Tag Archives: andy ruiz jr

Anthony Joshua Rematches His Andy Ruiz Disaster

Anthony Joshua will confront his nightmare of Andy Ruiz Jr this Saturday, December 7th, only this time the venue is the wildcard of Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia for the first ever heavyweight title bout in Saudi history, and what a doozy it is with four titles on the line, WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO.

The future Roman Emperor then military ingenue, Julius Caesar, famously sent word to his then superiors the results of his military campaign with these abruptly succinct words, “Veni, vidi, vici, ie I came, I saw, I conquered,” seemingly words crafted by that Roman Colossus for the boxing world’s American debut of Joshua after knocking over every fighter he faced, emptying the heavyweight stable of Al Haymon, and consolidating the scattered belts. Alas, modern day monkey wrenches were tossed into his sculptured works by the rolypoly rotundeth boy, Andy Ruiz, a favorite son of taco and hotdog venders everywhere, who vanquished our statuesque Caesar to make off with his spoils of war,  a sumptuous banquet of Joshua’s hard earned belts.

So, our boxing Caesar, having been stung badly by his upset as the previous accolades flowing his way have been replaced by howls of derision by the lowbrows who have always existed in any society, why he has been training in hard diligence to right the wrong promulgated against him by his cheeky upstart. Fat Andy for his part has seems to have been training harder than at any point in his career, “possibly” scaling below 250lbs for the rematch. In short, the human interest dynamics and prime boxing motivation dynamics of the fighters are all lining up on the celestial charts in the ink black skies of Saudi Arabia for a potential all time great rematch and, fingers crossed, perhaps an all time great trilogy.

The importance of this seminal fight has not been lost by the boxing world either. Though perhaps being seen something of a schoolboy cornball attempt, The Ring recreated a 45 year old facsimile cover honoring our present day combatants by way of Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman from 45 years ago. While Andy appears in his approximate size dimensions, the half foot taller Joshua has been shrink wrapped to fit in the frame.  Also this fight is a much needed rematch whereas Ali skipped out of the lucrative rematch with Big George, so really, other than both fights were huge upsets fought in foreign lands, there are otherwise no parallels between them.

Africa is replaced by the adjoining Saudi Arabia, and the Don King inspired theme, “The Rumble In The Jungle” is not mentioned in the Foreman vs Ali edition, yet Ring has seen fit to add the rather vanilla “Clash on the Dunes” for Ruiz/Joshua II. I’d have chosen “Duke’m Out In The Desert,” but then I don’t get paid to make critical, hit or miss boxing marketing decisions.

In the first fight, Joshua was easily leading the cards in a rather tepid start by both fighters. Joshua was seemingly puzzled by the one off physical dimensions of Ruiz who sports a massive skull set and upper body hidden under all that lard with a cartoonish pant inseam equivalent to a 5-5 featherweight. Mighty Joe Parker also struggled against the Fat Andy dynamics of constant pressuring punctuated by fast handed combinations. Joshua smartly started slow so as to adjust to this never before seen mix of natural talent and physical attributes in a heavyweight title fight before the frenzy of 5 knockdowns exploded that started with Joshua’s knockdown of Andy who had never tasted the canvas before.

When the smoke finally cleared, Joshua was left staring vacantly into his fuzzy new universe, propped against his own corner after his 4th knockdown as the ref righteously waved off the fight. The blubber of Andy slam dunked skyward in the sheer jubilation of suddenly seizing the biggest prize in all of boxing, the unified heavyweight title from the great champion as one of the biggest upsets in history.

No Way Jose had just come true!

The reactions of the boxing community over the “morbidly obese” first ever Mexican boxing champion(born and lives in the US side of the Mexican border with Mexican being his self identified Demographic) reminds me a bit of another boxing outsider, that of the clowning first “Jewish” heavyweight champion, Max Baer, who sent chills through the morally upright pillars of America in the 1930s when he won the heavyweight title. One stalwart member of the pulpit and the physical culture of the time opined(paraphrased,) “Here we have the disgrace of the new heavyweight champion of the world, and he trains on beer!”

Snickers Galore!

