Ruiz Jr. vs Arreola Preview: May 1st PBC on FOX PPV!
Former Unified Heavyweight World Champion Andy Ruiz, Jr. Makes Ring Return Against All-Action Heavyweight
Chris Arreola in Main Event of All-Mexican Extravaganza
On FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, May 1st
From Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California!
(March 24th) Former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz, Jr. will battle all-action heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare’’ Arreola in the main event of an all-Mexican boxing extravaganza on Saturday, May 1 headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with an undercard stacked from top to bottom with fan-friendly, action-packed matchups, as the co-feature will see former world champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr. clash with Abel Ramos in a 12-round welterweight bout. Sensational super welterweight contender Sebastián “The Towering Inferno’’ Fundora takes on hard-hitting Jorge “El Demonio’’ Cota in a 12-round battle and rising welterweight star Jesús Ramos, Jr., the nephew of Abel Ramos, duels U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina for 10-rounds of welterweight action.
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com for the event that includes an action-packed lineup of FOX PBC Fight Night and FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View fights. Dignity Health Sports Park will be open to fans in a limited capacity, with all guests remaining socially distanced and subject to local and state health guidelines throughout the event.
The FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View is priced at $49.95.
“This pay-per-view card is one of the best all-action lineups that I can remember and is loaded with fighters who know nothing but delivering toe-to-toe combat. Headlining the card is the only heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, Andy Ruiz, Jr., taking on Chris Arreola, the first serious Mexican-American heavyweight contender,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the sports world when he destroyed Anthony Joshua to win heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden. No upset in recent years has been nearly as big a story as Ruiz stunning Joshua and no boxer of Mexican descent weighing more than 175 pounds had ever won a championship before him. Ruiz has re-dedicated himself and is focused on regaining the heavyweight crown and Arreola is determined to make one more run at the title.
“The pay-per-view undercard matchups are toss-up fights that predicate great action, featuring top young contenders, a former world champion and an Olympian. No matter what happens on May 1, boxing fans will be the real winners.”
Ruiz and Arreola, two Mexican-American heavyweights from Southern California, have been circling each other for years. They both had designs on becoming the first fighter of Mexican descent to win the heavyweight title. Ruiz won it and lost it, while Arreola still hungers for it. This high-stakes match will determine who remains in the hunt.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) shocked the boxing world in 2019 when he was brought in as a late replacement to face heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and turned the tables on the champion, knocking him out in the seventh round and taking home the titles. The 31-year-old from Imperial, California lost his rematch with Joshua by unanimous decision, but has now rededicated himself to regaining the heavyweight championship.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on May 1,” said Ruiz, who is now being trained by renowned coach Eddy Reynoso. “Training with coach Eddy in his gym has been amazing. I’m around great fighters like Canelo Alvarez and we’re putting in the work so that I can look better than ever.
“I have known Chris Arreola since I turned professional. He’s a Mexican warrior just like me, and I expect him to come at me with everything he’s got. This is going to be an action packed event between fighters who do not go backwards. I will be smart and ready to do whatever it takes to get the win and put myself back in position to become heavyweight champion again.”
Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) has a career that has spanned 17 years and he remains one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the sport. Born in East Los Angeles to parents from Mexico, Arreola has fought for the heavyweight championship three times and come up short. He began working with renowned trainer Joe Goossen before his last match against Adam Kownacki and appeared to have turned back the clock. It was a back-and-forth, up-tempo match and Goossen’s work with Arreola was on full display. Arreola acquitted himself well, but came up on the short end of the decision.
"Training with Joe Goossen is tedious, hard work,” said Arreola, whose father was a boxer who would take him to Mexico to watch the legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. train. “We’re doing everything that we can so that when Ruiz and I face each other, fight fans will get treated to an all-out war between the two best Mexican-American heavyweights to ever step in the ring. This matchup should be a fan friendly fight, and I plan on winning behind all of my hard work.”
The 31-year-old Figueroa (30-1-1, 19 KOs) is from a fighting family along with his younger brother Brandon, the WBA Super Bantamweight Champion. Figueroa won the WBC Lightweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 “Fight of the Year” and successfully defended the title two times before moving up to super lightweight in 2015. In his last fight in 2019, he fought Yordenis Ugas, who is currently the WBA Welterweight World Champion, losing a unanimous decision.
