Former heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz is still kicking himself over the way he “messed up” and came into his rematch with Anthony Joshua when out of shape and overweight – so much so that “The Destroyer” is still hoping to land the trilogy fight with the man he sensationally TKO’d back in June of 2019. Next up for Ruiz, who has seemingly whipped himself into shape and has re-found the correct type of hunger, will be a potential banana skin in the form of a fight with Luis Ortiz.
Speaking with the media at yesterday’s presser, Ruiz, while he made it clear he has worked very hard for the September 4 duel with the Cuban southpaw and is fully focused on the fight, looked ahead. Ruiz has a number of big-fight options out there for him providing he comes through okay against danger man Ortiz
“God-willing we get this victory on September 4,” the Mexican-American said. “Of course if Wilder comes out of retirement I’d love to fight him, we’ve gone through the same work with Al Haymon and that would be the fight to make. But if not, then we can go through Usyk or Anthony Joshua. We can try to make that trilogy fight that I always wanted, but first I need to focus on Luis Ortiz, a hard-hitting guy. This might not got the distance but I’m prepared to go all 12 rounds.”
Ruiz, who added he is “going to get this victory no matter what,” does seem to be the hungry and determined fighter he was back in the lead-up to the first Joshua fight. Plenty of people have said that, when he’s right, as in when he’s fully fit and mentally ready for war, Ruiz, 34-2(22) is one of the very best heavyweights out there. We need to see this version on September 4, and then we need to see Ruiz maintain his desire and, crucially, his dedication. Who wins if Ruiz does fight Joshua for a third time, with Ruiz showing up in proper fighting shape this time?
This is one of three or four potentially fascinating fights Ruiz could take. But he has to not only beat Ortiz to get these big fights; the 32 year old needs to look good in getting the win. With those super-fast hands and his proven toughness and all-round skills, a fit and ready Andy Ruiz is a heavyweight fans still have plenty of time for. But Ruiz needs to really perform now, and keep performing.