Andy Ruiz knocked Luis Ortiz down three times but couldn’t get the KO. He had to settle for a unanimous decision in an interesting heavyweight contest.

The Sept. 4 heavyweight boxing showdown between Andy Ruiz and Luis Ortiz ebbed and flowed, but when it flowed, the tide was in Ruiz’s favor. He rode the 12-round current to a unanimous decision victory in the WBA title eliminator at the Arena in Los Angeles, CA.

Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) fought the first southpaw in his professional boxing career, and it was a successful outing. Ortiz jabbed well throughout the contest, but the 43-year-old boxer couldn’t get out of the way of Ruiz’s right hand.

Ruiz’s youth and speed overcame Ortiz’s power. The 32-year-old Ruiz flashed a lightning-quick right hand in round 2 that leveled the 6-foot-4 Ortiz. Ortiz got back up on shaky legs but went down again from what looked like a Ruiz push.

However, the referee ruled it a knockdown, giving Ruiz a 10-7 round and a big lead on the cards early in the fight.

Ortiz (33-3, 28 KOs) did a nice job of jabbing and boxing his way back into the fight. His right jab kept Ruiz at arm’s length, and Ruiz’s punch output leveled off.

Andy Ruiz dropped Luis Ortiz twice in round 2 and once in round 7 to win a unanimous decision

Just when it looked like Ortiz got himself back into the fight, Ruiz sprung into action and dropped Ortiz for a third time in round 7 with another right to the side of Ortiz’s head. Ortiz got to his feet and finished the round, but the scores started to slip away from the Cuban fighter.

By round 12, Ortiz needed a knockout to win. He gave it his all and hurt Ruiz with his left hand but never got close to sending Ruiz down.

After the final bell, the judges returned two scores of 114-11 and one of 113-112, all for Ruiz. Ortiz was competitive, but his age stripped him of his former speed and reflexes. Ortiz had a nice run in boxing, but his dreams of becoming a world champion are pretty much over.

Ruiz looked solid but not like a top-3 heavyweight in the world. His right hand has the power to hurt the best around, but he lacks the endurance to keep up a constant assault.

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was in attendance and admitted that he might be in line to fight the winner of Ruiz vs. Ortiz. He fights Robert Helenius on Oct. 15. A Wilder win could bring a Wilder vs. Ruiz meeting in 2023.

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