweight Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz (34-2, 22 KO’s) has successfully gotten his career back on the right track with a solid win. After two years of inactivity, and coming in off a loss to unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, Ruiz was stretched to the distance by the long in the tooth Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-7-1, 33 KO’s). Not only was he taken the distance, Ruiz had to survive some early-fight adversity to do so.
Ahead of their showdown, both men oozed respect for one another, but all that good will instantly dissolved once in the ring with one another. Following another typically high-volume performance, Destroyer outworked Arreola en route to an unanimous decision.
In all honesty, the main event was little more than a showcase to display where Ruiz was physically and mentally. After his disappointing rematch loss to Joshua, Destroyer underwent a grand transformation that saw him melt off a great deal of body fat. He also revamped his camp by dropping long-time trainer Manny Robles and aligning himself with Eddy Reynoso, the famed trainer of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. While it was good to see that Ruiz was in better shape, the reason this event was pay-per-view remains a mystery. Neither man had fought in two years, both were coming off losses, and Arreola has long since stopped being regarded as a top tier heavyweight.
The fight began in more or less relaxed fashion which saw Ruiz pressing the action behind an occasional jab. Along with the jab, Destroyer shot a consistent straight right to the belly. Arreola did little more than slide along the ropes. By the end of the round, Ruiz was showing flashes of his hand speed yet, not much of significance landed.
The second round began where the first left off and appeared it would continue down that path. This was not to be the case! As Ruiz continued to walk Arreola down, The Nightmare measured him with a jab then blasted him with an overhand right to the side of the head. Ruiz found his feet and did not appear overly hurt but got rocked again in the closing seconds. Within the first minute of the third, Destroyer was rocked and buzzed yet again by a left hook. This time, he never came off his feet.
Showing a good amount of grit, Ruiz never retreated and even managed to buzz Arreola in the final thirty seconds of the round. Now that both men had felt the power of the other, the action slowed a bit in the fourth. Ruiz was once again stalking Arreola yet he clearly was dedicating more of his attention to the body. Destroyer was in firm control during the sixth period. Here, his hand speed took front stage once again. Even though he was not able seriously hurt Arreola, he successfully landed multiple 3-punch combinations throughout the round.
STEADY WINS THE RACE
This overall template maintained for the next several rounds. Andy Ruiz continued to be the busier fighter without doing any significant damage. Outside of walking forward behind a fairly lackluster jab, there was not much offense coming out of Chris Arreola worth mentioning. At different points, The Nightmare was showing visible frustration with Destroyer’s hand speed. In an odd moment during the eighth, while throwing a jab, Ruiz hammered Arreola with a right hook in the side. The blow caused Arreola to grimace and immediately drop his left arm. Yet, for the remainder of the round he performed normally.
About a minute into the eleventh round, Destroyer landed a crisp left, right, left hook three-piece combination that negatively affected Arreola. The big man did not act as if he was overly buzzed but he did visibly grimace again and shake his left arm out. Ruiz continued to be the overall ring general for the remainder of the round, minus anymore hair-raising highlights. The twelfth and final round did not greatly deviate from the pattern of those that preceded it. When the cards were read, Ruiz walked away with an extremely wide unanimous decision win .While Arreola did not dispute losing the bout, he loudly, and vulgarly, raged against how few rounds he was given credit for.
Both men expressed interest in a rematch, so we will just have to wait and see what they do in their next outing.
By: Bakari Simpson