Despite the unanimous decision victory for Andy Ruiz over Luis Ortiz, the judges’ scorecards told a curious story.
Hard-hitting heavyweights clashed in Los Angeles last September 5, 2022. Faced off against one another were two of the most dangerous names in the biggest and baddest division of the sport—Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz and Luis “King Kong” Ortiz.
Fight fans were treated to a boxing spectacle because there was quite a lot on the line as a win for either fighter would mean a step closer to the title shot for both contenders. Inasmuch as the match was full of brutal entertainment, it also gave us a glimpse of one of the quirks of boxing as a sport and that is through its scoring system.
The Game recaps the match with our own scorecards filled up by yours truly.
Start of Rd 1
After a brief feeling-out and range-finding process, the Mexican starts the action with a big body shot that visibly hurt Luis Ortiz. King Kong responded by coming back with a crisp combination shortly after but the first 3-minutes were clearly controlled by Andy Ruiz.
Round 1 score: Ruiz 10-9 Ortiz
Start of Rd 2
The crowd had little to no use for the seats they paid for during this round but I’m sure none of them complained as it was one of the most beautiful and entertaining rounds of boxing this 2022.
Just as Ortiz was seemingly getting into a groove, Ruiz hits him with the right hook that sends him to the canvas. Seconds after getting up, he was floored again by the same punch as he was obviously still not able to shake off the cobwebs of the preceding knockdown.
King Kong, though, stood his ground and delivered 3 staggering straights of his own that landed flush on Andy Ruiz’s head. To me, this made a strong case that while he was knocked down twice, it shouldn’t automatically be scored as a 10-7 round. (Let’s see later if the judges agreed with us.)
Round 2 score: Ruiz 10-8 Ortiz
Start of Rd 3
This one started off much slower and this time it was Luis Ortiz that started the violence by connecting downstairs. Not to be outdone, Andy Ruiz quickly dished out a 1-2 combination of his own. He also landed a thudding blow to the body towards the end of the round. While it seems both fighters took advantage of this round to go back to their respective game plans, Ortiz did enough to get on the board securing this round under his belt.
Round 3 score: Ruiz 9-10 Ortiz
Start of Rd 4
Seemingly able to recover some wind after his explosion in Round 2, The Mexican’s remarkably fast hands dictated the entire 4th round. Even when he wasn’t landing, his hand speed was able to let him make his opponent go where he wanted him to. Ruiz landed with a step on the left hook within the last 5 seconds before the bell to punctuate the round.
Round 4 score: Ruiz 10-9 Ortiz
Start of Rd 5
Luis Ortiz dictating with his range slowed the fight down a bit which the pro-Mexican crowd in Los Angeles did not appreciate. True to his Mexican roots Andy Ruiz tried to stand his ground but it seemed that Ortiz expected this as he unfurled a quick combination that the Mexican completely ate. While the round ended with yet another solid right hook from Ruiz, it was clear that it was Ortiz’s round.
Round 5 score: Ruiz 9-10 Ortiz
Start of Rd 6
Ortiz once again is able to dictate with his length. Ruiz seems to have lost some speed on both his hands and feet. Or maybe he was figuring out the distance that Ortiz has set over the past couple of rounds.
Round 6 score: Ruiz 9-10 Ortiz
Start of Rd 7
Andy Ruiz starts off the round digging to the body with 2 clean shots.
It was then later followed by an exchange of flurries which saw Ruiz’s right hook find its home on Ortiz’s left temple. Ruiz launches a straight right hand that sends the Cuban back while momentarily losing his footing. Ortiz unable to recover gets hit with another right hook on his already damaged left temple and collapses onto the canvas once again. Third knockdown of the fight for Andy Ruiz!
