Ahead of this Saturday’s showdown, a star-studded lineup of Mexican legends, champions, contenders and more shared their thoughts on the matchup between former unified heavyweight champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. and all-action heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola.
This lineup includes quotes from Erik Morales, Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez, to name just a few of the Mexican stars excited for this heavyweight clash.
Ruiz vs. Arreola will top a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The all-Mexican boxing extravaganza features three additional pay-per-view undercard fights that will pit Mexican and Mexican-American fighters against each other in fan-friendly matchups.
The May 1 affair will kick off Cinco de Mayo week, a holiday that has long been synonymous with Mexican boxing greats, a tradition that Ruiz and Arreola both look forward to continuing when they square off.
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com. Dignity Health Sports Park will be open to fans in a limited capacity, with all guests remaining socially distanced and subject to local and state health guidelines throughout the event.
Here is what various Mexican and Mexican-American boxing legends, athletes, world champions, rising contenders and top trainers had to say about the importance of Saturday’s matchup, what it meant to them for Ruiz to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion and what the loyal Mexican boxing fans can expect on Saturday night:
Erik Morales, Hall of Famer:
“I had goosebumps watching the first fight between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua, because this was the first time that a Mexican fighter won the heavyweight championship.
“Ruiz was a 15-to-1 underdog against Joshua, so that means that virtually no one expected him to win. And then, the fashion within which he won the title – rising from a third-round knockdown to stop Joshua – that made an even more impressive victory.”
Canelo Alvarez, Undefeated four-division champion:
“Andy Ruiz’s victory over Anthony Joshua was spectacular. He won in force, he was the best and he deserves all of the credit, proving there are many examples of elite boxers from Mexico.
“Andy reached out to me after the loss to Joshua. I consulted with Eddy Reynoso, and we agreed to help him, but we told him that the one thing we required was discipline. Andy has demonstrated a lot of that. Andy has done absolutely everything that Eddy has asked of him, from improving his defense to his head and waist movement, and he’s got very quick hands and punches with power.
“It’s great that Andy became the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, but now, it’s important to return to the top of the division. So this is a significant fight. With Andy facing Chris Arreola, this is the first time that two, high quality Mexican heavyweights are going at it. Arreola will bring aggression, but I expect a very quick knockout victory from Andy.”
Jorge de la Rosa, Former MLB Pitcher from Monterrey, Mexico:
"This is Andy Ruiz’s time to shine. He has the power and speed needed to catch Arreola by surprise, but it won't be easy. It will be an amazing fight both for them and the fans. It’s going to be the all-action fight that we all crave and need in Los Angeles, a city that is very Mexican and has had a lot of memorable fights."
David Benavidez, Undefeated two-time super middleweight champion:
“I’m very excited for Andy Ruiz to fight Chris Arreola, first of all, because, personally, I know both of these guys are good dudes who are going to go to war heading into the second half of their careers.
“Arreola was in contention for the heavyweight title for quite a while, and then, Ruiz stepped up and made history with a knockout of Anthony Joshua that made him the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
“To be honest, I didn’t really want to watch the Joshua fight because everyone felt Ruiz had very little chance of winning. But when Ruiz got knocked down, got up and knocked out Joshua, that was probably one of the greatest moments in Mexican boxing history.
“Now Ruiz is working out alongside Canelo Alvarez, who has gone all the way up to light heavyweight. Between the two of them, they’ve demonstrated that anything is possible for Mexican fighters like me to accomplish championships at the higher weight divisions.”
Mario Barrios, Undefeated WBA World Super Lightweight Champion:
“This is a tough fight to predict for me because I like both guys. Chris Arreola and Andy Ruiz are both in great shape, so this fight is going to be explosive. I’m picking Ruiz by split decision in a very entertaining showdown. Cinco de Mayo is going to be off the charts this year with a big fight like this leading the way.”
Abner Mares, Former three-division world champion / boxing analyst:
“Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola are exciting fighters to watch in their own right, and for them to be headlining an All-Mexican card as Mexican-American heavyweights is a historic precedent.
“Given the fact that we’ve had limited live shows since the start of the pandemic, it’s a real treat for all of us to have boxing return to the Los Angeles area. People are really excited, and I’m thrilled about an All-Mexican card being headlined by two Mexican-American heavyweights.
“Chris Arreola served as a trailblazer for Mexican heavyweights with his three appearances in championship fights, and Andy Ruiz shocked the world by knocking out Anthony Joshua to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
“When Ruiz did that, I remember what I was doing and where I was when it happened. Being honest, though, I wasn’t expecting that, even though I wanted to tune in because I’ve known Andy Ruiz since he was a kid.
“My wife was having an event at her store, but the Joshua-Ruiz fight was being televised in a place across the street. So I went over there. I saw Ruiz go down, and I thought, ‘Well, fight is over.’ But then Ruiz got up and knocked Joshua down and eventually won the fight.
“I remember getting up, jumping up and down like a little kid, and, running around saying to people, ‘Oh my God, did you see what just happened?’ I was pointing it out to people like, ‘Hey, we have a new Mexican heavyweight champion’.”
Raul Marquez, Former super welterweight world champion:
“When Andy Ruiz first challenged Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title, I was in the living watching it with my wife. I told her, ‘You see that fat boy? That fat boy’s going to win.’
“But I was saying that as a joke, because, at that point, I was really thinking ‘There’s no way.’ As soon as the fight began, Ruiz had some moments, but then, Joshua dropped him and I said, ‘Aw, man, it’s going to be over.’
“But Ruiz took his shots and he came back and stopped Joshua. I’m going to be honest with you, I was crying. I was so happy for Ruiz because I was happy and excited that we finally had a Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.
“When you’re talking Mexican fighters, they’re usually the smaller guys like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez. Even I was pretty big being a super welterweight, and it was rare that you’d see any bigger.
“It was very rare that you’d see Mexicans in higher weights, but now, you have Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez. I came up with John Ruiz in the amateurs, and he became the first Puerto Rican heavyweight champion, which at the time was huge for Latinos.”
Eddy Reynoso, Trainer of Canelo Alvarez & Andy Ruiz Jr.:
“Andy Ruiz has given so much time and has been so dedicated to his work inside the gym. We’re excited for May 1. He is motivated and learning a lot every day. We know that on May 1 we’re going to be dealing with an aggressive fighter who is going to bring his best.
“Andy is excited about the challenge that Arreola presents. May 1 is going to be the second beginning of Andy’s career. This is the start of his pursuit to become champion again. We respect Arreola, but we’re going to go in there to get the job done on May 1.”
Omar Figueroa, Jr., Former world champion / welterweight contender:
“I’m honored to be a part of a show of this magnitude, especially an action-packed, All-Mexican card with the historical precedent of being headlined by two, Mexican-American heavyweights in Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola.
“Neither of these guys looks to run around the ring, so you know that Arreola’s always going to bring it, and that Ruiz loves to fight. You’re going to see two guys setting off fireworks from beginning to end.”
Sebastian Fundora, Undefeated super welterweight contender:
“Andy Ruiz has been in the sport for a long time and he’s had a tremendous amateur background, so when it happened that he beat Anthony Joshua to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, honestly, I wasn’t surprised.
“But not everyone expected it because there are no other Mexican fighters, other than Chris Arreola, who have been able to succeed as a heavyweight. So for Ruiz to become the first was a true milestone for our Mexican culture.
“Now the fact you have two Mexican-American heavyweight fighters going against each other is incredible, and the fact that I have an opportunity to fight on their undercard is a great opportunity to showcase the fact that I’m another great, up-and-coming Mexican fighter. I believe that every fighter on this All-Mexican card is thinking the same thing, which is that we’re going to bring fans non-stop, action-packed, knockout excitement.”
Abel Ramos, Welterweight contender:
“Andy Ruiz versus Chris Arreola is a top of the line heavyweight clash of Mexicans between two guys who fit into the tradition that you can never count a Mexican out of a fight. I remember watching Arreola while growing up.
“I really believed in Arreola as being the first one that gave us hope that there can be a Mexican heavyweight champion. Even now with Arreola, you can never count him out. But Ruiz is an extremely talented fighter who has never been knocked out or stopped.”
Jesus Ramos, Undefeated welterweight prospect:
“Growing up I watched Chris Arreola’s career and his quest to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, but now, it’s crazy that he’s up against Andy Ruiz, who accomplished what Arreola wasn’t able to do in three tries.
“I remember meeting Ruiz in Los Angeles before his fight with Anthony Joshua, and he was a very humble, cool dude. So when I watched Ruiz get knocked down against Joshua, I was really worried and sad.
“But he came back and stopped Joshua, which was very exciting and an inspiration by representing all of us who are Mexican fans. I’ve been watching Ruiz’s videos, and you can tell he’s a more focused and determined fighter. Arreola’s a tough warrior and he’s always in exciting fights, but Ruiz looks extremely determined and motivated.”
Jorge Cota, Super Welterweight contender:
“The Andy Ruiz-Chris Arreola fight is going to be a matchup of savagery, because they’re big, strong Mexican heavyweights who are warriors with heart who are determined to win.
“Before Ruiz knocked out Anthony Joshua, everyone on the entire planet was counting him out, not only because he was the underdog, but because he took the fight on short notice as a replacement and didn’t have much time to prepare.
“But when I saw that he knocked out Joshua, I was as shocked as anyone at his display of courage and that typical, never quit Mexican mentality. With Ruiz’s matchup against Arreola, you’re going to see two Mexicans in a vicious war.”
Eduardo Ramirez, Featherweight contender:
“As a fan of the sport and a Mexican fighter myself, I can hardly wait to see the Andy Ruiz-Chris Arreola battle of heavyweights. It’s a historic, exciting fight between two massive men who will throw a ton of punches in advance of Cinco De Mayo. Their styles are perfect for one another, and Arreola’s going to bring it because it’s probably his last shot to crack the top of the division.”
Brandon Figueroa, Undefeated WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion:
“Andy Ruiz-Chris Arreola is a historic clash between two of the most accomplished heavyweight fighters in the history of the sport. It’s an incredible event between a former champion, Ruiz, and a guy in Arreola who tried to win three times before him.
“Growing up, I heard about the smaller Mexican legends like Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez. But now, we’re talking about heavyweights, which is a different type of toe-to-toe fireworks, which had been unheard of in the Mexican tradition.
“Arreola’s a great fighter and he’s accomplished a lot, but Ruiz is the younger of the two and carries more speed, power and skills. It’s going to be a war.”
Omar Figueroa, Sr., Trainer and father of undefeated super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa:
“The fact that Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola are fighting one another as Mexican-American heavyweights is definitely a rarity. Arreola’s been there three times, but Ruiz is more in his prime.
“It’s going to be an exciting fight between two Mexican-American punchers and they’re going to go at it, but Ruiz has shown a lot more heart, particularly in rising from the canvas to stop Anthony Joshua and becoming the first-ever Mexican heavyweight champion.
“There were not a lot of people who thought Ruiz could do that to Joshua because of the way they both looked, physically, the result surprised everybody and had a great impact on the Mexican culture.”
Robert Guerrero, Former two-division champion:
“This is going to be a historic event with two top Mexican heavyweights going to war. This is rare, and I’ll be tuning in and so should every Mexican boxing fan out there. This will not be a boring fight, and you can take that to the bank.”
Joel Diaz, Trainer of former world champion Omar Figueroa Jr.:
“For Andy Ruiz to win a championship meant a lot, because the Mexican and Latino fans are very strong, and for Ruiz to become the heavyweight champion by knockout over Anthony Joshua, that’s incredibly attractive.
“Never did I ever think that I’d see a Mexican heavyweight champion, and for us, as Mexicans, it was like a gift to the historic culture. For Ruiz and Chris Arreola to be headlining an action-packed, All-Mexican card, right before Cinco De Mayo, is what Mexican fans need.
“It’s going to be a night of fireworks for the fans and a truly historic night for the world to see two Mexican heavyweights colliding. Arreola’s not going to be an easy night for Ruiz because he’s a three-time title challenger who is a warrior who will give anybody a difficult fight.”
Daniel Roman, Former unified super bantamweight world champion:
“Andy Ruiz against Chris Arreola is a historic event matching two Mexican heavyweights that should be celebrated by our culture. From what I’ve seen from Ruiz, he’s taking it very seriously.
“Every time you have a Mexican against a Mexican, you know it’s going to be a war. So then you add to it that they’re headlining an all-Mexican-American card within a week of Cinco De Mayo, and you know that there are going to be non-stop fireworks from the start to the finish.”
Freddy Fundora, Trainer and father of undefeated super welterweight contender Sebastian Fundora:
“It’s an anomaly for two Mexican heavyweights to be fighting, especially with one of them being a former champion in Andy Ruiz, and the other, Chris Arreola, who fought for the title three times.
