It’s a clash seen as highly viable for the next few months as boxing persona Al Haymon awaits one more victory for Andy Ruiz Jr. over Anthony Joshua.
Should a repeat of June 1st happen on December 7th in Saudi Arabia, Haymon would have full control of the heavyweight division.
Ruiz would have cemented the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO versions without a contracted obligation, joining WBC champion Deontay Wilder as 200 pound plus rulers.
Both men are signed to Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. This means one conversation could be all it takes to make an undisputed battle a reality.
In the past, and when Joshua held most of the marbles, it proved an impossible task for an agreement to be made. This will no longer be the case if Ruiz takes out the Briton again in Diriyah.
Bookmakers don’t believe it will happen, judging by the odds, but Wilder is banking on Ruiz pulling it off.
The American has spoken only on one thing since claiming the green and gold strap in 2015. And that’s giving the weight class one face, one name moving forward.
After a £50 million offer to Joshua for a US bout went out of the window, and a subsequent Wembley bid for April 13, 2019 was dismissed, Wilder will get finally get his chance.
All five titles will be up for grabs. Ruiz could even delay a rematch between Wilder and Tyson Fury. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ will want to waste a little time as possible in nailing down the undisputed mega-fight, and that would put Fury in a precarious position.
Fury already delayed a return with Wilder due to go down on May 18th of this year. One false move by ‘The Gypsy King’ in talks due for a spring second outing next year may see Wilder focus on Ruiz.
A date of February 22nd has been mentioned to WBN and by Fury in the past. Although Luis Ortiz put a firm question mark on that in Las Vegas.
Bumping into Ortiz as he chomped on dinner at McCarran Airport, Ortiz told World Boxing News he’s fighting Wilder on November 9th. That date doesn’t tie in with Fury’s February 22nd reveal as it would be too quick a turnaround for an encounter of that magnitude.
Therefore, Wilder v Fury is more likely to take place around March or April time. And only if Joshua can avenge the Ruiz defeat.
Should Ruiz put an exclamation point on his Joshua domination in New York, a whole can of worms could be opened between Wilder, Fury and Ruiz Jr.
An interesting few months lie ahead for the big players in the glamour division.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay
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