Former unified world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. is set to reveal his comeback opponent imminently after revealing Dillian Whyte turned down the chance to face him.
‘The Destroyer’ was linked to a battle with Whyte after promoter Eddie Hearn and the WBC interim title-holder confirmed interest.
But weeks after the initial reports, Ruiz has now claimed Whyte didn’t want to take the fight.
“You didn’t want any smoke so I moved on to the next opponent. Big announcement coming soon,” said Ruiz over the weekend.
If true, Whyte’s move echoes previous rejection of clashes against Luis Ortiz, Kubrat Pulev, Tyson Fury and a rematch with Anthony Joshua.
Whyte was ordered to fight Ortiz in a final eliminator for Deontay Wilder but had no intention, according to Mauricio Sulaiman.
Ortiz was then cleared to fight Wilder himself in November. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ won in seven rounds.
The Fury ratification was a little different as ‘The Gypsy King’ was already tied into a battle with Wilder.
“Dillian Whyte has his rights pending on the process which is under the protocol,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News at the time.
“WBC accepted to sanction Fury as mandatory. If Whyte’s situation is cleared he will have his mandatory due date for February 2021.”
“Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is scheduled to make a voluntary title defense on November 23 against No. 3 ranked Luis Ortiz of Cuba.
“The WBC has also approved the rematch against No. 2 ranked Tyson Fury of Great Britain to be held in 2020.
“No. 1 ranked Dillian Whyte’s situation is in process with UKAD and Whyte’s representatives, and with the WBC.
“If his situation is resolved, he will become the mandatory challenger for February 2021,” they declared.
In regards to Joshua, an offer of £7 million was on the table before his compatriot decided to scrap a Wembley fight in favor of an American debut.
It was rumored at the time that Whyte was seeking more money.
Pulev was mandated by the IBF, and once the Bulgarian won the purse bid, Whyte and his team pulled out.
Who Whyte will now face remains a mystery, although Alexander Povetkin is thought to be the frontrunner.