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Ruiz Ready for a Challenge

Bantamweight prospect Michael Ruiz Jr. takes a step up in class tomorrow night as he vies for his first professional title against fellow unbeaten Jonathan Arrellano in the eight-round main event at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California. The fight, which will air at a later date on Fox Deportes, takes place at 121-pounds and is for the WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title.

Ruiz (8-0-1, 3 KOs) of Fresno, California was last in the ring in May, scoring a six-round unanimous decision over durable Jonathan Alcantara in Reno, Nevada. In the months since, Ruiz has remained in the gym, readying for whenever he got the call for his next fight. “I am always in the gym, so when they called me for this fight, I was ready for it,” explains Ruiz.

Ruiz’ team had been looking for a chance to make a splash against the next level of opponent when Arrellano came available. “It is a good fight for Mike,” says Ruiz’ father and trainer Michael Ruiz Sr. “This is what we need to showcase what he has against somebody that is undefeated also. [A win] would put him up there on the skill level where other boxers are, where they get more exposed. So it will give Michael the opportunity at more exposure and better his career tremendously.”

For Ruiz’ manager Repo Ric, the fight has a personal aspect. “This will be a big night for me,” explains Repo. “Henry Ramirez, which is the manager of the kid…the way we met was over the phone. He’s cussing me out, I’m cussing him out. He’s saying he can whoop any fighter I got. Well it’s time for that now. Let’s get it on.”

Repo is very familiar with the undefeated Arrellano (9-0-1, 2 KOs) of Ontario. “This guy is a very good fighter,” says Repo. “Actually the way I met the kid, he came up to me at a fight one day said he’d like for me to be a hype man for him. He pulled out his iphone and showed me a video of me coming out of a dressing room talking trash to another fighter. I actually ended up being a hype man for him one fight, so now I am going to go against this kid that really likes me. But its business now, he can like me after the fight. Right now it’s straight business.”

Ruiz, who traveled down Los Angeles to get in some work with Shane Mosley strength and conditioning coach Gustavo Satragni and some ring time at the local gyms, is more than prepared for tomorrow night. “Every fight I go in with the same preparation, always to win and never underestimate anybody,” explains Ruiz. “I am always confident and I always go in with the same mindset. I’ve only seen a couple of his fights, but he’s pretty skilled. He has a jab, good hooks. He sits back a lot. He has good hand movement, good foot movement, but not anything we can’t handle. This fight is like any other fight.”

In against an undefeated fighter, with a title on the line and television cameras rolling, Ruiz understands this is his chance to seize a moment and take a big step forward in his pursuit. “I just want to show people my skills and show what I can do against someone that is supposed to be pretty good,” says Ruiz. “This is an opportunity to show where I am at in my career and where I am going to go in the future.”

Tickets for the event, promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions, are available online at ThompsonBoxing.com.

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