The unexpected manner in which the Colossus of Joshua suddenly imploded after putting Ruiz on the brink of knockout has generated all manner of hysteric theories as befits this vacuous twitter/facebook generation. My own initial take was first the contrast of fighter focus entering the ring. Ruiz made the gauntlet ring walk first through the eerily silent populace of security and fans with a terse, no nonsense stare to the ring of his destination. A roar greeted Joshua as security and fans engaged in hand and back slaps naturally wanting to be a piece of this Colossus history in the making as Joshua willingly engaged them in his natural “nice guy” demeanor for his American debut. He had everything other than this fight in his focus, and folks, no matter the training, a fighter without focus entering the ring, well, it’s gonna be a long painful night as it turned out to be. Has any King of England ever traveled with such a platoonish largess of adoring servants?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8CSvMIWwAAqw4_.jpg:large

Then another controversy of sorts as Andy’s sudden defection was revealed not by press release, but rather by the abrupt presence of Al Haymon’s main man, Sam Watson, in the ring with Andy’s team. From my perspective, that revelation put me on RED ALERT for monkey business since Andy had been promoted by Bob Arum from his pro inception. This boxing stealth move equivalent would be a national act of treason.

I’m not saying that any monkey business actually occurred in the ring, but Joshua seemed to be fighting underwater in slo-mo like in a dream. Not being his physician or trainer, I don’t know the exact physical and mental reasons for that, but reliable sources before and after the fight maintain he’d been knocked out in sparring a couple of weeks before. Post fight Josh’s father attacked his promoter Eddie Hearn in the dressing room furious that he had allowed this fight to happen after a grueling prefight scramble of fighters failing drug tests and refusing to fight for the $5 million short notice offer until Andy stepped in. In short, there was too much $$$ already on the line not to mention the prestige of Eddie and Joshua.

Ruiz for his part that night showed patience in carefully adjusting to this new Colossus armed with an Olympic Gold medal after just 2 yrs of Amateur boxing and the best professional knockout record in modern heavyweight title history after his 18 fights. That Andy managed to do so without significant change in his style to ring up boxing’s greatest jackpot points to his previously ignored overall excellence as a fighter buried under vicious howls of derision that night by besotted Brits. Natch, he promptly went on a sorta celebrity tour of Mexico to be properly feted by la gente y politicos who unexpectedly found themselves with a new hero. I’m sure he returned from his impromptu tour well over 300 lbs and fully satiated with his accomplishments, after all, he made his pro debut only a Big Mac Meal Deal short of 300 lbs

Yet still the fallen former hero of the British people still lays in wait to glove it up again. The list of fallen heavyweight champions regaining the unified title in the immediate rematch is a short one. Floyd Patterson became the first vs Ingemar Johansson, and then Lennox Lewis vs Hasim Rahman stands out, but perhaps not even that one given Lewis had already sold his WBA belt to Don King. The racketeering ignominy of that move and later selling his IBF to King can never be forgiven. Lewis finally had to retire days before the WBC was due to strip him of his last belt, a sad end indeed.

As mentioned previously, the mental state of a fighter is perhaps the most important part of any fight, and Josh it appears had a ton of distractions, not the least was his opponent falling out with no replacements to be found until Andy finally stepped up to the scratch line to save the fight and his touted American debut. Now, perhaps disturbingly due the massive fallout over his loss, Josh has been genuflecting in the shadow of his former greatness with some very strange comments. While his focus and determination must be there since he immediately tapped his rematch clause, it’s natural to think his confidence has been cracked with such bizarre talk.

The Venue!

A 2 month blitzkrieg of a purpose built, 15,000 capacity stadium erected on the outskirts of town that will last for several years as a venue if Saudi based sporting events continue to grow. What is not mentioned in all this fight leadup is that months ago Iran knocked out half the Saudi oil production with some well placed missiles, an act of war for most countries save that the Iranian’s deny it. Nobody wants to stomach yet another war in the middle east when Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria are still smoldering in the ashes of their lost paradises, so what are the Iranians thinking about this splash heavyweight debut in the Saudi desert?

Would they?

I sure would be nervous and I expect both fighters and camps to be doubly nervous over this rematch given the HUGE STAKE$ for the fight. A loss by either knocks the loser out of tens of millions of future dollars, but if we the boxing community are lucky, we may well see an epic Valhalla quality trifecta in the future to date one of the all time great series in boxing history in our era.

If a man’s reach cannot extend beyond his grasp, then what’s a Valhalla for?

