Leading heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has targeted a fight with the battle-tested Chris Arreola as he seeks a grudge match with former unified champion Andy Ruiz later in the year.

The gritty Arreola floored Ruiz and gave his fellow Mexican-American all he could handle in the former title holder’s comeback fight in California last weekend.

Brixton banger Whyte feels a statement KO of Arreola would prove the perfect measuring stick of his own heavyweight status and help beat the drum for a potential fight with rival Ruiz soon afterwards.

WBC Interim champion Whyte plans to push his claims for a heavyweight title shot in America this year and three-time world title challenger Arreola fits the bill as a marketable opponent.

“Chris Arreola might be somebody to look at, because he just acquitted himself well against Adam Kownacki and Andy Ruiz,” Whyte told Sky Sports’ Toe 2 Toe podcast. “It would be good if I could blow him away in four or five rounds as well, because my name has been matched with Andy Ruiz and those kind of guys.

“I thought [Arreola] won the fight with Andy Ruiz, to be honest. I thought he won it by a split decision. He’s another for us to look at as well. He’s well known, a tough guy. Three-time world title challenger. Very good Mexican fighter as well.

“Arreola fights like a real Mexican unlike that fat, fake Mexican. Like I said before, Candy Ruiz is all stomach and no heart. He had 30 pounds of fat sucked out of him and he still looks like a messy blob.

“If I fight Chris Arreola, I’ll knock him out,” added Whyte. “It’s not disrespect to Chris Arreola, he’s a good fighter. A tough guy, obviously he’s got a great chin. [But Ruiz] should be knocking Chris Arreola out. If I fight Chris Arreola, I’ll stop him. Five rounds, Chris Arreola will get stopped.”