Deontay Wilder will fight again before the end of the year in a Pay Per View event that will lead to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2023.
As World Boxing News reported first, Wilder vs Ruiz Jr. is the holy grail for Al Haymon. The PBC boss is hopeful the WBC title or at least the interim strap will be on the line for the contest.
Deontay Wilder warm-up
But first, Wilder will likely go up against another fighter WBN named first back in 2020 – Robert Helenius.
The Finn was part of a shortlist alongside Adam Kownacki and Charles Martin. The other two have since lost, leaving Helenius the clear favorite.
Trainer Malik Scott listed the criteria when discussing Wilder’s potential opponents in an exclusive interview with WBN after the second Tyson Fury loss.
“With Deontay, obviously, the first fight back is not going to be at the level that he just left. We have to do things the right way,” Scott told World Boxing News.
“At the same time, we can’t go much lower than that [Fury] because he’s a high entertainment revenue fighter. He’s big-time boxing.
“We have to give him a threat because Deontay gets up for threats.
“It won’t be a Fury level, but it won’t be somebody down in the bucket. We’re not going to get somebody with a record of 27-11. That’s not happening.
“It has to be a name that fans have heard of.”
Robert Helenius threat
After sparring Helenius for Fury, Scott sees a significant threat to Wilder for the clash to go ahead.
“I will have a huge say in the next opponent,” said the ex-heavyweight. “When I say I will have a huge say, so I mean me and Deontay will converse about it, me and (manager) Shelly (Finkel).
“We’re coming off a very, very tough fight with Fury, so the next one, I want it to be a threat, but I want it to be a suitable threat.
“I want it to be someone that keeps him alert and on point. Deontay can’t wait to continue to learn. That means the world to me because he’s extremely receptive.
“He respects me to the utmost. He loves me. It’s a brotherhood when we’re in the gym,” he added.
Andy Ruiz Jr. Pay Per View
Dependent on dates for an undisputed welterweight unification between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, Wilder vs Helenius will take place in the fall.
Dates in October and early November are getting monitored, WBN understands.
The headliner will be on Pay Per View, the same as Ruiz facing Luis Ortiz. If Wilder and Ruiz win, they will collide in the first half of next year.