Andy Ruiz Jr starts the road back to what he hopes will be world-title glory again vs Chris Arreola Saturday night (May 1) – and the odds suggest he’s in for a pretty easy night.
The 31-year-old ‘Destroyer’ from California (33-2) returns in a FOX PPV showdown with fellow Cali heavy Arreola (38-6-1). It’s his first fight since losing his world titles to Anthony Joshua in their Saudi Arabia rematch back in December 2019.
Andy remember shocked the world six months before that in June 2019 when he handed AJ his first pro defeat in a stunning upset at Madison Square Garden. Ruiz – a late stand-in and a massive underdog – got off the floor to stop Joshua in round seven.
Ruiz appeared to spend most of the next six months sparring the refrigerator more than boxers, he was in horrible condition for the rematch. He duly dropped a unanimous decision as Joshua boxed smartly from the outside.
Now Andy is back, and he says we’ll see a new man for this next fight with Arreola. He has lost weight, muscled up and is loving life under the tutelage of trainer of the moment Eddy Reynoso.
Reynoso has steered Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to the top of the P4P rankings and also has the likes of Ryan Garcia in his successful stable. Can he make Ruiz great again? We’ll start to find out May 1.
Ruiz vs Arreola odds
If you want to bet Ruiz Jr to score the 34th victory of his professional career, you won’t get rich doing it on the money line.
Only bet365 of the major online bookmakers have gone up early with odds, and they have Andy a prohibitive -2500 favorite right now. So you’d need to bet $2500 to win $100.
Arreola meanwhile is +800 with the same sportsbook (bet $100 to win $800). Pretty much a write-off…
OddsCritic expert pick for Ruiz Jr vs Arreola
Arreola is a durable opponent, one who has mixed it at the very highest level. But that was some time ago.
Right now he’s an acceptable tune-up fight for Ruiz Jr as he looks to plot a route back to elite level. We’re not sure about PPV quality though – a different matter.
We expect Andy to prevail but it may take him time to shake off the inevitable rust from that 18-month layoff.
While Ruiz Jr will clearly be in much better shape than the last time he set foot inside the ropes, it may also take him some time to put to best use the new skills Reynoso has taught him.
Our pick is for a Ruiz Jr stoppage in the second half of the fight, so take the +175 available with DraftKings for him to close the show in Rounds 7-12.
Andy Ruiz weight – from titties to titles?
Ruiz has battled more with his refrigerator than opponents in the last two years. Always distinctly flabby, ‘The Destroyer’ clearly enjoyed the fruits of being world heavyweight champ a little too much.
He weighed 268lbs when he shocked AJ and the world in June 2019, but then came in 15lbs heavier at 283 for the rematch. The result was an awful ponderous performance which allowed Joshua to box smartly and easily win a decision.
Ruiz Jr admitted recently “I had chi chis, I had tits that wouldn’t let me throw the right punches and all that.”
But now, under the watchful eye of Reynoso, Andy is walking around at 255 and looks literally like a new man. Working hard, and with a focus on becoming a two-time heavyweight champion of the world.
Proof of the transformation came at the weigh-in Friday. Ruiz tipped the scales at 256lbs, while Arreola was 228 – the lightest of his professional career.
When does Andy Ruiz vs Arreola start?
The fight takes place Saturday May 1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Ring walks for the main event are likely between 2300 ET (2000 PT) and 0000 ET (2100 PT).
How can I watch Andy Ruiz vs Arreola on TV?
As stated, this is a Fox pay-per-view show and you can sign up to watch the fight for $49.95.
Andy Ruiz Jr record
As stated Ruiz the 31-year-old Californian has a 33-2 pro resume, with 22 of those wins coming inside distance. He stands 6ft 2ins tall (1.88m) and has a reach of 74 ins (1.88m).
Andy of course had the greatest night of his life against AJ at MSG in 2019 – taking home the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight title belts afterwards. The rematch, not so much – a night to forget for the flabby champion.
The rest of the Ruiz Jr ledger is okay rather than super impressive. It is not stacked with household names and his only other defeat in the paid ranks came against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in a WBO world title challenge back in 2016.
Chris Arreola record
At the age of 40, Chris Arreola is now very much in the category of “opponent” as he prepares to take on local rival Ruiz.
‘The Nightmare’ has a professional record of 38-6-1 with 33 of his 38 victories coming inside distance. He stands 6ft 3 ins tall (1.91m) and has a reach of 76 ins (1.93m).
Arreola has not been out since dropping a unanimous decision to Adam Kownacki in Barclays Center in August 2019. That inactivity since has to be a concern given his advancing years.
Chris has fought three times for world heavyweight titles – but as stated all a long time ago. Each challenge ended in defeat, by Vitali Klitschko, Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder.
What does he have left at aged 40 after almost two years out of the ring? We’ll find out May 1.