Andy Ruiz Jr. moved to clarify his future after claims of his free agency filled column inches under doubts about a fight with Deontay Wilder.
The former unified heavyweight champion, who knocked out Anthony Joshua in 2019, has one fight left on a contract with Premier Boxing Champions.
Despite reports he was a free agent, Ruiz committed his future to Al Haymon. He revealed only his deal with promoter Tom Brown had elapsed.
Haymon will remain in the driving seat for what’s next, which means a WBC mandatory eliminator with Deontay Wilder remains on the table.
Andy Ruiz Jr. explains future
“On behalf of myself and Team Ruiz, we would like to thank TGB Promotions and President Tom Brown for their great support,” said Ruiz.
“My contract with TBG Promotions has come to an end. I will now be moving forward as part of the PBC Family with Al Haymon as my advisor.”
He continued: “I am excited to continue pursuing the biggest fights. I’ll be taking on the top fighters in my division.
“Thank you all for your continued support. I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings.”
Asked directly if Deontay Wilder was in his plans, Ruiz added: “Of course! Coming for the top three!”
Well, out of the top three, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk remain in talks for an undisputed heavyweight title bout. Regarding Wilder, his current willingness to face Ruiz remains under a cloud.
Speaking from Saudi Arabia, where he watched Badou Jack vs Ilunga Makaub on Sunday night, Wilder outlined ongoing negotiations with UFC champion Francis Ngannou.
“It’s a real discussion. We’re trying to do a two-fight deal [with Ngannou]. One here [Saudi Arabia] and one in Africa,” stated Wilder.
Wilder vs Ruiz
That won’t be good news for Ruiz. However, Wilder is known for wanting another shot at the WBC title and further adding to his legacy.
Therefore, a battle with Ngannou serves no purpose but money and could be put on hold until after he takes on Ruiz.
As World Boxing News reported previously, Tom Brown booked May 6 in Las Vegas with the MGM Grand. Wilder vs Ruiz was one of those contests in line to happen on that Cinco de Mayo weekend date.
However, Canelo Alvarez put a spanner in the works when confirming his intention to return to his hometown of Jalisco, Mexico, on the same night.
A clash of Pay Per Views with Canelo would be an improbable scenario for Haymon to run with, leaving Wilder vs Ruiz in the lurch.
Later dates in Vegas, New York, or Los Angeles could all come into play, along with a possible warm-up fight if Wilder continues to stall.
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