Andy Ruiz Jr. goes into a tough heavyweight battle with Luis Ortiz this fall without an ideal preparation for his biggest test since Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz, who shocked AJ in New York before losing his title belts with a whimper six months later, has faced accusations of an inability to focus on the sport.
Boxing fans expect an announcement in the coming days from Premier Boxing Champions that Ruiz and Ortiz will battle it out on September 4th. The fight is reportedly set to be an eliminator of some sort and take place on Pay Per View.
A win for either takes them one step closer to another world top division championship opportunity. At the same time, the loser stares at the possibility of no longer being considered alongside the best in the weight class.
It’s no secret that Ruiz will stand a significant chance of facing Deontay Wilder. However, only if he comes through the battle.
As WBN reported in 2020, that fight has been on the mind of PBC boss Al Haymon since Ruiz joined the team in 2018.
Haymon is keen on the PPV.
An opportunity to fight Joshua at late notice, coupled with Wilder’s involvement in a trilogy with Tyson Fury, kept those plans on the backburner.
But since claiming the sport’s biggest prize from Joshua at the world famous Madison Square Garden, Ruiz has fought once in 30 months.
He did win against Chris Arreola. But reports of indiscipline, even from his friend Canelo Alvarez, weren’t subsequently enough to keep “The Destroyer” in the gym.
Eddy Reynoso has had little working time since they hooked up.
It’s hoped the Ortiz fight will give Ruiz that Eye of the Tiger again. That, along with the possibility that a massive battle with Wilder will follow.
Andy Ruiz Jr
Andy failed to capitalize on what seemed to be a gift from the Gods. Media questioned Joshua‘s mentality going into that fateful clash in the run-up. Once he made his ring walk, it was more apparent.
The Londoner struggled to deal with the pressure of fighting in America.
He had Ruiz keep celebrations to a minimum. That way, he’d have been ready for Joshua to use his six-month contacted rematch for more than just a few weeks.
The whole saga of the last two and a half years could have been so different for Andy.
As it turns out, he’s now known as someone who won the heavyweight crown and showed no ambition to build a legacy. He has one final chance to prove those doubters wrong.
That opportunity comes when he gets inside the ropes with Luis Ortiz in the coming months. Ruiz must shake off any further ring rust.
If he’s not one-track-minded on the task at hand, Ruiz could face the end of his career at the hands of the aging Cuban.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.