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Andy Ruiz Jr and Chris Arreola in deep discussions for all-action heavyweight scrap

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Former unified heavyweight champion Andy ‘The Destroyer’ Ruiz Jr 33-2 (22) is in negotiations to face former three-time world title challenger Chris ‘The Nightmare’ Arreola 38-6-1 (33).

The 30-year-old Mexican-American is on the comeback trail after surrendering the WBA, WBO and IBF belts in his rematch with Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) in Saudi Arabia in December.

The points loss was an immediate rematch of his breakthrough seventh-round knockout win of Joshua at New York’s Madison Square Garden six months earlier.

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Since the loss, Ruiz Jr has split from his trainer Manny Robles and hooked up with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s coach Eddy Reynoso.

Arreola believes fight negotiations are moving in a positive direction.

“Yes, actually there’s been a couple of talks [about Ruiz Jr fight], but I’m not at liberty of saying anything right now,” Arreola told Sky Sports.

“But they are looking fairly good. Looking very good. I’m actually very excited for that fight.

“I think that’s the only fight that looks promising for myself. If that fight doesn’t come around, then you know, I’m okay with staying at home.

“But that’s the only fight that’s very enticing, not only to myself, also for the boxing fans. I think the boxing fans will love a boxing fight with two Mexican heavyweights that are going at it.”

The 39-year-old Californian veteran looked in vintage form when he engaged in a thrilling 12-round slugfest with rising star Adam Kownacki 20-1 (15) in Brooklyn last August.

Despite losing the decision, Arreola’s 1,125 punches were the most thrown by a heavyweight in CompuBox’s 34-year history.

WBA number four Ruiz Jr has a similarly a high punch output, meaning a fight with Arreola, who is ranked number seven, has the potential to be an explosive encounter.

“We’re both Californians, we’re both in the rankings, we’re both fan-friendly fighters and we’re both of Mexican heritage,” said Arreola.

“We all know what Mexican fighters bring to the table. They bring non-stop excitement. We just come forward and we just love to fight.

“I think it will be a great fight between me and Andy.”

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