Andy Ruiz Jr has confirmed negotiations are underway with Deontay Wilder for a battle of the former world champions.
It’s a fight fans expected to see many months ago, with the WBC ordering its number one challenger, Wilder, to face number two, Ruiz, in a final eliminator to determine who would be next in line for a shot at Tyson Fury’s belt.
That was in November and, despite both being PBC fighters at the time, talks were unproductive.
Something behind the scenes has changed, though, and Ruiz said in a recent video that he ‘was coming’ for Wilder.
“We’re getting it – make sure you guys tune in. Big things coming up. Wilder, we’re coming, man. We’re just negotiating right now.”
Ruiz’s message is in response to Wilder and his trainer, Malik Scott, saying that a contract had been sent this week. The fight, should it go ahead, is expected for September.
It will be Ruiz’s first test inside the ropes since a decision win over Luis Ortiz in September last year. That was his second victory – the first coming against Chris Arreola – since he lost the unified world titles back to Anthony Joshua in 2019.
Wilder was fighting slightly more recently than his potential opponent, but certainly can’t boast twelve rounds of preparation. His first round demolition of Robert Helenius in October was a spectacular return to form following two straight losses to Tyson Fury and a brief consideration of retirement.
Outside of the champions, Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, fans mostly agree that Wilder-Ruiz is one of the most intriguing and deserving bouts to be made in the sport.
Should Wilder win, he has his eyes on Joshua in December.