FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Weights:
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola – 12 Rounds, WBA Heavyweight Title Eliminator
Ruiz: 256 lbs
Arreola: 228.6 lbs
Omar Figueroa Jr. vs. Abel Ramos – 12 Rounds, WBA Welterweight Title Eliminator
Figueroa: 146.4 lbs
Ramos: 146.6 lbs
Sebastian Fundora vs. Jorge Cota – 12 Rounds, WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator
Fundora: 152.8 lbs
Cota: 153.4 lbs
Jesus Ramos Jr. vs. Javier Molina – 10 Rounds, Welterweights
Ramos: 150 lbs
Molina: 149.2 lbs
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. 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.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
ANDY RUIZ JR.
“I was at 310 pounds when I started this camp. We started losing weight slowly but surely. People are wondering if I’m still going to have the same power after losing weight, but I’ve been working hard for this moment and the power is definitely staying with me.
“It’s motivating to be looking at Chris right now. I haven’t seen him in a long time. Now we finally have the chance to give the fans what they want to see Saturday night. It’s going to be a privilege.
“Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face. We both have to do our business in there. I’m praying to be victorious and for both of us to come out healthy. The better man will win on Saturday night.
“I believe I have the fastest hands at heavyweight. I’m not where I want to be at right now, but I’m a lot better than where I was. I have so much to prove starting Saturday night.
“The lack of discipline that I had before training with Eddy Reynoso has been the biggest difference heading into this fight. You can’t play boxing. You have to stay ready always. That’s one of the main things that I’ve focused on, in addition to perfecting every movement I make in the ring.
“The game plan is always to be victorious. We have little strategies and combinations that we’re perfecting. I’m making sure I’m throwing punches the right way. I appreciated every trainer that I’ve had, and I learned something from all of them, but I feel like being in camp with Eddy was the best move for me.
“Right now I’m motivated. I killed the old Andy and a new Andy was born. I have a lot to prove. I let a lot of people down, and that’s why I had to make big changes to myself. I know what I’m capable of doing and I know what I can accomplish. I have it inside of me to become the Mexican two-time heavyweight champion of the world.
“Chris is a strong man. He comes forward, he takes punches and he gives punches. My speed and the combinations that I’ve been working on in the gym are going to throw him off a little bit.
“It’s going to be an all action fight. We both came here to win. God willing we get this victory and all the sacrifice we gave are going to pay off. I just have to do my job.
“Eddy made a really big difference for me. He’s helped my motivation and confidence. Without that discipline, I don’t think I would have been in this shape.
“I want the heavyweight title even more now. It’s because of the way I lost. I Imagine that if I had been in this shape, I would have won the rematch with Joshua. Things happen for a reason and I’m just happy that I have the mindset that I have now.
“My natural speed and counter punching is going to overwhelm Arreola in the ring. I’m not the same fighter who sparred him when I was 16-years-old.
“After my defeat against Joshua, I know that I have to prove to a lot of people, and also to myself, that all my dedication will pay off in the ring. I know Chris Arreola is here to knock my head off, just like I’m trying to do to him. Once we’re inside that ring, the switch will be on, because we’re both trying to provide for our family.”
“I feel very rejuvenated heading into this fight. I’m excited and ready to go. Today is just a press conference, but just seeing Andy today gets my blood going, because I’m ready to fight right now.
“I always want to win, but facing someone like Andy, who’s accomplished what he has, can add another notch to my belt. He’s the man that beat the man, so I want to beat that man.
“We’re heavyweights, so as long as we’re over 200 pounds, every punch is going to hurt. This is the hurt business. He’s a skillful fighter and I’m ready for what he has to offer.
“I’ve worked so hard, but I haven’t been trying to just lose weight specifically. The hard work has showed in my body and it’s going to show on Saturday.
“Ruiz and Adam Kownacki are very different fighters. With Adam, we just slugged it out. With Andy, I have to be aware at all times. He has some of the fastest hands in the division. I have to make sure I move my head, because this is going to be a great fight.
