The threat of Andy Ruiz

By Seti Afoa ,

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“PARKER IS DISADVANTAGED”: Andy Ruiz Jr with the WBO belt at the Langham hotel in Auckland

“PARKER IS DISADVANTAGED”: Andy Ruiz Jr with the WBO belt at the Langham hotel in Auckland (Photo: Seti Afoa)

Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr is looking sharp. 

The Mexican lost 301bs (13kgs) in four weeks so he can face Samoa’s Lupesoliai Laauli Joseph Parker in the WBO heavyweight belt Title fight. 

Asked about the massive weight loss, and whether it will disadvantage him, he was quick to say that it is Parker that is being disadvantaged by it. For the very reason that he will be able to move faster on his feet. So he will have quicker feet, and even faster hands on the night. 

Ruiz’s fight name “The Destroyer” speaks for itself. As well as destroying his opponents in the ring, Ruiz told us on his arrival, that he will die in the ring to win the WBO heavyweight belt for Mexico.

There is more, Ruiz has God on his side. He told me yesterday that with God all things are possible. 

“I believe in God and I fight for God!” he told me emphatically. 

“I have been a Christian since a little kid and God willing I will win this fight for Mexico. When I win, I am going to give God all the glory. With God all things are possible.”  Ruiz’s legendary promoter, Bob Arum is in no doubt who will win the fight – it will be Andy Ruiz because he is faster, quicker and dangerous. 

The rhetoric does not stop there, even Parker’s own trainer Kevin Barry gives Ruiz the nod for the fight because of his fast hands.

Parker himself is very much aware of Ruiz’s “perceptively quick hands” and how that will be a weapon for Ruiz in the fight. Ruiz is such a threat that Parker is refusing to say who will win their fight on Saturday night. 

Parker’s best offering is, the fight will go the full twelve rounds. 

Aside from the rhetoric, the numbers also have it for a Ruiz win at Vector Arena. Arum and Barry are very much aware of the figures for Ruiz. 

The evidence of Ruiz’s effectiveness is in his record, 29 wins from twenty-nine fights. That is a great record, as evidenced from yesterday’s detailed account of all the great champions that lost their first fight in the 20s. The list is a compilation of Who’s Who of heavyweight boxing. By those numbers, Ruiz is due for a loss, as is Parker. 

He is not ready to lose but to beat Parker down to a pulp to win the fight. Ruiz ended two-thirds of his 29 wins by knockout (21, 66%). That is to be expected of a fighter like Ruiz. 

The key figure for Ruiz in the context of this weekend’s Title fight is the amount of his fights that went the full rounds. A total of eight out of 29.  It means that as well as having the arsenal to knock down opponents, Ruiz is able to go the full distance. What is more, he has 100% won the fights that have gone the distance. 

Joseph Parker has only had two fights go the distance, Sherwyn Williams two years ago, and Carlos Takam in May this year. Parker won both fights on unanimous decisions.  In terms of who has the experience in the ring, it is undoubtedly Andy Ruiz Jr. He has faced 20 more rounds in the ring (116) to Parker’s 87 rounds.

But Parker has the strike power. His knock out percentage sits at 87 p.c. (19/21) compared to Ruiz’s 66 p.c. (21/29). 

Joseph Parker is in no doubt as to the danger indicator level for the fight against Ruiz. That has gone up several notches since Carlos Takam in May. 

Parker is very aware of the impressive armoury and the total package Ruiz is bringing to the ring. 

He will have to be sharper, more focused, and faster than his opponent to win. 

Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr will die in the ring to make sure Parker does nothing of the sort. He is not leaving New Zealand without the WBO belt. 

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