Round 7 score: Ruiz 10-8 Ortiz
Start of Rd 8
Luis Ortiz, determined to show that neither his heart nor his stamina is gone, starts off the round much like those that came before — controlling the fight with his long jab. When Andy Ruiz tried to step in, he found himself countered with a stinging combination that clipped him on the jaw on his way out. While Andy landed a solid right to the body, it didn’t seem to have the same effect it did in the earlier rounds.
Round 8 score: Ruiz 9-10 Ortiz
Start of Rd 9
King Kong once again wanted to start the round by establishing his jab but to his surprise, instead of stepping back Ruiz planted himself firmly and dished out a crisp combination that ended on Ortiz’s head. On the succeeding exchange, they get entangled and Ruiz falls to the floor but the referee calls it a no knockdown as Ortiz only really pushed him down.
Round 9 score: Ruiz 10-9 Ortiz
Start of Rd 10
Ruiz, on the ropes, is wheeling out to the corner as he tries to get out of range but Ortiz finds success in delivering a straight left hand to the face of his opponent. But just like every other shot that landed perfectly for King Kong, Ruiz was seemingly able to absorb them without really having much trouble.
Round 10 score: Ruiz 9-10 Ortiz
Start of Rd 11
The eleventh round gave us a microcosm of the entire fight. In the middle of the round they both landed flush on one another at the same time but Ortiz clearly got the worst of the exchange. While he didn’t go down, he was visibly rocked whereas Ruiz was able to follow through and make him step backward.
With the scorecards tight, there was high drama as neither fighter was willing to give up any clear advantage to the other — exchanging in bursts much to the crowd’s delight!
Round 11 score: Ruiz 10-9 Ortiz
Start of Rd 12
Even more drama ensues as Ruiz gets wobbled at the center of the ring by 2 good punches from Ortiz. More fatigued than hurt, Ruiz looked to be tired as for the first time in the match he found himself along the ropes and on the corners quite often. Within the last 20 seconds, Ortiz lands flush on Ruiz’s chin while cornered but the Mexican was able to weather the last push from his opponent.
Round 12 score: Ruiz 9-10 Ortiz
The final score cards
After twelve rounds, here is our final score sheet.
Now let’s see how we compared to the scoresheet of the match’s judges. The fight was judged by Zachary Young, Fernando Villarreal, and Eddie Hernandez Sr. Respectively, from left to right, this is how they judged the match:
It was a unanimous decision in favor of Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz.
The final scorecards:
- Zachary Young: 114-111
- Fernando Villarreal: 114-111
- Eddie Hernandez Sr.: 113-112
- The GAME: 114-112
Taking a closer look at the judge’s official scorecards, you’ll see that Luis Ortiz won six rounds in the eyes of two judges and even won seven rounds in the eyes of the third! Had there been no knockdowns, he would’ve won the fight!
Now let’s turn our attention to my scorecard which tallied a total of 114-112 in favor of Ruiz. The rounds I awarded to both fighters were exactly identical to judge Zachary Young who had a grand tally of 114-111 also for Ruiz. The only key difference in our cards is the fact that I personally elected to give Ortiz extra credit for coming back strong in the 2nd round and scoring it 10-8 rather than 10-7 like he did.
Here’s where it starts to get a bit of a gray area. Was I wrong for scoring it the way I did? Or was he?
The answer? Neither of us can claim it over the other. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer as there are no clear-cut rules in scoring boxing rounds under the widely accepted 10 must scoring system. It’s not like basketball wherein a free throw is worth one point, a shot within the arc worth two, and a shot beyond worth three.
To help you (somewhat) understand, below is a commonly followed rule of thumb on how to score rounds that involve 1 or more knockdowns:
- 10-8; 1 knockdown
- 10-7; 2 knockdowns
- 10-6; 3 knockdowns
All in favor of the fighter that knocked his opponent to the canvas.
We’ll publish an article soon where you can learn more about the 10 MUST system. We’ll also look up some matches wherein the gray areas in this scoring system caused a big difference in the results of fights.
For now, let’s just be happy we got to see one hell of a heavyweight fight!