Chris Arreola lifts the lid on spar sessions with “pudgy kid” Andy Ruiz Jr.

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Chris Arreola hug it out at the weigh-in

Sean Michael Ham

 Chris Arreola had discussed sparring sessions with a “pudgy kid” in Andy Ruiz Jr. when the pair were making their way in the boxing world.

Firstly, “The Nightmare” faces the former unified heavyweight champion on a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California tonight.

Discussing training alongside his famed trainer Joe Goossen, Arreola talked about the fight that could make or break the rest of his career.

Arreola’s first fight with Goossen saw the veteran former title challenger set numerous CompuBox heavyweight records in a narrow decision loss to Adam Kownacki.

At 38-6-1 with 33 KOs, the heavyweight has a career that has spanned 17 years, and he remains one of the most dangerous in the sport.


“This is a fight that I’ve seen coming since the first time I ever sparred Andy Ruiz Jr. Back then, he was just a pudgy kid, and I thought nothing of him until he threw those hands.

“Those hands were fast and lethal. I knew at that point that one day this fight would come.

“Andy was very unassuming when I first sparred him. I didn’t think he was going to have the hand speed and skills that he had.

“I had a rude awakening that day. We were putting hands on each other.

“Instead of quitting, he kept coming. It was a fun sparring session. That’s why I was one of the people who predicted that he would beat Joshua in the first fight.

“I know that I have to bring a smart game plan. We’re going to have the rock ‘em sock ‘em moments. Andy has great hand speed. So I know that if I don’t bring my hands back, I’ll get caught.”

“I’ve been ready for this fight for a while. At one point, he wanted to be like me. Now I want to be like him and become a heavyweight champion.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Chris Arreola weigh in
Sean Michael Ham

“He deserved everything he got, and now it’s my time to do everything to change history and prove I’m an elite heavyweight.

“I know Andy is looking strong, and that’s going to make this a great fight. This is a fight people should be talking about. There’s more work to be done, but I’ll be ready to shock the world.”


On his loss to Kownacki, who has since been humbled by Robert Helenius, Arreola added: “It wasn’t so much the punch output that improved for me in the Adam Kownacki fight, but it’s the fact that I could throw combos when I wanted to.

“I believe the worst I should have gotten in that fight was a draw. Either way, I plan to be in even better shape for this fight against Ruiz.

“There are not too many things that I regret in my life. Yes, I found more discipline later in my career, but I do not draw on the past too much.

“There’s nothing I can change except what happens tomorrow.”


Trainer Goossen aired his thoughts on the fight.

“These are two fighters known who are noted for what they do best, and that’s going for the knockout. They let it fly right away from the opening bell,” he pointed out.

“When have you ever seen either Chris or Andy Ruiz Jr. in a bad fight? They both give it their all, and if I weren’t training Chris, I’d definitely be watching.

“When it’s all said and done, I believe this is going to be a fight that goes down in the history books.

“Andy’s style is certainly Andy’s style. As he said himself, the difference is what he can do with a different body. It’s going to be a new and improved style.

“It’s hard to change your whole style, but he’s going to show that he’s added on to his style.

“When you have two guys of the same talent, how do you determine who wins the fight? It’s the fighter who’s in better shape. That’s the underlying thought process here.

“You’re going to have the best Andy Ruiz that we’ve seen in this fight. And we have the same on our side.

“Our team has been working hard as well. I don’t expect anything but a great fight. However many rounds this goes, it’s going to be fireworks.

“I’m very confident and calm heading into this fight because Chris has been doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. That’s all you can ask for.”