Fresh off his victory over journeyman Dereck Chisora, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker says his team is “reaching out” to Andy Ruiz Jr. to see if they can set up a rematch with the former IBF/WBA/WBO champion.
Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) is unlikely to accept the offer to face Parker, as he’s got the potential of fighting former WBC champion Deontay Wilder next.
If not him, Ruiz Jr. could face former two-time world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz to position himself to challenge WBC champion, Tyson Fury.
Did Parker duck Hrgovic?
Parker, 30, should have accepted the recent offer to face Filip Hrgovic in an IBF title eliminator. Had Parker taken that fight, he could have locked himself in as the mandatory challenger for champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Some boxing fans believe Parker ducked ‘El Animal’ Hrgovic for fear of getting beaten by the 2016 Olympian.
For Parker to be showing interest in facing Ruiz so soon after declining the fight against the 29-year-old Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs), it’s a bad look on his part.
— Joseph Parker (@joeboxerparker) January 29, 2022
It would have been better for Parker to wait three or four months before calling out Ruiz instead of doing it immediately after rejecting a fight with Hrgovic.
Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) defeated Ruiz by a controversial 12 round majority decision six years ago in December 2016 in his country of Auckland, New Zealand, in a fight that many boxing fans viewed as a robbery.
Ruiz has fought only once in the last two years since losing his IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch with Joshua in December 2019.
In Ruiz’s only fight since then, he struggled to defeat 40-year-old Chris ‘The Nightmare’ Arreola last May, needing to get off the deck after being dropped hard in the second round by the former three-time heavyweight world title challenger.
Ruiz recently had knee surgery to repair an old injury he’d been dealing with for a while. Now that he’s healed, Ruiz needs to get back in the ring soon if he wants to get in position for another world title shot.
Ruiz wanted a trilogy fight with Joshua, but with AJ losing his three titles to Usyk last September, that hope went out the window. ‘The Destroyer’ Ruiz will be making a decision soon on his next fight, and it’s likely to be 43-year-old Luis Ortiz rather than Wilder.
At this point, Ruiz isn’t hurting for money after his two fights with Joshua and his pay-per-view headliner against Arreola.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ruiz’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, so he’s set for life and can pick & choose his opponents like his gym mate Canelo Alvarez.
As for Parker, he may need to bite the bullet and take a risky fight against Joe Joyce if he wants a quick title shot because Ruiz isn’t going to do him any favors.