 

 

 

 Say Hello to Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz Rematch

The regrettable rematch of Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz will supposedly be occurring Saturday, November 23rd that could be seen as an extension of Halloween from a few weeks ago, but truth be told this becomes a sorta rubber match trifecta for the two after our dear Deyonce skipped out of the first scheduled fight. The dirty deed will occur @MGM Grande in Vegas for the WBC title..

I advisably said “supposedly” occurring because of Wilder’s propensity in skipping out in high profile fights with gobs of money involved over the bane of modern boxing, drug testing! In this fight, Ortiz has a VADA CBP ID #528949, and Wilder #468841. What that means in the dirty world of boxing hooking up with a BALCO Vic Conte designed VADA program is anybody’s guess.

When they actually did fight last time, in typical Wilder fashion, he was getting the seven bells of hell blasted out of him and needed a fortuitous time delay by the regrettable New York based referee, David Fields that allowed him extra recovery. Ol’ man Ortiz was spent in fatigue as he emptied of most his arsenal to put Deyonce on the brink of knockout only to have the bell save him. Ortiz didn’t have enough left to KO Wilder the next delayed round, and not long afterwards succumbed to KO, but praise the heavens above!

Perhaps redemption is at hand with the unexpected rematch, and word floated in the street by the media is the Cuban southpaw King Kong Ortiz has been having a most excellent camp whereas Wilder has been struggling. Could just be more media codswallop to sucker the unwashed rubes into their tyny bets on the underdog Ortiz, but no matter, both are fighting for a fraction of the viewing audience compared to the celebrity pro debuts of Logan Paul fighting Olajide William Olatunji in a 6 rounder a couple of weeks earlier this November.

The real $$$ and bragging rights in boxing will be in Saudi Arabia December 7th when Andy Ruiz Jr defends his hard earned unified titles against the former great champion, Anthony Joshua looking for his own redemption. More than titles will be on the line with the future of their legacies at stake. Is Fat Andy just a one hit wonder, or has The Fashion Model Joshua arrived past his sell date at the championship level?

In that 2 week interim, nothing wrong with the grade B talent willing to glove it up, and given the open stance, aggressive styles of both Wilder and Ortiz, they are not likely to disappoint those knockdown, drag out aficionados, so in that regard, this becomes parental guidance recommended for violence, a must see for adult boxing aficionados.

Big Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin on Mexican Independence Day

When Canelo was “forced” to vacate his slot in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day weekend, September 14th, for unknown reasons other than the problematic phenomena of becoming bigger than boxing, the Larger than Life Irish Traveler Tyson Fury, 28-0-1, 20 KO, vowed to take over the Mexican Holiday, and so here he be @MGM Grand, Vegas, going against the undefeated and untested Double Aught, Otto Wallin, 20-0, 13 KO, a Swede fighting out of Sweden…Viva Mexico!!!

Here’s Tyson with his new promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank.

It ain’t a stretch to say in Fury’s return as the so called “lineal heavyweight champion” to boxing after a 2 year absence has been mostly a charade, but it is also true he has looked weak as a new born kitty and needed to fight himself back into shape, so here he is against another undefeated lamb led to slaughter.

Insert a five foot diameter Mexican sombrero for his ring entrance, and we got a Mexicano fight stampeding in Furylandia as unruly Irish Travelers storm Mexican Independence Day.

To be fair to the promotions, there will be a ranked Mexican champ and contender on the undercard plus this lovely latina, Ms. Maricela Cornejo vying for a title:

No doubts about the Tyson Fury trademark. He will clown around while having fun as he slowly picks Otto apart to get in some much needed rounds for the Looming Giant Fight against Anthony Joshua, but only if Josh beats Andy Ruiz Jr their rematch this December.

 

Adam Kownacki vs Chris Arreola~The Loser’s Bracket?

Heavyweight title contender Adam Kownacki  goes looking for more experience against former contender Chris Arreola at Barclay’s in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, August 3rd.

