Parker vs. Ruiz might prove something – even entertain!
Boxing fans are becoming increasingly vocal about their desire to see the best fighting the best, and the desire to see fewer record-building bouts.
The forthcoming (Dec. 10) Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz heavyweight showdown should be a satisfying return to form for the sport, which hasn’t rewarded fight watchers for their loyalty more than intermittently. No, it’s not necessarily a “the best fighting the best” tango. Parker (21-0, 18 knockouts, age 24) is No. 7 and Ruiz (29-0, 19 KOs, age 27) the No. 24-ranked heavyweight according to the Boxrec algorithm (They’re ranked Nos. 6 and 10, respectively, by THE RING). But it certainly is not a record-building bout, as the vacant WBO title is up for the taking.
Abel Sanchez, BWAA Trainer of the Year for 2015, started working with Ruiz almost two weeks ago. The tutor checked in with THE RING and gave us some thoughts on the California-based heavy hitter signed to the Top Rank stable.
And, what has Sanchez seen so far from Ruiz? “Learning how to train to be a champion; he’s not complaining and he’s working hard,” Honest Abel told me.
Ruiz has taken flak for at times lacking focus and discipline and being too fond of the fork. “He really has never worked to his ability, because nobody pushed him – his words,” Sanchez said.
Can he furnish an assessment of Ruiz’s ability and his technique? And Ruiz is the underdog vs. Parker, yes? “Yes, Parker is the most prototypical-looking heavyweight, but Andy is very physical, has fast hands and is mobile for a big guy.”
We think this is a pick ’em fight, to unfold in New Zealand? Stiffest test on paper to date for both?
“I think so. Later rounds will tell who wants to be champion,” said Sanchez in conclusion.