Former unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr is eyeing up a mega fight with Deontay Wilder, should the Mexican make it past veteran Luis Ortiz this weekend.
Speaking to BoxingScene the 32-year-old said:
“Hopefully Wilder fights me next, but I have to beat Luis Ortiz first. It’s not easy. It’s going to be difficult. But I wanted this. The people wanted this.”
Ruiz’ comeback journey since defeat in his rematch with Anthony Joshua in 2019 has admittedly been a slow one, however victory against Ortiz would put ‘The Destroyer’ right back in the mix with the division’s elite.
Wilder too, is a man on the redemption trail. He is scheduled to face dangerous Finn Robert Helenius in October in his first fight since back-to-back defeats to Tyson Fury.
Ruiz and Wilder share a promoter in Al Haymon, so their paths crossing in 2023 seems inevitable – should both emerge victorious.
However, Ortiz will be hoping to scupper those plans. A stoppage victory over Charles Martin last time out showed that, despite now being 43, the seasoned Cuban still poses a considerable threat at the top end of the division. As such, Ruiz knows he can ill afford to get complacent.
“Everybody wanted this fight. I asked for it, and they gave it to me. I’m not here to cherry-pick anybody. Luis Ortiz is a strong, heavy-hitting guy. I want a challenge. I want to fight the best fighters, and he’s one of the best out there.”
The return of Ruiz and Wilder to top level competition is exciting news for the heavyweight division, and both will be looking to prove they have plenty left to offer.
UK fans can tune into Ruiz vs Ortiz on Fite TV PPV.