A rare Sunday night boxing telecast will feature more than 500 pounds worth of heavyweights in its main event.
Former unified heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz and two-time title challenger Luis Ortiz put the scales to work during Saturday’s official weigh-in ahead of their WBC semifinal title eliminator. Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs) checked in at 268 ¾ pounds, nearly a full pound more than in his title winning effort over Anthony Joshua more than three years ago. Miami’s Ortiz (33-2, 28KOs) weighed a career-high but well-proportioned 245.4 pounds for their clash Sunday evening at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
The level of respect between the pair of heavyweight contenders was evident during their obligatory post weigh-in stare down. Ruiz ended the session by playfully throwing a pair of faux body shots at Ortiz, who grinned at the act.
Ruiz was 268 pounds when he shocked the world in an off-the-canvas, seventh-round knockout of Joshua in June 2019 to become the first Mexican heavyweight to capture a portion of the heavyweight crown. His WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO title reign was squandered, arriving at a grotesquely out of shape 283 ½ pounds ahead of a twelve-round points loss to Joshua in their December 2019 rematch.
Just one fight has followed for Ruiz, an Imperial, California native who rose from a second-round flash knockdown to outpoint former three-time title challenger Chris Arreola last May 1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Ruiz—who turns 33 on September 11—was 256 pounds for the battle of Mexican-American heavyweights.
Ortiz comes in at a career-heaviest weight for his second straight fight. The Cuban southpaw was 243 ¼ pounds in his come-from-behind sixth-round knockout of former IBF heavyweight titlist Charles Martin on January 1 in Hollywood, Florida. Ortiz was knocked down in rounds one and four and trailed on all three scorecards before scoring a pair of knockdowns in the sixth round to end the fight in dramatic fashion.
While Ortiz enters the fight weighing more than he ever has for a pro fight, it’s only a few pounds above his normal range. The 43-year-old contender was 239 pounds in a breakout seventh-round knockout of Bryant Jennings in December 2015 and a then-heaviest 242 ½ pounds in a sixth-round stoppage of Tony Thompson just three months later.
A five-pound difference came from Ortiz's two separate title bids. He was 241 ¼ pounds in a tenth-round technical knockout loss to then-unbeaten WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder in March 2018. The two fought on even terms outside of three knockdowns suffered by Ortiz en route to the stoppage defeat in what would be the first of their two-fight series.
Ortiz was 236 ½ pounds for his November 2019 rematch with Wilder, his lightest weight in more than four years. He soundly outboxed Wilder for six rounds before getting clipped with a titanic right hand to end the fight in an instant, having led on all three scorecards at the time of the seventh-round knockout loss. Two wins have followed as he still aims to become Cuba’s first-ever heavyweight champion.
Fox Sports PPV undercard, 9:00 p.m. ET:
Isaac Cruz (23-2-1, 16KOs), Mexico City, 135 pounds vs. Eduardo Ramirez (27-2-3, 12KOs), Los Mochis, Mexico, 134.5 pounds—12 rounds, lightweight
Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15KOs), Montebello, California, 134,2 pounds vs. Miguel Flores (25-4, 12KOs), Spring, Texas, 134.6 pounds—10 rounds, lightweight
Jose Valenzuela (12-0, 8KOs), Renton. Washington, 134.6 pounds vs. Edwin De Los Santos (14-1, 13KOs), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 133.8 pounds—10 rounds, lightweight
Fox prime, 8:00 p.m. ET:
Joey Spencer (15-0, 10KOs), Fenton, Michigan, 154.6 pounds vs. Kevin Salgado (14-0-1, 9KOs), San Antonio via Mexico City, 153.4 pounds—10 rounds, junior middleweight
FS1, 7:00 p.m. ET:
Ra’eese Aleem (19-0, 12KOs), Las Vegas via Muskegon, Michigan, 121.6 pounds vs. Mike Plania (26-1, 13KOs), General Santos City, Philippines, 121.8 pounds—10 rounds, junior featherweight
Charles Martin (28-3-1, 25KOs), Carson, California, 250 pounds vs, Devin Vargas (22-7, 9KOs), Toledo, Ohio, 243 pounds—8 rounds, heavyweight
Kel Spencer (1-0, 0KOs), Linden, Michigan, 139.4 pounds vs. Deljerro Revello, (1-3, 0KOs), 138.4 pounds—4 rounds, junior welterweight
Anthony Cuba (4-0-1, 3KOs), Fontana, California, 134.6 pounds vs. Oscar Perez (5-0, 4KOs), Houston, 135 pounds—6 rounds, lightweight
Jesus Slyveyra Carrillo (10-7-2, 4KOs), Durango, Mexico, 143 pounds vs. Matt Gaver (3-6-2, 1KO), Bakersfield, California, 146.8 pounds—6 rounds, welterweight
Anthony Garnica (9-0-1, 5KOs), Oakland, 123.4 pounds vs. Juan Antonio Lopez (17-10, 7KOs), Dallas, 127.6 pounds—6 rounds, featherweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox