Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Luis Ortiz set for Sept. 4 in Los Angeles

Andy Ruiz Jr.’s return is official.

The former heavyweight titleholder will face longtime contender Luis Ortiz in a pay-per-view bout Sept. 4 at Crypto-com Arena (formerly Staples Center) in Los Angeles.

Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) hasn’t fought since May of last year, when he outpointed Chris Arreola.

“I’m so excited to get back in the ring in front of all of my fans in Los Angeles on September 4,” said Ruiz, who is from Imperial, California. “This is my chance to prove to everyone that I’m going to be heavyweight champion of the world again. I’m super motivated to be facing a great fighter like Luis Ortiz, so my fans can expect to see me at my best.

“Everyone has wanted to see this fight, and we’re going to give everyone a war on fight night.”

Ruiz shook up the boxing world when he stopped Anthony Joshua to win three of the four major titles belts in June 2019. Joshua, boxing carefully, outpointed a blown up version of Ruiz in the rematch six months later.

Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) might be making his last run at a heavyweight title at 43 years old.

The hard-punching Cuban defector failed in two attempts to take the WBC belt from Deontay Wilder in 2018 and the following year, getting stopped both times.

He still dreams of having a belt wrapped around his waist. And a victory over Ruiz would be a significant step in that direction.

“I’m blessed to be back in a position to get closer to achieving my goal of becoming the first heavyweight champion of the world from Cuba,” said Ortiz, who is coming off knockout victories over Alexander Flores and Charles Martin. “Anyone who doubts me has only fueled me to keep going. I know that I have to make a big statement in this fight, and that’s my plan on September 4.

“I respect Andy Ruiz, but he’s standing in my way, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to go through him.”

Also on the card:

  • Former lightweight title challenger Isaac Cruz (23-2-1, 16 KOs) will face Eduardo Ramirez (27-2-3, 12 KOs) in a 12-round lightweight bout.

  • Lightweight prospect Jose Valenzuela (12-0, 8 KOs) will take on veteran Jezreel Corrales (26-4, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder.

  • And former three-division titleholder-turned-broadcaster Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) will begin a comeback against Miguel Flores (25-4, 12 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round junior lightweight bout. Mares hasn’t fought since June 2018.

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