How John Ruiz must fight Roy Jones

BY Frank Lotierzo ON February 25, 2003
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In developing a fight plan for John Ruiz to fight Roy Jones, I'm making two assumptions. One, Jones is going to move throughout the entire fight never stopping once to plant, punch and get out. Two, Ruiz is never going to land that flush, clean, lights-out shot. So basically I'm going to make the natural heavyweight fight the type fight where the pressure is on Jones through out the bout.

The Chelsea Mass. native must utilize his only advantage, physical strength, and apply it in a strategy that negates Jones two advantages, speed and boxing ability. Ruiz must make this an alley fight. Forget boxing and clean punching, he must maul Jones. Yes, superior physical strength can neutralize speed and boxing ability. The swarmer usually gives the boxer the most trouble because he doesn't allow the boxer to box, he forces him to fight, which Ruiz must make Jones do, fight not box. Ruiz has to cut off the ring and take away Jones' escape routes. Also, Ruiz must not head hunt, he must go underneath with his shots. Jones can make Ruiz miss to the head but, he can't hide his body. A strong body attack enhances the chance that the worlds' greatest lt. heavyweight will be slowed later in the fight and will be forced to engage with the WBA Heavyweight titlist.

RUIZ MUST OLD-SCHOOL BOX CIRCA 1930' & 40's
The "Quiet Man" must open the fight aggressively, throwing punches at Jones non-stop. He must hit Roy with his shots anywhere he can, elbows, forearms, top of the shoulders or even his wrist. Ruiz must try to injure Jones early in the fight, by breaking his wrist, numbing his joints, and jabbing at his shoulders making them sore in order to slow down his hands and hinder his punching ability. Ruiz must send the message that he's the boss and Roy, your speed is going to do about as much good as your 40 pit-bulls. See, I'm going to make you fight for your life. I'm taking your speed out of this fight. Your going to have to worry about surviving, forget scoring and boxing, it's not an option. Jones can move or run but, he can't protect his arms and shoulders since they are going to be covering his face and body. Ruiz must make Jones pay for using his arms and shoulders for his protective cocoon by beating on them.

Ruiz constantly throwing bombs at Jones will pay another dividend. It will keep Jones rocking back and on the defensive, which eliminates his effectiveness to counter back. It also may have a psychological effect on Jones. Once Jones feels that he is in with a fighter who can knock him out or hurt him, it may subconsciously change his mind-set of fighting to win to trying to survive, which is a losing strategy. By Ruiz applying continuos pressure he'll be negating Jones from scoring cleanly because he'll be rushing his shots. Hopefully the mauling and brawling will tire Roy where he's too spent to move and is forced to fight from a stationary or flatfooted stance. This is where Ruiz can do his most effective fighting! By having Jones slowed to a walk Ruiz should be able to turn this bout into a fight. In this writer's opinion, Jones hasn't shown he has the punch or physical strength to fight Ruiz off of him. Jones has hit many decent lt. heavies on the chin who didn't go. I have to assume that Ruiz shouldn't be bothered by any punch Jones can deliver. Ruiz has been hit by Holyfield and Kirk Johnson in his last 4 fights totaling 46 rounds and wasn't close to being stopped. Roy Jones doesn't punch in the same zip code as Holyfield or Johnson. However, Jones can hit Ruiz cleaner and with more precision punches then either of them but, bottom line is Ruiz shouldn't be anymore then bothered by them and more then willing to take some of Jones' best in order to get to him.

In reality Ruiz shouldn't lose this fight! If Ruiz is properly prepared and executes the above battle plan he wins this fight. Keep it simple-stupid, make it a fight. No head hunting, no trying to end it with one punch, constant pressure, and hit Jones anywhere he can and don't worry about landing perfectly flush, just hit some part of him every time you let your hands go. And most importantly, don't wait and try to react to him, make him react to you. Make Jones prove not only is he amazingly fast but he also posses the chin of Hagler, the toughness of Greb, and he can take it to the body like a Lt. Heavyweight Ali. Oh and John, if Jones proves he can do all that, then resort to Plan-B, RUN!!

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