By Murray Anderson
Special to this Newspaper
3:16 AM EDT, June 11, 2013
LAS VEGAS — Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz, an Imperial native, is nicknamed “The Destroyer” and when he decides to get in that mindset, opponents beware.
Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino here, the 23-year-old Ruiz (19-0, 13 KOs) got into that mindset and scored a first-round knockout victory over Carl Davis (16-6, 12 KOs).
After putting Davis on the canvas 20 seconds into the fight with a four-punch combination, Ruiz immediately pounced on his opponent when the bout resumed and delivered a left hook that ended it all. The blow
left him wobbly several minutes after the referee had called off the fight.
“They (Davis’ team) were talking a lot of stuff back in the locker room and walking out so I just got myself into the zone,” Ruiz said. “When I get in that ‘Destroyer’ mode, I am coming after them to finish the fight.”
The first punch of the fight was a stiff jab landed by Ruiz, with Davis giving a nod that it was a tough punch. Ruiz was clearly the quicker fighter despite weighing 25 pounds more than Davis.
“He surprised me tonight,” said Joe Gagliardi, Ruiz’s manager. “I thought it was going to go for a few rounds. He (Davis) had faced some solid competition but Andy said there was a lot of talking in the back that he didn’t like.”
Ruiz will now face Joe Hanks (21-0, 14 KOs) in a battle of young, undefeated American heavyweights in Macau, China, on July 27.
The bout will be tape-delayed broadcast on UniMas’ “Solo Tecate Boxeo” series.
Should Ruiz defeat Hanks, he will return to Macau and fight on the televised undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios pay-per-view event scheduled for November 24 (November 23 in the United States for a prime-time telecast because of the 12-hour time difference).