Andy Ruiz Jr needed no less than three knockdowns to see off Luis Ortiz, as he got the better of the Cuban on the scorecards in their WBC heavyweight title eliminator at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday.
After a quietish first round where Ruiz Jr (35-2, 22 KOs) tried to establish his jab, the breakthrough occurred in round two, as a counter right hand sent Ortiz (33-3, 28 KOs) to the canvas.
The former two-time world title challenger was on unsteady legs on the resumption, and was swiftly down again from a Ruiz Jr attack, but it looked more like a push in reality.
The Cuban was struggling with the speed of his rival, and was still wobbly in the third, but had decent fourth and fifth frames, asserting himself with his jab.
Good body work saw Ortiz edge further into the contest in the sixth, but he was then down again for a third time a round later, with a right hand piercing his guard, before a follow-up scored the knockdown.
Again ‘King Kong’ came back though, again off a stiff jab, and had the best of a scrappy eighth, and rounds nine and ten were difficult to score.
With both men showing signs of battle, Ruiz Jr fighting for the first time since beating Chris Arreola last May, landed a massive right in the penultimate session that rocked Ortiz once again, but the visitor stood firm, and got the better of the last round with an all-out attack, but his efforts had come too late as the fight went to the cards.
Former world champion, Ruiz Jr took the win by scores of 114-111 (twice), and 113-112, and now looks towards a potential meeting with Deontay Wilder, who meets Robert Helenius next month.
View this post on Instagram
Cruz stops Ramirez
On the undercard, Isaac Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) dropped Eduardo Ramirez (27-3-3, 12 KOs) twice on the way to a second round knockout win to win the WBC Silver lightweight title.
Martin halts Vargas
Charles Martin (29-3-1, 26 KOs), the former IBF heavyweight world champion, returned after a loss to Luis Ortiz with a fourth round win against Devin Vargas (22-8, 9 KOs).
Ra’eese Aleem (20-0, 12 KOs) kept his WBO NABO super bantamweight title, as he knocked down Mike Plania (26-2, 13 KOs) in the second round, and eventually took a wide points win by three scores of 100-89.
Abner Mares (31-3-2, 15 KOs) returned to action after over four years away, but was held to a ten round draw at lightweight by Miguel Flores (25-4-1, 12 KOs).
Two 95-95 cards made a third score of 96-94 to Mares redundant.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 4, 2022
In a wild fight at lightweight, Jose Valenzuela (12-1, 8 KOs) lost his unbeaten record, as Edwin De Los Santos (15-1, 14 KOs) took a third round knockout win.
Both men were down in round two, and Valenzuela was down in the third before being taken out.
The final ten rounder saw Joseph Spencer (16-0, 10 KOs) take a ten round points win against Kevin Salgado Zambrano (14-1-1, 9 KOs).
Edwin De Los Santos has come out swinging!
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 5, 2022
Featherweight Anthony Garnica (10-0-1, 5 KOs) won via majority decision over six against Juan Antonio Lopez (17-11, 7 KOs), and at lightweight, Anthony Cuba (4-0-2, 3 KOs) and Oscar Alan Perez (5-0-1, 4 KOs) fought to a draw.
Jesus Silveyra Carrillo (11-7-2, 4 KOs) came off the canvas to take a four round points win against Matt Gaver (3-7-2, 1 KO) at welterweight, and at super lightweight, Kel Spencer (2-0, 1 KO) took a fourth round win against Deljerro Revello (1-4).