Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and top contender Luis Ortiz square off in the headliner of a pay-per-view fight card live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, September 4. Ahead of the event, the fighters battling it out on the PPV undercard, hosted a virtual press conference and previewed their respective bouts.
The press conference featured Isaac Cruz and fellow-Mexican and veteran contender Eduardo Ramirez, who meet in the WBC lightweight title eliminator serving as the co-main event. As well, former three-division world champion and LA fan-favorite Abner Mares and Miguel Flores, who duel in a super featherweight attraction. In addition, unbeaten rising lightweight Jose Valenzuela and former world champion Jezreel Corrales, who meet in the pay-per-view opener.
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Check out below what the PPV undercard fighters had to say at a virtual press conference.
“I’m thrilled about this fight because the fans are going to be the true winners. I can’t wait to get in the ring and compete.
“We’re not going to take anything away from anybody, because we know what he’s capable of. Eduardo Ramirez is a very tough and complicated rival for me.
“I’m planning to welcome Eduardo Ramirez to the division in the harshest of ways. We’ll be ready for whatever he brings into the ring.
“The fight against Gervonta Davis motivated me and gave me the goal of wanting to face him again. All I have to do is take down every single opponent who they put in front of me. I have a serious opponent in front of me now, but I know I have what it takes to bring the title back to Mexico City.
“I am a more mature and experienced fighter than I’ve been in the past. I can guarantee that the experience that I’m going to acquire going forward will make me more aware of everything surrounding me and make me even better in that rematch against Gervonta Davis.
“I’m ready for any of the top fighters at lightweight. When the time comes, I hope they step up to the plate and take on the challenge.”
“I’m so excited for this challenge on September 4. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m counting down the days until it’s fight night.
“I’ve fought a lot of high-quality opponents. I respect Isaac and I know that we’re both on winning streaks. I fully believe that I’m up to the challenge and that I have to defeat Isaac to achieve everything I have in mind for my career.
“I never think about a particular fight in a way that adds pressure. Boxing is what I do. Isaac is a quality opponent for sure. But I know that I can do whatever I set my mind to, because I crave the challenges that come my way. I want to face the best and I’ll be ready to do so on September 4.
“I try to live in the moment and not make too many plans. That can be counter-productive. I’m expecting a positive result from this fight. I’ll see what doors open after this and then make the best decision for my career.
“I’m not going to close any doors on what division I’ll fight in. I’m going to go where the biggest fights are. It’s about what me and my team believe fits me best.
“I don’t care who I’m fighting. Give me short guys or tall guys, I’m going to fight and I’m going to do everything I can to beat my opponent. No matter what they bring.”
“I’m happy to be on this card and happy to be back, period. I’m overjoyed with gratitude more than anything. I can’t wait for September 4 because it’s a comeback that I’ve asked for and it’s more meaningful because it’s happening here in L.A.
“Once you get to a certain point of your life, you have to train differently. I train smarter, not harder. I can’t do the same things I used to do. I’m sparring younger fighters, but I have to be smart, while still getting great conditioning in.
“What I’m doing this camp, that I haven’t done a lot in the past, is enjoy it. I’m enjoying myself and enjoying my progress. My family and friends are coming to see me spar, because I know this could be my last fight. It’s one of those opportunities that you hardly ever get.
“I’m not putting pressure on myself about what comes next. I’m not here to call anyone out. I’m going to take it fight-by-fight. It’s Miguel Flores in front of me and we’ll see what happens after that.
“Stamina is everything for a fighter. But for me, as the fighter who’s been out, it’s more about the timing. I’m going to be well-conditioned. It’s more the timing and reflexes and finding your distance. It’s a matter of sparring a lot and getting that back. The conditioning is no concern.
“When my fight got pulled because of my injury, I had unfinished business with Gervonta Davis. There were some fights that could have gotten done in that time, so maybe that is in the back of my mind. But my focus is really on this fight and what’s in front of me.
“I still have the drive and the fire in me. When you still have that, why not come back and show that you’re still capable of reaching great heights?”
“I just want to make the most of this opportunity against Abner Mares. This is a great card full of Mexican warriors and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
“Even though he’s been out, the name Abner Mares brings a lot to the table. I know that I have to get past him in order to get bigger fights. Abner has been out four years, but rest does you good. He might come out feeling fresh. I’m expecting the best version of Abner Mares.
“I’ve competed at the world class level. I know what it takes and we’re excited to give the fans a great show.
“To me, Abner is the target. I’m not just focused on one weak point. I want to target his body. He’s been out, so I want to see how he reacts to the body shots.
“I’m fighting a living legend. He won titles at three weights and that tells you a lot about Abner. I hope he’s not thinking I’m an easy fight.
“I’m always grateful for these opportunities. This is my third pay-per-view event. I’ve beaten good solid opponents and I know what I can do. You just want to have that perfect night and I’m hoping that’s September 4. I hate to ruin Abner’s plans, but we’re looking to go in there and possibly knock him out.”
“It’s great to be back on such a great card in Los Angeles. I have a tough opponent and I’m planning to put on another great show.
“I’m feeling great about the position I’m in. I always knew that I would be here. I’m just taking it step by step and I’m very motivated to face a highly-ranked fighter with a lot of experience.
“I think a win in this fight will open doors and give me leverage to get the big fights. People are going to have to take me seriously as a top fighter at lightweight.
“I don’t think I can just win a close fight, I have to win in impressive fashion or knock him out. I’m confident that I can do that. I’ve seen some of his film and I sparred with Alberto Machado, who beat Corrales, so I’m confident in what I can do.
“I think a fight against Isaac Cruz would be a great matchup. I’ve been asking to fight him since before he fought Gervonta Davis. I know me and my team are down to do it, so I hope he and his team are too.
“I knew I was going to beat Francisco Vargas and I knew that I’d eventually hurt him. I didn’t see it coming so early, but I was happy with the result and I hope to do that again on September 4.”
“I’m really excited for this fight. I feel strong and I can’t wait for this opportunity to compete on a great card. I’ve had a fantastic training camp and I’m excited for the challenge coming up.
“I feel comfortable at 135 pounds. This is a competitive division and I look forward to being a part of it. There are a lot of exciting challenges ahead of me and I’m ready for all of them.
“With my experience and the amount of fights I’ve had, I believe that I can win this fight. Every fight is different though. I’m only focused on the present. I can’t rely on what I’ve accomplished in the past.
“I’m not about to underestimate Valenzuela. That’s asking for trouble. I’ve faced opponents with more accolades, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to underestimate his abilities.
“I’m not intimidated by the bright lights. He’s the one who has to rise up to the challenge. I’m going to do my own thing and show up like I always do.
“Everyone is rushing Valenzuela a little bit and they’re overlooking who I am and what I’ve accomplished. I do respect what Valenzuela has done, but you can’t put the cart before the horse. I can still accomplish a lot of great things in the ring.”
The list of bouts featured on the Ruiz vs Ortiz non-PPV undercard is expected to be announced shortly.