Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. has a massive target on his back after asking ‘who should I fight next’ on social media.
The 32-year-old has just one fight over 27 months but is back in tentative training for a potential summer return.
Left off the Showtime schedule announcement made last week despite talk of a possible fight with Luis Ortiz, Ruiz badly needs a date to give his fans something to look forward to in 2022.
A solitary victory over Chris Arreola since dethroning and losing to Anthony Joshua, Ruiz stands accused of having one foot in retirement.
He needs to shake off more ring rust.
ANDY RUIZ JR EARNINGS
After years of busting a gut to secure big money, Ruiz is probably one defeat away from hanging up his gloves due to earning ten million and more from the Joshua saga.
But before that happens, “The Destroyer” wants a big event to chew on.
Putting the question to his fans, Ruiz had a top-five list in an earlier article highlighted by World Boxing News.
A quintet emerged most mentioned in the thousands of responses. Deontay Wilder led them. Then came Ortiz, Joe Joyce, a rematch with Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora,
— Jared BigBaby???? Anderson (@TeamBigBabyy) March 17, 2022
However, one man came late to the party. And that’s the dangerous future world titleholder, Jared Anderson. The knockout specialist, who is set to fight on the Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte undercard, would be tough for Ruiz.
If Bob Arum and Al Haymon got on board, Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions could work together for the Pay Per View privileges.
There is a catch, though. Ruiz could be too soon for Anderson in 2022. Despite Arum stating he’d have no problem pitching the youngster in with Wilder this year.
Anderson may still have some honing to do before he’s totally ready for Ruiz and the rest of the top ten, though he certainly looks the part.
Tipped for a heavyweight crown in the coming years, Ruiz would be a big statement for Anderson – especially if he could take him out.
For now, a knock-over foe is more likely to be in the opposite corner at Wembley Stadium on the Fury vs. Whyte card in London.
Regarding Ruiz, one of Haymon’s also-ran contenders will probably be the order of the day. Robert Helenius, Adam Kownacki, and Frank Sanchez are three of the names that instantly spring to mind.
The one the fans want is Wilder. But that doesn’t seem on the table, at least for the next few months.
Wilder has no intention of fighting – at least for now.
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