Former unified heavyweight world titleholder Andy Ruiz Jr. returns to the ring for the first time since losing his three belts back to Anthony Joshua in their rematch in December 2019, as he faces former title challenger Chris Arreola in the main event of Saturday’s PPV card at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs), 31, of Imperial, California, who was 283½ pounds for that Joshua rematch, was in much better shape on Friday’s weigh in, weighing 256 pounds.
“I was at 310 pounds when I started this camp,” Ruiz said during Wednesday’s press conference. “We started losing weight slowly but surely. People are wondering if I’m still going to have the same power after losing weight, but I’ve been working hard for this moment and the power is definitely staying with me.
“I believe I have the fastest hands at heavyweight. I’m not where I want to be at right now, but I’m a lot better than where I was.
Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs), 40, of Los Angeles, hasn’t fought since a decision loss to Adam Kownacki in August 2019. He has fought three times for the WBC world title, coming short on all three attempts — against Vitali Klitschko, Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder.
“Ruiz and Adam Kownacki are very different fighters,” said Arreola. “With Adam, we just slugged it out. With Andy, I have to be aware at all times. He has some of the fastest hands in the division. I have to make sure I move my head, because this is going to be a great fight.
In the co-main event, Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-1-1, 19 KOs), 31, of Weslaco, Texas, faces Abel Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KOs), 29, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in a 12-round WBA welterweight title eliminator.
Stay here for live undercard results and analysis.
Fight in progress: Eduardo Ramirez vs. Isaac Avelar, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBA interim featherweight title
Still to come:
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola, 12 rounds, heavyweights
Sebastian Fundora vs. Jorge Cota, 12 rounds, junior middleweights
Title fight: Erislandy Lara vs. Thomas Lamanna, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBA “regular” middleweight title
Omar Figueroa Jr. vs. Abel Ramos, 12 rounds, welterweights
Jesus Alejandro Ramos vs. Javier Molina, 10 rounds, welterweights
Adrian Granados vs. Jose Luis Sanchez, 8 rounds, welterweights
Carlos Negron vs. Scott Alexander, 8 rounds, heavyweights
Fernando Angel Molina vs. Prisco Marquez, 6 rounds, lightweights