Fight Week: Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Luis Ortiz and return of Juan Francisco Estrada

·4 min read

FIGHT WEEK

Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. returns to the ring against veteran Luis Ortiz on Sunday in Los Angeles. Also, 115-pound champ Juan Francisco Estrada is set for a tune-up fight Saturday.

JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA (42-3, 28 KOs)
VS. ARGI CORTES (23-2-2, 10 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 3

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Centro de Usos Multiples, Hermosillo, Mexico

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Junior bantamweight (115 pounds)

  • Rounds: 12

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: Estrada No. 9

  • Odds: NA

  • Also on the card: Erika Cruz vs. Jelena Mrdjenovich, featherweights (for Cruz’s WBA title); Hector Flores vs. Sivenathi Nontshinga, junior flyweights (for vacant IBF title); Eduardo Hernandez vs. Jorge Mata, junior lightweights

  • Prediction: Estrada KO 5

  • Background: Estrada, the WBC “franchise” champion, is returning to the ring after an 18-month hiatus for this tune-up bout ahead of an expected third fight with rival Roman Gonzalez late this year. Estrada narrowly outpointed “Chocolatito” in an entertaining fighta classic brawl in March of last year. They were scheduled to meet one more time this past March but Estrada had to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19. The 32-year-old Mexican has lost only once since he was outpointed by Gonzalez in 2012, a close decision against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2018 that he avenged the following year. Hence his place on the Boxing Junkie pound-for-pound list. Cortes, a 27-year-old Mexican, hasn’t lost since back-to-back setbacks in 2014 and 2015 but he has never faced anyone near the class of Estrada. That makes him a tremendous underdog but also a question mark. We’ll see what he has. The card also features Erika Cruz- Jelena Mrdjenovich and Hector Flores- Sivenathi Nontshinga title fights.

 

ANDY RUIZ JR. (34-2, 22 KOs)
VS. LUIS ORTIZ (33-2, 28 KOs)

  • When: Sunday, Sept. 4

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

  • TV/Stream: Pay-per-view

  • Division: Junior bantamweight (115 pounds)

  • Rounds: 12

  • At stake: Estrada’s WBC title

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: Estrada No. 9

  • Odds: Ruiz 3-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Isaac Cruz Taking vs. Eduardo Ramírez, lightweights; Abner Mares vs. Miguel Flores, lightweights; Jose Valenzuela vs. Jezreel Corrales, lightweights; Joey Spencer vs. Kevin Salgado, junior middleweights; Ra’eese Aleem vs. Mike Plania, junior featherweights

  • Prediction: Ruiz UD

  • Background: Ruiz and Ortiz might be a victory or two away from another world title shot, which makes this an important heavyweight fight. Ruiz appears to be taking his training seriously as he tries to recapture the magic he produced in his first fight against Anthony Joshua in 2019, a seventh-round knockout that gave him three heavyweight titles. An out-of-shape version of Ruiz lost to Joshua in the rematch six months later. The 32-year-old Southern Californian then outpointed Chris Arreola in a comeback fight in May of last year, which was his most-recent bout. That means he will have been out of the ring for 16 months when he faces Ortiz. The 43-year-old Cuban doesn’t have the legs he once did but he retains his power and ring acumen, which makes him a threat to Ruiz and most other heavyweights. He has stopped his two opponents since then-titleholder Deontay Wilder took him out in seven rounds in their 2019 rematch. He stopped Alexander Flores in one round in November 2020 and Charles Martin in six this past January. Ortiz was losing to Martin on all three cards at the time of the stoppage. The card also features the comeback of former three-division titleholder Abner Mares, who hasn’t fought in four years.

 

ALSO FIGHTING THIS WEEK

TUESDAY

  • Panya Pradabsri vs. Tsubasa Koura, strawweights (for Pradabsri’s WBC title), Korat, Thailand (no U.S. TV).

SATURDAY

  • Albert Bell vs. Nicolas Polanco, junior lightweights, Toledo, Ohio (FITE).

  • Liam Smith vs. Hassan Mwakinyo, junior middleweights; Natasha Jonas vs. Patricia Berghult, junior middleweights (for Jonas’ WBO and Berghult’s WBC titles), Liverpool, England (no U.S. TV; Sky Sports in U.K.).

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie