By Jim Dower: Unbeaten #3 WBO heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-0, 19 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision over 40-year-old Franklin Lawrence (21-3-2, 16 KOs) last Saturday night in their fight at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California. The judges scored the fight 99-91, 99-91, 100-90.
Ruiz, 27, had Lawrence hurt on a number of occasions with his heavy shots, but he was never able to finish off the aging heavyweight. As the fight wore on, Ruiz faded and appeared very tired. He didn’t look like he was in the best of shape for the contest after weighing in a very soft looking 252lbs during Friday’s weigh-in. Lawrence didn’t have the power, boxing skills or youth to take advantage of Ruiz gassing out. Ruiz seemed to be laboring near the end of the contest.
With the win, Ruiz will next be facing unbeaten #5 WBO, #13 IBF Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) in his next fight on October 29 on the undercard of the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson card at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. Ruiz is going to need to be in much better condition for that fight if he wants to be able to beat the 21-year-old Hughie because he’s not someone that he can count on to be standing right in front of him all night long looking to punch it out.
The 6’6” Hughie likes to hit and run to stay out of harm’s way. Hughie doesn’t have much punching power, so he prefers to hit and run with his boxing style. For Ruiz to be successful against that type of style, he’ll need to be able to cut off the ring and keep constant pressure on the light hitting heavyweight. Ruiz has the punching power to beat Hughie, but it’s unclear whether he can trap him into a brawl.
Hughie likes to move to avoid punishment, and it’s unlikely that Ruiz is going to be able to get him to stand still long enough for him to land his thunderous power shots. If Ruiz’s conditioning like it was last night, he’s only going to have six rounds to get his knockout before he gasses.
In other boxing results on the card, welterweight prospect Arturo Marquez (4-0, 3 KOs) defeated Curtis Waller (1-4-1, 0 KOs) by a four-round majority decision. The final judges’ score was 39-37, 39-37, 38-38.
Lightweight contender Ray Beltran (30-7-1, 18 KOs) defeated Miguel Mendoza (22-9-2, 21 Kos) by a 5th round knockout.
Other action on the card:
Saul Lomas KO 3 Joshua Joseph
Danny Valdivia UD 8 Gilberto Pereira