Andy Ruiz Jr has felt a drop in the heavyweight rankings following more than a year of inactivity, but that could all change soon.
The 34-year-old became Mexico’s first ever heavyweight world champion with a shock victory over Anthony Joshua back in 2019. A well-drilled ‘AJ’ won his unified titles back just six months later in an immediate rematch.
Since then, Ruiz has beaten both Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz over the distance, and was subsequently ordered to face fellow former champion Deontay Wilder by the WBC.
The winner of that bout would be mandatory challenger for Wilder’s old belt, now held by Tyson Fury, but talks amounted to nothing.
Fans thought a deal was close this summer when the trash talk increased, but Wilder’s team then accused Ruiz of pricing himself out of the fight. Ruiz disputed this, claiming they had only offered the same as he earned for the Ortiz fight.
Regardless of who was at fault, negotiations collapsed and the WBC rescinded its order.
Ruiz remained persistent in his call outs and, according to Wilder, he has been doing the same behind the scenes. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ told Blue Blood Sports TV that talks have restarted and the fight ‘is not lost.’
Wilder also claims that Ruiz has ‘apologised’ about the previous negotiations.
“That fight is not lost … These guys get on my nerves, but we still in talks, man. We back in talks. There was a lot of apologising going on and stuff like that, but it’s well received. We’ll see what happens.”
Ruiz is fresh out of surgery but back in light training, so a date in the first quarter of 2024 may not be out of the question.