Deontay Wilder has apparently narrowed his next fight down to two opponents – Andy Ruiz Jr and a ‘mystery’ man.
The fight between WBC number one, Wilder, and number two, Ruiz was officially ordered late last year, with the winner next in line to challenge for the title currently held by Tyson Fury.
Regardless of the clear path to the belt he once held, Wilder was reportedly seeking a fight with Anthony Joshua instead – a huge spectacle for sure, but not a final eliminator.
With the ‘AJ’ fight dismissed by promoter Eddie Hearn for the immediate future, it seems Team Wilder are resigned to Ruiz – bit his trainer Malik Scott revealed to Best Sports Betting that there was another, unnamed fighter in the running.
“It’s down to the mystery opponent and Andy Ruiz Jr. Since AJ had made up his mind and does not want to fight Deontay right now, we’re down to Andy Ruiz and the mystery guy. The mystery fighter is not as guaranteed to happen as the Ruiz fight. If you’re looking at it from the business perspective, it’s most likely going to be the mandatory shot, Ruiz.
It’s looking like Ruiz, but in this game there’s no telling as Deontay is big-time boxing. When you’re bigtime boxing, and as sad or as unfortunate it may sound to some people, mandatories don’t mean nothing. Fighters have stepped aside to make big, big fights happen.
This goes on in boxing, it’s what the fans want or what makes business sense for the fighters and their team. It’s likely to be Ruiz but if not there are other negotiations going on as well.”
Joshua is due to be back out in April, with Australian heavyweight Demsey McKean the current front runner for opposition. Scott has a similar timeframe for his charge, regardless of who’s in the other corner.
“We could be going in March or early April but it really depends. The only thing I can say at the moment is Ruiz is mandated but Deontay is big-time boxing.
When you have a big-time boxer like Deontay and a mandatory going on at the same time – and there’s another bigger fighter – step a side happens some time, you never know. Business is willing to be made to make bigger fights happen.”
Two former champions with exciting styles, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ facing the first man to claim a world heavyweight title for Mexico is one of the best matchups the heavyweight division can offer outside of the title picture.
Both being a part of the PBC stable means a fight should, in theory, be an easy one to make – especially with the added formality from the WBC.
That, unfortunately for fans, hasn’t proven to be the case so far, and this ‘mystery’ makes it no simpler.