By Cliff Rold
27-year old heavy heavyweight hopeful Andy Ruiz (28-0, 19 KO), 252, of Imperial, California, remained unbeaten in the main event on Saturday night at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California, earning an easy ten-round decision over a 40-year old Franklin Lawrence (21-2-2, 16 KO), 219 ½, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who didn’t come to lie down.
Lawrence survived some early turbulence the fight settled into a long affair, rarely exciting but workmanlike throughout. Ruiz, digging to the body, steadily outworked Lawrence, who didn’t offer much more than token offense. There were no knockdowns on the night. Ruiz won by a shutout score of 100-90 and 99-91 twice.
Ruiz may next be headed towards an elimination bout for title contention against Hughie Fury, the cousin of World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury. The fight was announced last week by promoter Frank Warren, as the co-feature to the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury rematch on October 29th in Manchester.
Mexico’s 35-year old former lightweight title challenger Ray Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KO), 136 ¼, of Phoenix, Arizona, scored his second straight knockout since a No Decision for a failed PED test stripped him of a lightweight title in 2015. Beltran found little resistance from 32-year old Miguel Angel Mendoza (22-9-2, 21 KO), 136 ¼, of Aguascalientes, Mexico, scoring a fifth round stoppage in a one-sided affair. It was Mendoza’s fifth stoppage defeat.
In the televised opener, 24-year old Jr. middleweight Danny Valdivia (12-0, 9 KO), 153, of Tulare, California, had his hands full against game 39-year old Gilberto Pereira dos Santos (12-4, 9 KO), 155 ¾, of Brazil. It was a good learning night for the young Valdivia who did enough good work to snare scores of 78-74 and 77-75 twice for a unanimous decision in eight rounds.
The card was televised in the US on UniMas as part of the “Solo Boxeo” series.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]