With a fight between Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr seemingly back on the table, there is arguably no one better placed to make a prediction than Chris Arreola.
He faced Wilder in Alabama back in 2016, and lost out via corner retirement in the eighth round after being sent to the canvas by ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in the fourth.
More recently in 2021, Arreola actually knocked down Ruiz and took him the full twelve rounds, but was bested via unanimous decision.
He was certain which way he was siding when asked by ES News who he believed would emerge with a victory should the fight between the two former champs take place.
“I’m pulling for Wilder, he’s a bad motherf*****! He hits hard, he’s a great fighter and he’s learning a lot on the job. He learned a lot from fighting Tyson Fury.”
“If Andy stays on the outside like he did with me, he’s going to get punished by Wilder. Wilder’s a bigger puncher than I am, and he’s a smart fighter. So I got Wilder in that fight.”
Wilder and Ruiz were ordered by the WBC at the start of the year to face one another in a final eliminator – the winner being first in line for a shot at Tyson Fury’s world title.
However, things quickly went quiet and it had been assumed for months that the fascinating all-American match up was dead in the water.
That has changed over the past week, with Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott confirming a fresh offer had been sent to Ruiz and that “the ball was now in his court.”
Ruiz has since confirmed that negotiations are underway, though it remains unclear at this stage just how near or far the talks are from being finalised.
Wilder has been out of action since his one round destruction of Robert Helenius last October, whilst Ruiz’ last fighting taking place a month earlier than that, when he outpointed Cuban veteran Luis Ortiz.