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“The Destroyer” Takes Rough Road to Title

L-R: Andy Ruiz and Tor Hamer weigh in
L-R: Andy Ruiz and Tor Hamer weigh in (Ruiz 257.8 lbs, Hamer 220 lbs.) at The Venetian Macao Resort in Macau, China.
-Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank-

Article written by Bill Tibbs, MaxBoxing


When undefeated heavyweight prospect Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. steps into the ring today at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Resort in Macao, China, he will be looking to pick up win number 21 in as many contests against New York’s Tor Hamer. Ruiz will also be looking to, again, delight fight fans in China with some of the thunder that only the big boys in the heavyweight division should bring to the game. Local former amateur star, flyweight Zou Shiming may have generated a buzz for boxing in China. But the fans loved watching the big, bombing heavyweight Ruiz trade leather last time around in July against undefeated Joe Hanks, whom he halted in round four to claim the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight title. Last time out, Mexico-born Ruiz was fighting on the undercard of Zou Shiming’s second pro bout. Tonight, he will be supporting Manny Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) international welterweight title bout against tough, Oxnard, California-based Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios.


Ruiz, who Top Rank Promotions feel is ascending nicely toward a title shot, is quietly going about mowing down everyone put in front of him. The soft-spoken, often-smiling 245-pound banger knows a few more wins may put him in line to tangle for a trinket in the New Year. What separates Ruiz from many of his heavyweight counterparts is his impressive hand speed and his deceptively fast head and foot movement. He may look like a heavyweight but unleashes three and four-punch combinations like a middleweight. Ruiz has very fast hands for a big man and up to this point in his run, also appears to have a good set of whiskers. Having that middleweight hand speed could prove to be troublesome for anyone facing the Imperial, California-based heavyweight.
 
In Hamer, 21-2 (14), Ruiz will be taking a step up against a fighter who has only tasted defeat twice. Once he was retired in round four against undefeated Vyacheslav Glazkov (who just defeated late substitute Garrett Wilson on November 16th). Hamer’s only other loss was a close, split decision loss earlier in his career to then-undefeated Kelvin Price who himself has only lost to undefeated, knockout bomber Deontay Wilder. So, take away those two losses and you have a solid fighter posting good numbers going into his bout with Ruiz.
 
Each fight going forward is a step up in competition for Ruiz and a step closer to his ultimate goal of facing some of the world’s elite heavyweights. While some of the more outspoken, colorful heavyweights (the likes of Tyson Fury and Wilder) have perhaps generated more press, the quietly confident Ruiz has maintained a calm, professional demeanor. But don’t let the smile and soft-spoken personality fool you. When he gets in the ring, he is all business...and business has been good.
 
In a recent interview Ruiz stated, “I like to meet up in the ring and let it happen there. I like to do my talking in the ring.” Macao fight fans can assuredly look for their favorite Mexican big man to slot little chat time in the centre of the ring with Tor Hamer on November 23rd.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 

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