Mike Coppinger reports that former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and longtime contender Chris Arreola have “agreed in principle” to meet in “late 2020.” Ruiz’s father and trainer had previously expressed a desire for this matchup to take place in November.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO) will be fighting under the tutelage of 2019 Trainer of the Year Eddy Reynoso, having fired former trainer Manny Robles after his disastrous loss to Anthony Joshua in their rematch. “The Destroyer” came in well overweight and notably out of shape for that match, reportedly through his own poor discipline, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how this partnership plays out.
Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KO), who sat out for two years after falling to Deontay Wilder, returned in 2018 with the stated conviction that he’d retire upon his next defeat. After smashing Maurenzo Smith and Jean-Pierre Agustin, he squared off with then-rising Adam Kownacki, turning in a strong performance but ultimately falling short against the younger man.
If Ruiz is firing on most of his cylinders, he should win this comfortably. If he isn’t, well, Arreola proved that he can still be exhausting to fight. Ostensibly one-sided, but very prone to going disastrously wrong for the former king of the heavyweight hill.