“I’ve been training with Joel Diaz for the last six weeks and doing everything necessary leading up to this fight,” said Figueroa. “This is the best shape I’ve ever been in this far out from a fight, because I now realize what I need to do differently to ensure the longevity of my career. I’m training and preparing the right way. I can’t wait to prove on May 1 that I belong with the elite fighters in this division.”
Abel Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KOs) is also from a fighting family. His older brother, Jesús, Sr. trains him, and his nephew, Jesús, Jr., is a spectacular welterweight prospect featured on this pay-per-view undercard. Ramos, 29, is from Casa Grande, Arizona and lost a narrow split decision to Yordenis Ugas in his last fight. He got a chance to display both his comeback ability and his punching power in his previous fight before Ugas, when he scored a last second KO victory against Bryant Perrella. Ramos was trailing on all the judges’ scorecards at the time of the knockout.
“This fight will be exciting because Omar’s boxing style and my boxing style match up perfectly for an action-packed fight,” said Ramos. “I expect him to put on the pressure like he always does. But I will be prepared for that and anything else he brings on fight night. A victory over Omar will put me in position to fight for a world title again. I want to earn that shot with a great performance and prove that I can beat the best fighters in the division.”
Fundora (16-0-1, 11 KOs) continues to rise up the super welterweight ranks and his match against the veteran Jorge Cota will be his toughest to date. He steps into the squared circle showing off the skills of a rugged boxer who is just as comfortable fighting on the inside as on the outside. The 23-year-old Fundora’s mother is Mexican and his father is Cuban, and both were boxers. He was born in West Palm Beach, Florida but now lives and trains in Coachella, California. Fundora is coming off a knockout victory over Habib Ahmed last December.
“I’m really looking forward to fighting Jorge Cota on this big event on May 1,” said Fundora, who at 6-foot-6 looks like he should be setting up on the wing of a basketball court rather than squaring off in a boxing ring. “I’m laser-focused because I know this will be a tough test for me. I’m sure that he will be training hard too, but I’ll be up for the challenge and I look forward to showing off my skills and fighting for all the hard-working people out there.”
Cota (30-4, 27 KOs) is a rugged slugger who always comes to fight. He has been in the ring with unified 154-pound world champion Jermell Charlo, former unified world champion Jeison Rosario and top contender Erickson Lubin. Cota, 33, is from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico and is coming off a powerful knockout victory over Thomas LaManna last January. With his experience and power, Cota will present a challenge yet-unseen by the rising Fundora.
“I am treating this fight like it is do-or-die for my career,” said Cota. “Fundora is very tall, but he can be hit. I think my style works well against his. I can’t wait to prove what I can do on May 1.”
Ramos (15-0, 14 KOs), the nephew of welterweight contender Abel Ramos, has paved his way to stardom in the talent-laden welterweight division with highlight-reel KOs. He has scored five-straight knockout victories following his only pro fight that went the distance, which came in a June 2019 unanimous decision over Kevin Shacks. He steadily increased the toughness of competition in 2020 and he has continued that trend in 2021. In his last fight, Ramos scored a spectacular knockout victory over rugged veteran Jesus Emilio Bojorquez in February.
“I’m looking to make a statement in this fight against a tough opponent in Javier Molina,” said Ramos, a 20-year-old from Casa Grande, Arizona. “We know it's a big step up, but my team and I feel like it's time the world sees my talent. Molina will bring out some of the many things that I’m capable of. This win would prove that I’m not just any prospect. Fight fans don’t want to miss this one, because they’re going to see an exciting glimpse of what I can do in the ring.”
The 31-year-old Molina (22-3, 9 KOs) also grew up in the sport, as his father was an amateur boxer. Molina was on the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team, while his twin brother, Oscar, represented Mexico in the 2008 Olympics. He has an older brother, Carlos, who also is a boxer. Fighting out of Norwalk, California, Molina is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jose Pedraza last September. Before that, he scored a unanimous decision victory over veteran contender Amir Imam.
“I’m excited for this fight and for the opportunity to face an unbeaten prospect in Jesús Ramos,” said Molina. “A lot of people are probably counting me out, but I’m ready to prove all the doubters wrong. This is going to be a great fight that fans won’t want to miss on May 1.”
Cuban Star & WBA Super Welterweight Champion
Erislandy Lara Takes On Thomas LaManna
For WBA Middleweight Championship
Headlining FOX PBC Fight Night Saturday, May 1st
From Dignity Health Sports Park In Carson, California!
(March 24th) Cuban star and WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will seek a third world title in a second weight class when he faces veteran contender Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna for the WBA Middleweight Title in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, May 1 as part of a stacked night of boxing from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and precedes the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event headlined by former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. battling all-action heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, which tops a stellar boxing extravaganza all taking place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The FOX PBC Fight Night co-main event will see top featherweight contender Eduardo Ramirez take on hard-hitting Isaac Avelar in a 12-round fight for the vacant interim WBA Featherweight Title.
“Erislandy Lara has had a long reign as an elite 154-pounder and now has his sights set on a new challenge in the star-studded middleweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “He will bring his renowned skills and style to this tough matchup against the young and rangy Thomas LaManna. With fast-rising Mexican contender Eduardo Ramirez squaring off against the young exciting Mexican brawler Isaac Avelar in the co-main event, this primetime lineup is an ideal way to load up an already stacked night of boxing at Dignity Health Sports Park, leading up to the return of Andy Ruiz Jr. against Chris Arreola live on pay-per-view.”
Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound world champion before he lost a tough split-decision to Jarrett Hurd in a title unification match in 2018 that was the unanimous “Fight of the Year”. Lara returned from that fight and battled current 154-pound world titleholder Brian Castano to an exciting draw in another narrow fight that could have gone Lara’s way. Lara has since scored back-to-back triumphs with a knockout of Ramon Alvarez in 2019 to capture his current title, and a decision over Greg Vendetti in August 2020. Lara has faced a slew of the top 154-pounders in the sport, including Canelo Alvarez, ahead of his middleweight debut.
“I’m excited to be making my 2021 debut on a huge platform live on FOX,” said Lara, who was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and now trains in Las Vegas. “Thomas LaManna is a tall middleweight with a lot of experience and I’m taking this fight very seriously, like always. I arrived weeks ago for training camp and Ismael Salas immediately got me working on the fundamentals of boxing. At this stage in my career, I’m all-action, fighting on the inside, and letting my hands fly. I’m going to make a statement in this fight with a knockout.”
The Belleville, New Jersey-native LaManna (30-4-1, 12 KOs) was riding an eight-fight unbeaten streak, which included seven wins plus a draw against Gabriel Bracero, before losing to Jorge Cota in January 2020. He won back-to-back middleweight fights in January and October entering this showdown, knocking out Jorge Pimentel and Juan de Jesus Gonzalez. Prior to his two most recent knockouts, LaManna dropped a narrow decision to Brian Mendoza in August 2020.
“It’s been a long time coming and now I’m finally getting my chance to accomplish my ultimate dream of becoming a champion,” said the 29-year-old LaManna. “This is the land of opportunity and I’m getting mine on May 1. I’ve put my heart, blood and soul into this game. I’m the definition of the ‘American dream’. People can write me off if they want, because at the end of the day, there’s no doubt that I’m coming to win. This is my time.”
Fighting out of Sinaloa, Mexico, Ramirez (24-2-3, 11 KOs) has risen up the featherweight rankings with back-to-back sensational knockout victories, stopping Leduan Barthelemy in November 2019 before most recently blasting out Miguel Flores in December 2020. The 28-year-old is currently riding a streak of wins in four of his last five fights since losing to then 126-pound champion Lee Selby in 2017. He’s won 15 of his last 18 fights overall, with his only other blemishes coming in a draw against Barthelemy that was later avenged, and a decision loss to
“This fight is very important for my career because it puts me one step closer to fighting for a world title again,” said Ramirez. “But I will not be looking past Avelar, who is coming off a big win and will be coming to fight like a proud Mexican, just like I do. I will be in top shape and ready to achieve this step toward my dream of getting another chance at a world title. No disrespect to my opponent, but I will win, no matter what it takes.”
The 23-year-old Avelar (17-2, 10 KOs) most recently won a wide unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in December 2020, stopping a two-fight skid that included a loss to super bantamweight world champion Stephen Fulton. The Aguascalientes, Mexico native was unbeaten in his first 16 pro fights, including a 2019 triumph over Juan Antonio Lopez in his U.S. debut.
“I’m coming into this fight strongly believing that I’m going to stop Eduardo Ramirez,” said Avelar. “I’ve been hurting and stopping sparring partners during camp, so I’m fully prepared for a war. This is going to be a spectacular fight like Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vazquez. I’ve been improving my game quite a bit in the last year. I asked for this fight, and I’m going to make Ramirez regret accepting it.”