FRANK MICELOTTA/FOXFormer unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr thinks Deontay Wilder no longer wants to fight him and would rather aim to regain his WBO, IBF and WBA belts currently held by Oleksandr Usyk.
Wilder was the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 2020 and made nine successful defenses during which he knocked out all his rivals. In that time frame, he also had two fights against Tyson Fury, tieing for the first in 2018 but ending up losing the title in the rematch in February 2020. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ attempted to regain his championship in October last year but was again knocked out by Fury in what was 2021’s best fight of the year.
For his part, Ruiz was crowned WBO, IBF and WBA champion in June 2019 when he defeated Anthony Joshua at the Madison Square Garden by knockout in the seventh round. However, ‘The Destroyer’ was only able to retain the championships for six months, as AJ defeated him via unanimous decision in their December rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Since then, Ruiz has made changes to his routine and substantially lowered his body fat levels. In addition to the fact that he was training for a time with Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso, before moving to his own gym.
I think Wilder wants to fight Usyk: Andy Ruiz
Speaking to Fight Hub TV on YouTube, while Ruiz said that he still has aim on the WBC title, he doesn’t believe Wilder has the same goal anymore and even added that he feels a fight between them isn’t coming as well.
“I think Wilder doesn’t want the WBC belt anymore and wants to fight Usyk,” said Ruiz, “He wants to win the others, but I’m focused on winning the WBC one, which is the one I need.”
Earlier this year, the WBC declared that both Ruiz and Wilder would contest in a title eliminator to put the winning candidate on the path to the WBC belt. Ruiz defeated Cuban Luis Ortíz by unanimous decision in September, while Wilder knocked out Robert Helenius in just the first round last month.
For now, the green-and-gold belt is still in the hands of ‘The Gypsy King’, who will be making another title defense on December 3rd against Derek Chisora in the United Kingdom.