The disarray hampering an arranged clash between ex-WBC king Deontay Wilder and former unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr. sent shockwaves through the sport.
Reports Ruiz had split with Al Haymon filled the air earlier this week, leading to boxing fans questioning where the WBC heavyweight title eliminator goes from here.
Andy Ruiz Sr. told Julius Julianos of ESPN Knockout that the final fight of his son’s contract with Haymon was voided by mutual agreement.
This is as yet unconfirmed by Premier Boxing Champions. World Boxing News has reached out to the company for comment.
So what happens now?
Well, Ruiz will be fielding offers. Wilder will, too, as he confirmed he was a free agent recently.
However, unlike Ruiz, Wilder did state the fight to see who would be mandatory for WBC ruler Tyson Fury remained on the table.
Deontay Wilder wants to fight Andy Ruiz Jr.
“I definitely want the fight with Andy,” Wilder told 78 Sports TV. “We must make sure that everything is well defined.
“The payment, the venue, the dates. There are many options on the table, many offers. We want the best person available to take care of this.
“I am very clear about that. I want to fight Andy Ruíz this year.”
Wilder’s words raised more questions than answers regarding ‘the best person available’ as he stated he remained loyal to PBC.
But Ruiz has not been of the same demeanor if the Haymon split is how things have gone down. The pair must now stay in touch if they genuinely want to keep to the WBC path.
It does look as if their focus is on each other. This was apparent when Ruiz turned down an interim IBF heavyweight title fight with Filip Hrgovic.
Heavyweight title shot
Purse bids were due on Thursday. Ruiz walked away without participating. If he really wanted to negate Wilder, he would have accepted a fight that ultimately put him closer to a world title shot than the Wilder fight.
What seems to be happening here is that Wilder and Ruiz are opening themselves up to offers from the highest bidder. And as we all know, Saudi Arabia would be just that,
We could be seeing the beginnings of Wilder and Ruiz throwing their Pay Per View up for auction, with the likes of BLK Prime, Triller, and the Middle East able to join the bidding process.
At this point, taking the fight to the desert looks most likely. However, Wilder vs Ruiz is currently on a knife edge.
Furthermore, a May 6th date in Las Vegas held by Al Haymon could indeed be scrapped after recent events.