Tyson Fury is currently in training for a fight on April 29, but it looks like there’s no opponent after Oleksandr Usyk’s team ‘pulled the plug’ on negotiations. Enter Andy Ruiz Jr.
The talks to stage a heavyweight undisputed bout between Fury and Usyk have been ongoing since December, but increasingly negative updates from the Ukrainian’s side – including a final statement saying that the fight wasn’t happening – means fans will likely continue to weight for a four-belt champ.
With Usyk planning to go down the route of his WBA mandatory challenger – Daniel Dubois – Fury, who holds the WBC belt, must fill the other corner, too.
If Andy Ruiz Jr’s Instagram is anything to go by, he seems willing to step up.
The Mexican is a former champion himself, having won the WBA, WBO and IBF belts by stopping Anthony Joshua in the Brit’s American fighting debut.
It was short-lived though – a combination of poor preparation from Ruiz and tailored game plan from ‘AJ’ saw the titles switch back in the immediate rematch.
Since then, Ruiz has picked up two wins – Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz – and is aiming to become a two-time champion.
Despite being ordered to face Deontay Wilder in a final eliminator for a shot at Fury’s belt, talks haven’t progressed much at all in four months.
Wilder’s team seem to be waiting for a ‘bigger’ fight to show itself, leaving Ruiz searching. His luck may be in, though, should the undisputed fight indeed fall apart.
Currently ranked number two with the WBC, he is, in the eyes of many fans, the next fight for Fury to take – especially given the champion has already shared a trilogy of fights with the number one challenger, Wilder.
It’s unclear whether Fury keeps the date at Wembley Stadium in April alive without a championship dance partner, or even if Ruiz has been training sufficiently to step in. More is likely to be revealed in the coming days.