Unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. is lining up a huge five-belt undisputed clash with Al Haymon stablemate Deontay Wilder in 2020.
Judging by his recent admission, Ruiz is hoping to get past Anthony Joshua again in December. Then move on to the WBC title holder.
If successful, Ruiz will have performed one of the most astounding transformations from also-ran contender to divisional number one in just over a year.
Stressing the importance of defeating Joshua, Ruiz has plans in place for the future.
“Of course, I’m just missing one belt. One belt to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” said Ruiz, according to Spire FM. “That’s the goal, but I don’t want to look past Anthony Joshua. I want to defeat him one more time.
“There’s a lot of critics saying that it’s a lucky shot, that I’m going to lose. I’m using all the negative energy to positive energy, so we’re going to win.
“I don’t want to look past Anthony Joshua. “My eyes are on the prize with him. “So after I win that fight, then I can fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury. We’re in the same team, so I think it will be good.”
Despite wanting Wilder, rather than Fury, due to his ‘in the same team’ quip, Ruiz potentially has his next three fights already lined up.
Obviously Joshua is next, before an IBF and WBO mandatory.
IBF President Daryl Peoples, who is a known stickler for keeping to their rules and regulations, would no doubt be willing to strip Ruiz if he doesn’t face Kubrat Pulev next.
But even then, the WBO want Oleksandr Usyk to be given his shot. So there are two immediate roadblocks.
Two other massive flaws in the Ruiz Jr. undisputed plan come as Joshua could conceivably gain revenge, removing the 30 year-old from the equation.
Unlike AJ in New York, Ruiz has no rematch clause to save his titles if he should lose in Saudi Arabia.
Fourth on the list is Fury possibly taking Wilder’s green and gold belt. There are no guarantees the Briton would give Ruiz the opportunity anytime soon.
Regaining a version of the world title just over four years on from his first win would surely see Fury have a homecoming in the UK before any Ruiz challenge.
Number five in the list of obstacles is a Wilder v Fury trilogy. This has already been confirmed by Fury himself.
That would leave Ruiz waiting until at least the back end of 2020 and in mandatory territory until that time.
Six is Wilder having to defend against Dillian Whyte, an already complicated situation.
Should Whyte prove his innocence over a failed drugs test, the WBC will ensure he’s given the chance once the Wilder vs Fury saga is over.
The final fence which may need to be hurdled is an offer from elsewhere. Haymon will ultimately be the one who decides which route Ruiz will take.
A huge offer from Eddie Hearn for a third fight against Anthony Joshua, provided the second encounter is close, would almost certainly give Haymon food for thought.
1/ IBF Mandatory (Pulev)
2/ WBO Mandatory (Usyk)
3/ Joshua revenge on Dec 7
4/ Fury victory vs Wilder
5/ Wilder vs Fury III
6/ Wilder WBC Mandatory (Whyte)
7/ Offer for Joshua III
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay