Deontay Wilder’s heavyweight comeback was halted in its tracks courtesy of Joseph Parker, and the man he was supposed to fight this year – Andy Ruiz Jr – is delighted.
Parker scored a shutout on the cards, negating Wilder’s dangerous right hand and hurting the American on a few occasions.
Earlier this year and before the fight was made, Wilder and Ruiz were strongly linked after being ordered by the WBC to face off. Nothing materialised due to a financial disagreement.
Ruiz has been accused by Wilder of ducking out of the fight on various occasions, but has remained adamant he wanted to take him on. There’s no real surprise then that he told Fight Hub TV he was backing Parker.
“Man, I was praying for Parker to win. I was so, so happy that he won. I congratulate him. Every single round I was like ‘please god, help him’ and what do you know? He ended up getting the victory.”
The former unified world champion seemed to suggest that there was a form of karma at play.
“I wanted to beat Wilder and I wish I would’ve had that opportunity. His timing, he was sluggish. I don’t know what really happened to him.
But when people talk bad about the other fighters before they even fight, or in the build-up, things don’t go your way. That’s why I like to remain humble, calm and don’t talk bad about other fighters. You never know, everyone’s dangerous and anything could happen.”
Ruiz is expected to return in the first half of 2024 after over a year of inactivity has seen his stock drop on the heavyweight scene.