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Andy Ruiz Jr. to fight Sergei Liakhovich on Dec. 20

Fighters Network

Undefeated heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. will face former titleholder Sergei Liakhovich on a Dec. 20 card that will also include undefeated junior lightweight Oscar Valdez at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Ariz., Top Rank Promotions announced on Tuesday.

Ruiz (23-0, 17 knockouts) has stopped his past nine opponents heading into the bout with Liakhovich (26-6, 16 KOs) that headlines Top Rank’s “Iron Boy 18.”

Nicknamed “The Destroyer,” Ruiz, 25, of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, was last in action for a first-round stoppage of Kenny Lemos in October. Ruiz had not fought since May prior to facing Lemos, when he stopped veteran Manuel Quezada in the second round.

Liakhovich, 38, is 3-5 with two knockouts since rising from a seventh-round knockdown to defeat Lamon Brewster for the WBO belt in April 2006.

Liakhovich was last in action for a unanimous decision over Chad Davis in February that followed his first-round stoppage loss to Deontay Wilder in August 2013.

“I’m happy to be fighting over there because I have a lot of fans in Phoenix,” said Ruiz. “It’s a great opportunity to fight in there against Sergei Liahkovich and it should be a great fight. Hopefully it hypes up all my Mexican fans in Arizona.”

A two-time Mexican Olympian, Valdez (13-0, 12KO), 23, will fight an opponent to be determined after having scored a seventh-round knockout over Alberto Garza last month.

“We have a great relationship with Valdez’s promoter, Top Rank Boxing and his manager, Frank Espinoza,” said Roberto Vargas, president of Iron Boy Promotions.

“The fans here love Oscar. We got great feedback when he was on our card here in July. We hope to keep bringing him back and giving Phoenix boxing fans great fights as he grows into a world champion.”

Also on the card will be Francisco De Vaca, a 19-year-old bantamweight who recently began training camp in Los Angeles with Roberto Alcazar, who was once a corner man for Oscar De La Hoya.

Light heavyweight Trevor McCumby, managed by Cameron Dunkin, will also make an appearance, as will cruiserweight David Benavidez, the hard-hitting younger brother of junior welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr.


Note: Information taken from a release