Andy Ruiz Jr never managed to totally overwhelm Chris Arreola, and he even got dropped by the veteran in the second round, but Ruiz returned after a year-and-a-half layoff to win a solid decision tonight on FOX PPV.
Ruiz (34-2, 22 KO) got the win on scores of 117-110, 118-109, and 118-109. Bad Left Hook had it 116-111 and 117-110 on two separate score cards, both for Ruiz.
Ruiz was dropped in the second, as mentioned, and he did get buzzed a couple more times in those first three rounds. But from there, he kind of took over the fight, consistently out-landing Arreola (38-7-1, 33 KO), who fought with a very different style than what we’re used to seeing. Gone was the guy who threw over 1,100 punches in a 12-round loss to Adam Kownacki, replaced by a more patient fighter who rarely led the action, throwing 521 punches over 12 this time around.
It worked early, as he waited for Ruiz to try and get going, then was able to time him with some good shots. But Ruiz made the adjustments, while Arreola sort of stayed at the same tempo with the same idea throughout. He also was bothered repeatedly by at least a minor left shoulder injury, starting with Ruiz hit him with a shot on the shoulder muscle while he was turning at one point.
The 31-year-old Ruiz gave Arreola his credit for the fight, which was probably a lot different than he or most anyone expected.
“He’s a veteran, he’s a hard puncher, and we did what we had to do. We got to the victory. I was low to the lowest, and I had to come back,” Ruiz said. “We got this victory, and now to the next.”
“He caught me with a good, clean right hand,” he admitted. “I dropped my hand a little bit. I was too over-confident, but hats off to Chris Arreola, he got me with a good one. But I kept going and going.”
“If the promoter wants it and the fans want that, we can run it again,” Ruiz said to very little reaction.
Arreola, 40, was much more animated about wanting a rematch, feeling the judges didn’t give him enough credit.
“Did he win? Fine. But don’t tell me you’re only going to give me two or three rounds,” he said. “Fuck that! I’m gonna be like Dr. Dre, all y’all can suck my motherfuckin’ dick!”
Big punches and lots of heart. This fight is everything we knew it would be. #RuizArreola
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) May 2, 2021