Former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. announced on his social media site on Sunday that he’ll be turning to the ring soon, with a fight date to be revealed soon. WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum recently mentioned that Ruiz was one of two fighters that he’s negotiating with for his next fight.
However, with the recent announcement of the 80/20 purse split for Fury’s fight with WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte, it’s now unclear if Ruiz is still an option for the Gypsy King’s next fight in March.
Ruiz isn’t giving any hints to his fans who he plans on fighting, but it’s unlikely to be against anyone who could beat him.
Assuming Ruiz doesn’t get the title shot against Fury, his management will likely choose Adam Kownacki, Michael Hunter, Agit Kabayel, or Joseph Parker. The best of that bunch is Parker, but he’s lost a lot from his game since his back-to-back defeats against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018.
The 33-year-old Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) chose a good day to talk about him returning to the ring, given that he was called out by highly ranked contender Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz last Saturday night after his sixth round knockout win over Charles Martin on FOX pay-per-view.
Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) earned the IBF mandatory spot, and he’s willing to give Ruiz a shot for his next fight. That was a fight that would create a great deal of interest if he were to accept the 42-year-old Ortiz’s offer.
Ruiz was supposed to be taking a step up after his win over 40-year-old journeyman Chris Arreola last May, but we’ll see if he chooses an upgrade, lateral move, or a downgrade in competition.
“Every heavyweight is on the line. I want to fight Andy Ruiz,” said Luis Ortiz to ESNEWS
Ruiz has taken his time getting back in the thick of things after losing his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles to Anthony Joshua in a rematch in December 2019.
After that loss, Ruiz stayed out of the ring for a year and a half before returning to the ring against Arreola in May 2021.
That fight was supposed to have led to Ruiz facing Ortiz or another high-ranked contender, but that failed to happen with the Eddy Reynoso-trained fighter taking a break for the remainder of 2021 to get knee surgery.
Happy new year, excited to get back in the ring this year. Fight date coming soon 🥊
— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) January 2, 2022
Some boxing fans believe that Ruiz will continue to take on easy journeymen-level heavyweights until he’s given a title shot in a voluntary defense by one of the champions in 2023 or 2024.
The former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua is the fight that Ruiz would very much like to happen, as those two are tied up at 1-1 after two contests.
If they have a rubber match, it would decide which of the two is the superior fighter. However, if Joshua loses his April rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, as many expect him to, it’ll take a lot of interest in a second fight with Ruiz.
Andy doesn’t look as good as he used to be since joining Eddy Reynoso’s gym, and it appears that the weight he lost under his helm has negatively impacted his punch resistance and power.
Without the power and the chin that he once had, Ruiz isn’t going to last much longer as a top-level heavyweight.