This is the first of current “Loser’s Bracket” fight series even if Kownacki, 19-0, 15 KO, is undefeated. Poor Arreola, 33-5-1, 33 KO, has never in his career defeated a top 10 fighter, and at age 38 ain’t likely to start now, so now Kownacki’s judgement and willingness to fight the best has been called in for critical review after he turned down a life changing $5-6 Million to fight the undefeated British juggernaut and unified champ, Anthony Joshua. Kownacki has also never beat a top 10 contender, so his lack of confidence seems to be part of the spreading wildfire to ever more American based fighters also turning down Joshua life changing money such as the Cubano defector, Luis Ortiz, and Deontay TBA Wilder who may well qualify as the Biggest Idiot in America after turning down a stupendous $100 Million three fight deal offered by Eddie Hearn, more than 10X Deyonce’s career earnings. Brooklyn based Jarrell Big Baby Miller previously got the royal boot in his homecoming challenge against Joshua at Barclays when he stupidly got popped for multiple PEDs in advance of his title challenge.

Big British names Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte also turned down the Joshua title challenge, all of the above names angling to fight the more winnable WBC beltholder, Deyonce, in the future, the weakest link of the heavyweight titles. Folks, no need to lament the long gone glory of the American heavyweight era, it’s still there in film and print for those of us devoted to this once great division possessing scarcely a nanogram of public awareness in the American psyche in today’s modern construct. These current heavyweight scavengers are all circling their future roadkill emanating from the growing stink emanating from his WBC/TBA defenses.

Gonna be a whole lotta jigglin’ at Barclays when these two fatboys belly buck up to the scratch line. At least we still have Andy Ruiz Jr and Joshua soon hopefully hammering out a deal for the lucrative unified rematch between them. The first was a very underrated great fight, and the 2nd promises to be even better…In Boxing We Pray…

Ring Heavyweight Rankings vs Boxrec Heavyweight Rankings

With the shifting of the Earths Heavyweight Axis this last Saturday, the question of ratings were forced upon the now freshly concussed Ring staff in charge of ratings, ie: Dougie Fisher,  Anson Wainwright, Tom Gray, Brian Harty, Diego Morilla, Tris Dixon, Adam Abramowitz, Martin Mulcahey, Coyote Duran, Michael Montero. Boxrec had no such qualms since their ratings are based on an algorithm programmed into a computer that provides rating updates with every dispassionate bout results entered in the system.

Serendipity in play by having 10 panelists for 10 rankings, and so, you ask for the results por favor?

Ring Ratings:

#1

Tyson Fury

10

KUBRAT PULEV
COUNTRY: BULGARIA
27-1-0 (14 KOS)
WEEKS ON LIST: 32
The conversation of the Ring Rankings panel can be found here:

BoxRec Ratings:

1 ➡ Andy Ruiz Jr 752.8
29 33 1 0
orthodox Imperial, California, USA
2 ➡ Deontay Wilder 622.2
33 41 0 1
orthodox Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
3 ➡ Anthony Joshua 602.2
29 22 1 0
orthodox Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
4 ➡ Tyson Fury* 479.7
30 27 0 1
orthodox Wilmslow, Cheshire, United Kingdom
5 ➡ Alexander Povetkin 437.3
39 34 2 0
orthodox Chekhov, Russia
6 ➡ Dillian Whyte* 407.3
31 25 1 0
orthodox Brixton, London, United Kingdom
7 ➡ Jarrell Miller 367.3
30 23 0 1
orthodox Brooklyn, New York, USA
8 ➡ Luis Ortiz 363.8
40 31 1 0
southpaw Miami, Florida, USA
9 ➡ Kubrat Pulev 339.6
38 27 1 0
orthodox Sofia, Bulgaria
10 ➡ Joseph Parker 

***Boxrec rankings are only good for a moment in time. They could shift seconds after I publish this.

My take on modern ratings in context to the massive upset is as follows:

When Anthony Joshua KOed Wladimir Klitschko to unify the title for all 3 belts, the Bronze Deontay Wilder Bambi  was in the middle of a string of TBA short notice defenses that Floyd Mayweather Jr was infamous for in his latter years, apparently a part of the Haymon mantra now. Joshua became the Ring # 1

The next year he fought Ring #3 Joseph Parker that included a 4th belt, the IBO. At that time Bambi had already refused to fight Joshua, instead fighting Luis Ortiz whom he first ducked for having to take ol’man bloodpressure meds, now 40 years old who blasted him from pillar to post. The Bama Bambi needed the ref to buy Bambi extra time, at least 30 sec or more. Then Tyson Fury clowned the thug to a draw.