“Mexican-Americans are not usually that big, so it’s unheard of and rare that you have two Mexicans that big who are fighting one another. But each of them has an exciting, aggressive style, so, in the culture’s great tradition, there are going to be fireworks.”
Omar Juarez, Undefeated super lightweight prospect:
“This is going to be a great action fight with a lot of big punches being thrown by two big Mexican heavyweights. This is the perfect fight leading into Cinco de Mayo weekend and I’ll be watching closely with family and friends.”
Jose Benavidez Sr., Trainer and father of undefeated two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez:
“My thought on the entire card is that it’s a historic event and to have it live in the Los Angeles area is a treat for all of the Mexican fans and for the Latino fans in general.
“Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola are exciting in all of their fights, and for two of the best Mexican-American heavyweights of their generation to be fighting each other on an All-Mexican American card is amazing and unheard of to this point. During his career, Arreola was among my favorite fighters.
“I thought at one point that Arreola was going to do what Andy Ruiz did, and I believe that Arreola still has a lot of gas in the tank. Ruiz is coming off of that loss in his rematch with Anthony Joshua after beating Joshua by shocking the world.
“I believe that it’s going to be an impressive, exciting fight where you’ll see Arreola bring his all. But I also believe that Ruiz wants so badly to be heavyweight champion once again, so he’s re-dedicated, motivated, strong, sharp, transformed and looking to win in spectacular fashion.”
John Molina Jr., Two-time world title challenger:
“Andy Ruiz-Chris Arreola is an anomaly of a fight because it’s a clash of Mexican-American heavyweights who have had exposure to championship fights. Of course, Ruiz dethroned Anthony Joshua by knockout for the title before losing their rematch by decision.
“That made Ruiz, for a time, the first-ever heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, this, after Arreola set the stage by fighting for the title three times but losing to Vitali Klitschko, Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder.
“Both Ruiz and Arreola bring that traditional Mexican style to the table, and for that reason, it’s going to a highly entertaining, fan-friendly fight between warriors.”
Juan Macias Montiel, Middleweight contender:
“When Andy Ruiz came back to beat Anthony Joshua and to become the first man of Mexican descent to become a heavyweight champion, he did something that was unprecedented and so special for the Mexican community.
“Boxing for Mexicans is everything, and with my uncle, Fernando, being a retired former champion, Ruiz’s victory meant so much to my family. When Ruiz fights Arreola on May 1, you will see two of the best Mexican-American heavyweights in the history of the sport.
"Ruiz is under a new trainer in Eddy Reynoso, and Arreola’s in his second fight with Joe Goossen. They will do battle on May 1, kicking off the Cinco De Mayo weekend in what could be a make or break fight and the last shot for both men.”
Bob Santos, Trainer:
“When you think of Mexicans in boxing, you don’t think of seeing the bigger guys. You think of the smaller, legendary fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez and Juan Manuel Marquez. There have been bigger guys like Oscar De La Hoya, and, lately, Canelo Alvarez.
“As the product of a Puerto Rican-Mexican union as far as my parents, I have an appreciation for John Ruiz becoming the first Hispanic to hold a heavyweight title, and for him winning an all-Puerto Rican battle with his 11th-round knockout of Fres Oquendo.
“But it doesn’t get any bigger than Ruiz versus Arreola, which is huge as a fight between two, Mexican-American heavyweights as far as the tradition of Mexicans going to war with that ‘Never-say-die attitude’.”
Angel Barrientes, Super bantamweight prospect:
“When I think of the legendary Mexican fighters I watched growing up, you’re talking Julio Cesar Chavez, and Canelo Alvarez. I looked up to those fighters and so many others.
“But It’s rare to see a Mexican heavyweight fighter, so it’s definitely exciting that we’re going to be able to watch two of them fighting each other in Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola. They’re both strong, big, accomplished, powerful punchers who are going to put on a great fight.”
Chavez Barrientes, Undefeated super bantamweight prospect:
“Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola are going to put on a great fight being two Mexican-American heavyweights who have a reputation for really going at it, so it’s going to be a war.
“They’re both going to be hungry to pour their hearts out in the ring and to put on a great fight for the Mexican history books. Arreola’s still got a lot left, but he’s older, and Ruiz is the younger, hungrier fighter right now. So I feel like there will be a lot of action early on from Arreola, but that Ruiz will build momentum in the second half of the fight.”