LOS ANGELES – It’ll be a classic heavyweight tilt between two uncrowned top-ten contenders when Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz Jr. meet in a FOX Sports pay-per-view main event on Sept. 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
The 43-year-old southpaw Ortiz will have to overcome a nearly 10 ½-year age disadvantage when he takes on the former unified heavyweight champion of the world.
“Cuba versus Mexico — two great countries. We’re both warriors. Not one single Mexican is a p-ssy. They are all tough, rough, rugged fighters who’ve earned respect. Cubans are the same way. He’s a little throwback of a Mexican fighter,” Ortiz told a group of reporters, including BoxingScene.com, through a translator.
Ortiz had a rough go at it during his last fight on New Year’s Day against Charles Martin, overcoming a sloppy start that featured knockdowns in the first and fourth rounds before dropping Martin twice as well en route to a sixth-round stoppage.
Ruiz, of course, is famous for one of the most notorious firefights in recent years, recovering from a knockdown against Anthony Joshua to score four of his own to shock the Brit in 2019.
Ruiz returned out of shape for the sequel six months later and relinquished the titles. He’s fought just once since Dec. 2019, scoring a unanimous decision against Chris Areola in a fight he was dropped in.
Although a bit chinny in recent fights, Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs), definitely has one of the fastest hands of any heavyweight. Therefore, he’s still deemed as a threat by Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs), whose only two career losses have come to the hands of Deontay Wilder via knockout.
“Andy is very dangerous. There is no doubt about that. He’s proved it many times over. There isn’t a heavyweight who is willing to get in the ring and is not a dangerous fighter. I am very cautious of that every time I get into the ring,” said Ortiz.
“My hands are going to do the talking in the ring. I don’t move in slow motion or reverse. My hands are just as fast.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.