Ring’s own rules state that when #2 refuses to fight #1, then #3 shall suffice for the winner to take the Ring champion belt, so defacto not only was Josh the peoples’ champ, he was the Ring champion when he beat Parker by Ring’s own rules, his status when he fought Andy, but for whatever the reason, Ring refused to crown him.

Net result is Andy now has 4 belts, is the new people’s champ, and Ring’s own champion by their own rules save they ignored their rules, ignored being the root of their ignorance. Moreover not only was Wilder ducking Joshua by refusing a $100 million DAZN deal that included Joshua, but Fury ducking as well as Ortiz and Adam Kownacki were. Joshua already beat the rest of their list save Kubrat Pulev who probably turned him down and been circling the drain for some time now.

Andy the best thing that has happened to boxing since Joshua came along by exposing the sheer scale of idiocy of some of the top heavies and their promoters and media, and sadly the fans that drink this koolaide.

I’m fully locked and loaded for the Joshua and Ruiz rematch that cuts out them other fools for another year as they diddle each other over scraps, and super congrats Andy Ruiz. You stepped up as an emergency replacement when nobody else would.

The Modern Day Hercules, Anthony Joshua, Tumbled by Fatboy Andy Ruiz, The Postmortem

Anthony Joshua was The Colossus of the modern heavyweight division. Like Hercules when The Son of Zeus cleaned out the stables of King Augean and then killed him when he welched on their agreement, Joshua in this case cleaned out the nefarious Al Haymon stables of undefeated heavies, easily knocking them out of his unified title picture and otherwise exposing them badly, yet somehow, in some inexplicably perplexing way, he became terribly unraveled by Fatboy Andy Ruiz Jr this last Saturday in Joshua’s American Debut at Madison Square Garden. 

And it was more than just blunt force trauma as is typical in these situations although there was plenty of blunt force trauma on display between the combatants, the 3rd round being perhaps Ring Round of the Year.

After that third round in which Andy got dropped first followed by two knockdowns of Joshua, the stage was set in later rounds with perhaps this shot instructive as Joshua is awfully low like his legs can barely support him, and indeed it seemed like he never gained full use of his legs and was often left punching flat footed out of position where he had little leverage on his formidable power.

Anthony Joshua was 22-0, 21 KO  that included a unified title record of 7-0, 6 KO going into the Ruiz fight at age 29. Simply put, there is no heavyweight with a better record before winning the title since the turn of the 19th Century when in 1892 James J. Corbett with an 8-0-2 record knocked out John L. Sullivan. James J. Jeffries set the 20th Century record, 10-0-2, when he knocked out Bob Fitzsimmons in 1901. Corbett made 2 successful title defenses before succumbing to Fitz, and Jeffries made 6 defenses before retiring undefeated.

The modern day record Joshua holds: He has set the 21st Century heavyweight record, 15-0 when he won his title that he carefully unified along with 6 title defenses, so what could go so wrong for this modern day wunderkind seemingly sculpted out of bronze striding atop his Mount Olympus of solid gold?

Being naturally possessed of a predatory mind that fortunately I was able to get a handle on early in life thanks to my mom’s heroic efforts at civilizing me, I saw some alarming things in the lead up. The first being this amiable, happy go lucky lad has been making outsized riches and accolades beyond the pale of mortality as any proper Greek God might, so much so that his very creation was the impetus of the DAZN combine that put together the #1 subscription streaming boxing network in the world in short order.

Disclaimer: I subscribe to DAZN and have enjoyed it immensely and witnessed THE FIGHT.

Any investor(s) worth their salt want to maximize their investments with that being of going global by starting in America. They have completely wrecked the traditional broadcasting and PPV format by signing big stars like Canelo Alvarez for HUGE $$$. Thus they pushed for Joshua to make his American debut so they could further expand their foothold on the American market they started, Coming to America as it were

Now Joshua has probably cleared at least $100 Mil in his 22 fights previous and has set records by selling out Wembley Stadium with over 90,000 fans screaming like banshees at his every concussive blow. Only one fighter had ever gone the distance with him. Specifically, why make his US debut at Madison Square Garden, home of probably worst boxing commish in the US, that being New York? Most American champions stayed home within their own culture and made any foreign heavy contenders come to them.