“I know what my trainer Joe Goossen wants me to do. I know he wants me to work hard every time at every moment. He’s always watching me, so I can’t take a round off in the gym. There’s no substitute for hard work and I appreciate that from Joe.
“This fight isn’t personal in the fact that I dislike Andy. I have a lot of respect for Andy, and that’s why I trained extra hard. This is going to be one of those battles of attrition. This is a fight that I need to win for my legacy.
“I haven’t separated myself from my family during camp to the extent that I did for this fight before. I had to make sure I had nothing but Andy on my mind. I had to put my best foot forward every day. This is a mountain of a man, and I don’t mean his size, I mean his strength and all-around skill.
“I’ve worked nonstop on defense with Joe. That’s definitely something we emphasized. I’m going to counter punch and make sure I bring those hands back. All I know is, I’m going to give Ruiz war and a great fight.
“Saturday’s coming and I can’t wait. I put the hard work in at the gym and Saturday is time to showcase it. We’re going to leave our friendship aside once we step into the ring. That friendship is out the door until that last bell rings.”
“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.”
Here is what Arreola and Goossen had to say :
“I’m ready for this fight. I’ve been waiting for this fight for four or five months. This one is going to be a barnburner for sure.
“This fight is important for my legacy. I want to make the fans happy they bought this fight. I don’t fight for paychecks. I’m a fighter for the fans. So I hope they enjoy this fight and buy this pay-per-view.
“I love what I do. I’m a fortunate person to have been a fighter since a young age. I bleed boxing. I put my whole self out there every time I fight. I know that I owe it to the fans to give them a great fight.
“Defensively I’ve grown so much working with Joe. He’s taught me a lot about keeping my hands up and countering. He hasn’t reinvented the wheel, he’s just made sure the wheel is round.
“I was able to keep up the pace against Kownacki because I did everything I had to do in the gym. I could have given three more rounds at the end of that fight too. The fight is always won in the gym and we put all of the work in to win that fight. I thought I won that fight. Despite not getting the decision, it was a fun fight for me.
“I feel great. I’ve been working hard for months. I know that I have to make this a great fight for the fans and for myself. I know how crucial this fight is for my career.
“I don’t pay attention to the odds. If people want to make me the underdog, I’m comfortable with that. I’ve been an underdog my whole life.
“I’ve had some long layoffs before, so I know how to get back into it when the time comes. The sparring helps you know where your timing is at. That’s the best way to gauge where you’re at in your training camp.
“It’s a beautiful venue at Dignity Health Sports Park. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Every time I go there I love to sit up there with all the fans and enjoy the fights. It’s going to be a fun night of boxing on May 1 and I can’t wait.”
ANDY RUIZ JR.
“It’s great to be back. I feel really good right now with all the hard work we’ve put in at the gym. I know Arreola is training hard as well and looking good, so we’re ready for whatever he brings on fight night.
“I chose Eddy because this is where the champions train. Everyone here is dedicated and disciplined. I felt like I needed to make this change and it’s really something that I should have done a long time ago.
“The main thing I’ve learned here is discipline. That’s something you can’t buy, you have to do it on your own. You have to want it.
“I’ve learned so much here. We try to perfect every punch and every movement. I’m not just a fighter who comes forward. I have more abilities. Losing weight is going to let me show more of what I can do.
“Chris and I sparred when I was 16-years-old. We’ve both had the same dreams and the same vision. We’ve had great careers. My dad has always said that me and him were going to fight one day and now it’s right around the corner.
“I come to the gym with a smile on my face now. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m a lot better than I was before. I just have to keep working and stay disciplined. I have to be in the gym, even when I don’t have a fight date. It’s got to be a lifestyle.
“I’ve learned different abilities that I can do during this training camp. I can throw different punches and combinations fighting at this weight. I was always a fighter who could come forward, but now I can switch it up. I can’t wait to show it on May 1.”