Andy Ruiz Jr. won’t be happy if Oleksandr Usyk gets his wish to give Deontay Wilder a heavyweight title shot in the next few months.
The Mexican-American is currently on track for a massive Pay Per View against Wilder, lined up by Al Haymon for the past two years.
Ruiz stands one obstacle away from landing a big payday against Wilder. He only needs “The Bronze Bomber” to defeat Robert Helenius on October 15 to land a WBC final eliminator.
However, Usyk’s interest in offering Wilder a shot at the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles puts that in jeopardy. The whole scenario began after Tyson Fury negated his promise to retire.
Deontay Wilder vs Andy Ruiz Jr
If WBC champion Fury had walked away, Ruiz and Wilder had plans to battle it out for the vacant green and gold belt.
The World Boxing Council set up a four-person tournament to crown the new WBC title holder. That went to pot when Fury backtracked.
Mauricio Sulaiman still planned to allow the winner of the eliminator competition to face Fury as mandatory. However, Fury threw a spanner in those works by agreeing on a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua.
A second bout will almost certainly transpire if their planned British showdown happens on December 3. This scenario leaves Ruiz, Wilder, and Usyk in a tough spot when attempting to land a shot at the lineal championship.
“The Gypsy King” has also walked away from facing Usyk for the undisputed crown, leaving the Ukrainian to put Wilder vs Ruiz in jeopardy into the bargain.
Oleksandr Usyk curveball
Asked who he wanted to fight next, Usyk told Ring Magazine: “Deontay Wilder.”
He added: “Wilder is a dangerous fighter, and that fight would most likely be in the United States.”
Manager Egis Klimas reiterated that call when saying Usyk would like to fight the winner of Wilder vs Helenius: “Usyk would like to fight Wilder, but whoever wins that fight would be next for Usyk.
“Usyk is not like Fury. He’s looking for the winners, not looking for the losers.”
Reports suggest Usyk will be ringside at Barclays Center in New York to watch Wilder vs Helenius. Ruiz won’t be happy with the current situation, though.
It’s now up to Premier Boxing Champions’ Al Haymon. Will he disappoint those fans looking forward to traveling to Las Vegas in February 2023?
The two best heavyweights on the planet outside the title picture would have been an explosive Pay Per View for the right to contest the WBC heavyweight title.
Wilder, who beat Bermane Stiverne to become WBC champion in 2015, is currently training alongside Malik Scott for the Helenius fight. He will get boosted if he could get the chance to challenge for all the belts he hasn’t won after Brooklyn next month.
After title defenses against Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Johann Duhaupas, and others, Fury ripped the belt away from Wilder in 2020.
Fury defended it against Dillian Whyte before stating he’d hang up his gloves earlier this year.
Who will Deontay Wilder fight next?
Wilder, who has 41 knockouts from 42 wins, didn’t know when his next opportunity would come. That’s why the Ruiz collision got lined up if both won their respective fights.
Ruiz thought he’d earned the chance through a unanimous decision win over Luis Ortiz last month. As it turns out, his success at Staples Center could lead to nothing.
Facing the man from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was the plan all along. If Haymon has to alter that, it’s Ruiz who will suffer the consequences.
To soften the blow, Ruiz would have to be guaranteed the winner of Usyk vs Wilder later in the year.