Joshua is more than a record setting boxer, he’s a highly intelligent guy in love with boxing and it’s history, and at one time MSG was the place to go until Vegas cleaned their clock decades back. Joshua went to a lot of trouble to fly into the dangerous environs of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil just to support UK boxing during the 2016 Olympics. He supports all the local boxing programs and does his fair share of charity work that has made him into such a native boxing icon that has never been seen on British shores before.

Getting back to the fight, I felt something Rotten in Denmark during the opening two rounds as Josh looked puzzled at Ruiz slowly pressing him without throwing much. Just stick a jab with a lateral step and slowly work out your timing as you set up your traps, easy for Josh, but not on this Saturday. In his ring walk the golden boy was slapping all extended hands in a glow of accolades. Nobody extended hands or Ruiz to slap, so already Ruiz is majorly focused on that ring instead of lollygagging around. I also spotted Sam Watson, Haymon’s main man with Team Ruiz when Bob Arum has been his promoter, like forever. Now, that ain’t right!

Here he is in the prefight with the Ruiz team listening to the Mexican anthem with Sam:

This is just seconds after the fight was stopped. Ruiz team in the ring on top of him in celebration with Sam collaring the ref who hasn’t even had time to consult with officials yet, now that ain’t right!

Two officials have crawled through the ropes in Josh’s corner where he was stopped still in the same position. The officials haven’t even time to straighten up. Josh team outside the ropes, so what are they doing? Where’s his trainer, Robert McCracken. Had I a fighter I poured my blood and sweat into I’d be in the ring so fast someone might get knocked over if they were in the way.

In the post fight presser with Josh absent in the hospital for evaluation, Ruiz thanks his team and Al Haymon for this opportunity, so when did the changeover from Arum to Haymon happen and where was an announcement of a new contract? Was it buried in the media blitz? Three days after the fight, Boxrec updated their promoter/manager info showing Arum seemingly ending his contract with Ruiz in 2018 and Haymon his manager. McCracken absent at the presser and no mention of him. Was he at the hospital with Joshua? Will he even be with him for the rematch this November or December, probably at Wembley. Might be too late for a new trainer with the rematch coming in November, but like I say, the Josh was just off the whole night like he was fighting on Mike Tyson’s psych meds underwater. 

Both mentally and physically Josh finally looked dialed into his timing during that 3rd round when he caught Ruiz with that left hook that put him down for the first time in his career. Then upon a return to action he caught Ruiz with a full on flush straight right that would’ve finished any of Haymon’s heavies, save Ruiz. Normally Josh would return to careful boxing to look for the next big shot. He’s already near guaranteed a decision in a distance fight, but instead got greedy for a quick KO and got clocked and then clocked again. He sorta skeeters around for round 4 and 5 until the 6th starts as Ruiz is starting to bully him before the ill fated 7th.

In short, there is just too much monkey biz with this fight as I laid out. He has to take the loss and move on because these suits these days or a lot more clever than in the past.

Also hearing how Josh’s father had to be pulled off Fast Eddie in the dressing room after the fight and various rumors that Josh had been knocked out during a sparring session.

It wasn’t until many years later that all the monkeyshines surrounding that upset in Zaire by Muhammad Ali over George Foreman came out that cast a pall over that epic fight. Controversial calls are part and parcel of every sport, but no sport comes close to the weekly controversies and poor officiating than boxing. For now the fight is not controversial, but many if most felt from the first round something wasn’t quite right as the highly lucrative rematch looms. 

Anthony Joshua American Debut: Swaps Out Big Baby For Fatboy Andy Ruiz

Unified British heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua makes his American debut @Madison Square Garden in New York City against the emergency replacement for Jarrell Big Baby Miller, that new challenge being the long time contender Andy Ruiz Jr.

Questions, questions: Rankings, rankings, rankings, and who has their top 10 rankings one month out from this fight?

Answer: Just about any collection of Tom, Dick, Harry and Mary that may create a boxing website these days, but not Moi, though on occasion I may offer up my opinion. Mostly I rely on the two most easily verifiable systems, Boxrec and Ring that tend to have a lot of overlap in their rankings, thus their combination expanded with Boxrec’s complete rankings of the total thousands within each weight division makes for a more studied approach to fighter rankings and any evaluation of fantasy, but more importantly for evaluation of upcoming fights. Ring’s rankings are generated by a panel of, ahem, “boxing experts,” and Boxrec’s are generated by a dispassionate computer algorithm created by boxing enthusiasts with software expertise meant to “ape” what true experts might come up with.

