Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola finally have a date for their long-discussed showdown.
The intriguing clash of California-based heavyweights will take place April 24 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from a location to be determined, multiple sources informed BoxingScene.com. The bout has been in discussion for more than a year and has been given clearance to land on the spring schedule.
Ruiz (33-2, 22KOs) has not fought since watching his unified heavyweight title reign come to a close in a 12-round unanimous decision defeat to Anthony Joshua in their Dec. 2019 rematch in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. The loss came six months after Ruiz knocked out Joshua (24-1, 22KOs) in the 7th round of their June 2019 clash at Madison Square Garden in New York City, becoming the first-ever Mexican boxer to win a piece of the heavyweight crown.
The 31-year old heavyweight from Imperial, California has since joined forces with red-hot trainer Eddy Reynoso, having regularly trained out of his facility in San Diego while awaiting a fight date. Recent camp images have suggested a slimmer, fitter Ruiz who weighed a fleshy 283 ½ pounds in the loss to Joshua to end his WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight title reign.
Arreola (38-6-1, 33KOs) has been out of the ring since a spirited 12-round loss to then-unbeaten Adam Kownacki in August 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Their non-stop action-packed slugfest set several Compubox records, including Arreola—who was 38 at the time—setting the all-time heavyweight mark with 1,125 total punches on the night.
Arreola—who turns 40 on March 5—snapped a two-fight win streak in the process. It hasn’t dampened the spirit of the two-time heavyweight title challenger, who trains with renowned cornerman Joe Goossen.
Earlier plans called for Ruiz and Arreola to tentatively collide last spring. The fight was never formally announced by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) due to the initial wave of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Several dates were floated once boxing returned from the pandemic, only for both boxers to go all of 2020 without a fight.
Details on the undercard were still in discussion—according to sources—as this goes to publish. A strong emphasis will be placed on showcasing PBC boxers on the rise and poised to contend for a world title in 2021.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox