Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Luis Ortiz Picks & Fight Analysis
Andy Ruiz, Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) vs. Luis Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs)
When: Saturday, September 4, 2022
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
TV: Fox PBC
Weight Class: Heavyweights: 12 Rounds
Betting Odds: Andy Ruiz, Jr. (-325), Luis Ortiz (+230)
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In a big heavyweight showdown in LA, former heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz, Jr. takes on longtime standout contender Luis Ortiz on September 4. The winner of this fight could have any number of lucrative matches in the offing. What makes the stakes truly high is what lies in waiting for the loser. At 43, Ortiz cannot afford a setback. And with there being little to celebrate with Ruiz since he beat Anthony Joshua over three years ago, time is running out on his viability at the top reaches of the game. Who can notch the win and keep moving forward in the rich waters of the top of the heavyweight division?
Neither man has been very active, and there is a bit of an “out of sight/out of mind” dynamic at play with these two contenders. That shouldn’t impugn their respective standings in the sport. Ruiz is a former champ, and though a lot of the shine came off with a horrible performance in the rematch and one subsequent win since, he’s still a top guy until shown otherwise. Ortiz might be up there in age at 43, a number some scoff at, not helped by the fact that he looks 55. And since losing to Deontay Wilder in 2019, he has fought just twice since. But considering all his good work and the fact that Wilder is the only man to beat him, there is little reason to not suspect he’s still a handful.
For the purposes of betting, Ortiz might be the more-reliable force despite his advanced age. You know what you’re getting with him. He’s a big man, well-schooled in the tradition of the Cuban amateur boxing system. Turning pro after 30, his ascent has been atypical. A big lefty, he’s a difficult man to fight. He’s awkward, gangly, and completely at ease in the ring, showing the level of ring comfort only seen in ultra-veterans such as himself. Like Ruiz, his only setbacks were in world title fights. And sure, he’s getting up there. Not seen in the ring at the world-class levels in some time, one can’t be totally sure. But so far, when he turns up in the ring, the product is pretty reliable as a whole.
Ruiz, on the other hand, is a robust talent, but one where you’re never totally sure what you’re going to get. There was a lot of talk about him reshaping his body, and he was lighter in his last fight against Arreola. But the older Arreola was able to knock him down and hurt him on occasion en route to a decision win by Ruiz. It being another 16 months before we will see him resurface again in a ring makes you wonder about the overall direction of his career.
At his best, Ruiz, Jr. is really a wonder—a fat man with blinding hand speed to go along with skills, toughness, and durability. But we’ve also seen those extra pounds slow him down and cost him big in a couple of key spots. Right now, Ruiz, Jr. has a lot to prove. While generally regarded as a very skilled fighter, he now looks to avoid the Leon Spinks and Buster Douglas mold—the one-time lucky fighters who never could do much of anything else.
Giving Ruiz an edge in this fight, however, is the fact that he did pull off what Ortiz failed to. It doesn’t hurt that he’s 11 years younger. It’s just not easy to get behind a 43-year-old man who everyone suspects is even older than that. Sure, in recent times, we’ve become more accustomed to older fighters succeeding at advanced ages. That’s especially true in the heavyweight division. Still, one struggles to really remember more than a small handful of big wins scored by 43-year-old fighters. And with Ruiz’ game being speed, that only exacerbates the age gap in some people’s minds.
On one hand, Ortiz is showing his age in spots. He was struggling with Charles Martin in his last fight. The absolutely devastating finish might make people forget he was laboring against a fighter he was supposed to dominate. He still has the skills, and if he lines up a guy, he can instantly put out his lights. But with the fast hands of Ruiz, will Ortiz be able to keep up on a second-to-second basis? Or will he be relegated to looking for the big shot? And if it’s the latter, will that not be a dicey strategy with Ruiz having shown such a great chin in his career?
I think the overall dicey nature of Ruiz, including the recent inactivity and iffy form, makes Ortiz a very viable underdog. Ortiz will have reach and height advantages and be able to work well behind a complete arsenal of punches. It’s just that his power might be muffled in this fight against Ruiz. And with diminishing reflexes, the speed of Ruiz could have Ortiz in stitches. This being in LA also gives an emotional fighter like Ruiz some needed support. He’s the A-side of this event, and it’s hard to win close fights against those guys. I see the speed and youth of Ruiz being enough to win the day. I’ll take the former champ in this one.
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Andy Ruiz to win at -325 betting odds. While conditioning and consistency remain outstanding issues, his skills and attributes would appear to match up well against an aging and possibly diminishing force in Ortiz. In this case—youth and speed win. Bet the fight live-in-progress at Bovada Sportsbook!