Joshua is in a unique, legendary Wlad Klitschko position by those rankings in that by their “top 10” rankings at the May 1st announcement of Andy as a replacement, their top #2 and 3 collective of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have refused substantial offers, ie what used to be a King’s ransom to fight Joshua, and Joshua had already beaten the previous #3, Joseph Parker, that would normally get him awarded the Ring belt save for the too often confusion of dolts who run that ranking system. He’s already beat Alexander Povetkin who was the longtime #2, and Dillian Whyte who’s still highly ranked, and the #6 Big Baby was popped for drug cocktails to forfeit his Josha fight. Luis Ortiz, and Adam Kownacki have both refused to fight Joshua, gambling that Wilder would get through his last fight against Dominic Breazeale, but no matter who won, the WBC would be the easiest belt to win with them positioning themselves well in their in house WBC rankings. The only top contender left is Kubrat Pulev who has always marched to a different drummer, and their #10, Oscar Rivas, only been in their ratings 3 weeks.

What we can say is that Andy, 32-1, 21 KO is fighting the best fighter he has ever faced, Joshua, 22-0, 21 KO with both being at the peak of prime athletic years, ages 29 born within a month of each other. The 2nd best Andy faced was Joseph Parker whom he lost to in a close fight. Andy last fought April 20th and seems to have had an easy time in knocking out a former supersized 6-7 contender, Alexander Dimitrenko, within 5 rounds while sustaining no injuries, so after a week’s relaxation as the Big Baby Drug Cocktail Bombshell blew up,  Bob Arum, who promotes Andy entered into negotiations with Josh that were quickly signed, sealed, and delivered to the Public on May 1st. That leaves exactly 4 weeks of light sparring for technique and fight planning with no need to get in shape since Andy hadn’t had a chance yet to fall out of boxing shape.

Cue in all the fat boy jokes you want, this fatboy knows how to fight and stepped up when higher rated fighters were not game to. At the announcement of the fight, the always changing Boxrec rankings pegged Andy at 11th which is a fine rating no matter how anyone may dice it up. Andy fought for Mexico in the Olympics even though he was born in Imperial, California located approximately 40 miles north of the Mexican border and 70 or so miles east of San Diego, so I have to wonder if Saul Canelo Alvarez ever drove up in his new Lamborghini that he was recently clocked at 200 mph in France during The Run To Monaco to pay Andy a visit at his training camp for moral support?

This being such a sudden fight made out of the blue with such blatant contrasting physiques and records on display, Joshua sculpted out of bronze and Ruiz a completely different breed of cat, it’s difficult for me to get a handle on the fight. My instincts tell me Andy will prove to be a game and tough customer for as long as the fight lasts if he keeps his chin tucked in. He lasted the distance against Parker in a tough fight, but Joshua is so much bigger, stronger and such a concussive puncher that I’m thinkin’ maybe midrounds, say 7-10 is where Joshua finally drops the hammer. 

Fatboy Andy Ruiz Steps Up Vs Franklin Lawrence

Andy Ruiz Jr, 28-0, 19 KO, steps up in class for the first time Vs Franklin  “Yah Yah” Lawrence, 22-2-2, 16 KO Saturday, September 10th @ Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California.

Yeah, Yah Yah may be a funny name, yet Lawrence had been highly regarded briefly during his 2010-11 years before entering a phase of torpor that sees his once top 10 boxrec ranking dip to 54th. He’ll be just a couple of weeks short of his 41st birthday on the day of the fight. He got a somewhat delayed start at age 30 for reasons I’m not privy to with little amateur background, so he had a lot of ground to make up to get to this point. He’s been in the mix from his first year when being knocked out by fellow novice and future WBC beltholder Bermane Stiverne, and later holding his own in a close decision loss to former WBC champ Oliver McCall, before knocking out former contender Lance Whitaker. His major problems have been periods of inactivity, again for reasons I’m not privy too, but then again, he’s recorded 9 straight knockouts since the McCall loss, so at least he’s a warm body for Ruiz who may heat up to actually put him into a fight.

