Talk about a tough first fight back for a former heavyweight champ. According to a tweet from top boxing scribe Mike Coppinger, promoter Eddie Hearn has offered Andy Ruiz a seven-figure payday to fight Dillian Whyte in either late March or early April, in the UK.
“Sources: Eddie Hearn made a seven-figure offer to Andy Ruiz Jr, for a fight with Dillian Whyte to be staged March 28 or early April in the U.K, on DAZN,” the tweet reads.
It is yet to be known whether or not Ruiz (reportedly on vacation as of last week, if not still) will be interested in taking this, a risky, risky fight. But what a great fight it could be, as well as a very real statement of intent from Ruiz; one that would show, by taking this fight, how serious he is about reaching the very top again and of earning his chance to regain his belts. Indeed, both men would receive praise for taking this, a 50-50 fight on paper.
50-50? This is assuming Ruiz gets himself back in good fighting shape, the kind he was in for his first fight with Anthony Joshua, not for the rematch. Ruiz, by way of his overweight disappointment in Saudi Arabia, has to win back those fans (and there were plenty) who were so badly let down by his poor showing on December 7, along with his poor physical condition. A win over Whyte, 27-1(18) would do it.
While Whyte, easily the most deserving fighter out there when it comes to getting a shot at the word title, would have himself an even more impressive resume if he managed a win over Ruiz. In terms of how the fight might go (with Ruiz being in fighting shape of course), the action could prove to be quite special. With his fast hands, his crisp punching and his solid chin, Ruiz, 33-2(22) would likely go to war with the bigger man. Whyte too is a good puncher, with a good work-rate, and together these two would possibly give us a barnburner. Who wins?
A distance fight is something that could happen, with neither man giving an inch. It goes without saying that the winner would be worthy of a title shot. But this is getting too far ahead, we must first see if Ruiz wants it: both this fight and redemption. Coming over to the U.K may not be something too appealing to Ruiz (he said no way to a rematch with Joshua in the U.K), so we will have to wait and see if Hearn’s offer will entice him or not.
But for we fans, this fight – an in-shape Ruiz against a fully ready Whyte – would be a real attraction. Let’s hope Ruiz HAS got the hunger back (the right type of hunger).