Former unified champion Andy Ruiz returns to the heavyweight fray against Mexican-American rival Chris Arreola at the Dignity Health Sports Park in California this Saturday, eager to show his improvement under new coach Eddy Reynoso. Former two-weight champion turned analyst Timothy Bradley feels fireworks are all but guaranteed though believes the new, improved Ruiz will eventually prevail after a barnburner.
Ruiz has trimmed down and refocused since losing his WBA Super, WBO and IBF crowns in a rematch to Anthony Joshua in December 2019, and is ready to make another run at the heavyweight summit.
In Reynoso, Ruiz has the trainer of the moment in his corner and, having shared a camp with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, is ready to show his championship credentials. Three-time world title challenger Arreola will have other ideas and Bradley believes he’ll bring the best out of Ruiz.
“I think this fight’s going to be epic,” Bradley told Espn.com. “It’s going to have some ebbs and flows. Arreola has the combination of mental toughness, durability and a strong chin. He’s motivated right now and he wants to derail the Andy Ruiz hype train. He has good punching power. He has a lot of volume.
“Arreola is going to come forward. He’s going to try to outwork Ruiz and he’s going to try to hurt him with a big shot. I believe Ruiz’s defence is going to be a lot better. His offence and his creativity will be a lot better. Ruiz’s punches will be a lot more effective, powerful and even explosive at times. But Arreola’s got durability and a really good chin. Arreola is strong, he’s mentally tough, he’s going to challenge Ruiz and he’s going to force him to make some really quick decisions inside the ring.
“I think late in the fight, Ruiz is going to break Arreola down, little by little, and then he’s going to catch him in a few spots. I believe it’s going to be a war. At the very least, there are going to be moments in the fight where they trade punches and go back and forth.
“They’re going to test one another, but I think Ruiz, the quicker-handed, more explosive fighter who can do a little more than Arreola is going to come out on top. I believe Ruiz is going to catch Arreola late, and I see the fight ending in a stoppage. I think Ruiz is going to get the knockout in round eight or round nine.”