Ruiz is also an unlikely looking heavyweight contender, being born in the Baja California border town of Mexicali, yet currently staying comfortably close to his roots with a hop, skip, and a jump across the border to nearby Imperial California. Like former contender Buster Mathis of the Muhammad Ali era, he turned pro at a roly, poly near 300 lbs, both sweet natured looking fellas hardly looking like any kind of fighters, and like Buster he has bounced his weight around trying to get a handle on it. For the past few fights I see he’s been at or under the 250 mark which sounds about right for him. Some folks were genetically predisposed to be fat, so no use in fighting mother nature when your bigger immediate fight is in the ring. Of course there is a healthy weight for him to be at that he seems to have reached. Anyone calling him a fatboy will be relying on his good humor, because make no mistake, this soon to be 27 year old kid knows how to handle himself in the ring. He’s beaten a couple of highly regarded prospects, a former belt holder and a former contender, so he and Lawrence are right about the same level of experience and success with Ruiz being the busier fighter in the 7 years he’s been fighting and, more obviously, being the money fighter with a future sure to include a lucrative title fight leveraged by the strongest, most experienced promoter in the business, Bob Arum of Top Rank.

Oh, did I mention that Andy also works with future HOF trainer Freddie Roach, so need I say more if the very busy Roach found time to prepare him for this bout?

The winner of this fight takes a major step forward, perhaps even straight to a title fight, so for the fighters the stakes could not be higher. I expect both to eventually end up in a slugfest looking to impress the judges if not take it out of their hands with a knock out.

A Fat Man Fight~Andy Ruiz Jr vs Devin Vargas

A fat man stumbles into a boxing ring, and then suddenly another fat man enters the ring. Where’s the punchline you ask?

How about Mexicali Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr tangling with Toledonian American Devin Vargas at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California, Saturday, September 26th? Is that good enough?

Updated: Devin Vargas is now out, for what reason I don’t know. Joell Godfrey, 17-14-1, 6 KO, moves in for an 8 rounder. Weights are Ruiz 248 lbs and Godfrey 211. Ruiz near his all time low in weight. Godfrey flits between heavy and cruiser and usually goes the distance, only being KOed twice, but Ruiz by far the best heavy he’s ever faced. I’m guessing Godfrey will be a runner for this and Ruiz will have to chase him down, hopefully patiently as American judges love American runners these days, so this could be a potential banana peel for Ruiz.

Godfrey record here:

http://boxrec.com/boxer/361027

Andy Ruiz, currently 24-0, 17 KO, should be in better matchups at this point in time, but truth be told his promoter, Top Rank, has spent near a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears over 5 fruitless years to finally make the biggest paying boxing match in history, Pacquiao vs Mayweather to the neglect of the rest of their stable. No need to go into further sordid details in the making of that disaster and subsequent hundreds of millions of dollars worth of lawsuits, but the main thing is Top Rank should now be free to better promote it’s future. The unlikely shaped Ruiz is also scheduled for a 2nd bout a month after this presumed victory. In short, a pair of tune ups at the close of the year to hopefully set the stage for a much bigger year for the 26 year old Ruiz who could easily challenge for the WBC belt currently being babysat by Al Haymon for Deontay Wilder. What a beautiful Mutt and Jeff promotion that would be with the pencil thin Wilder against the butterball Ruiz.

Deja Vu Two Ton Tony Galento

Deja Vu Two Ton Tony Galento

Make no mistake though, this fatboy can fight with the best right now save a Klitschko. He turned pro in 2009 at a shade under 300 lbs, and though he fluctuates wildly, we can see him above two years ago in Macao, China at 255 lbs where he demolished highly regarded, undefeated prospect, Joe Hanks. As you can see, this is one stout kid with a one off type of physique, so we best make our fatboy jokes with some major respect.

Olympic Team Captain

Olympic Team Captain

Devin Vargas, 18-4, 7 KO, happens to be an excellent boxer with Olympic credentials, his main problem being a distinct lack of power, meaning that most top heavies can walk right through him. His last three losses have been knockouts, so likely his chin is cracked permanently and won’t be able to put up much of a battle, but he’ll definitely give Ruiz another stylistic look from what he’s used to for as long as he lasts.

The main focus of this piece is Ruiz, of course, being the favorite. He’s been off 9 months, so what kind of shape will he be in? How long will it take him to get untracked and put Vargas down? Is he ready and focused on 2016 as a breakout year?