Andy Ruiz Jr (34-2, 22 KOs) is all set to break his 16-month long hiatus as he takes on Luis Ortiz at the Crypto.com Arena on the 4th of September, but the former unified heavyweight champion already has his next move in mind- an encounter with Deontay Wilder.
I would want to fight Deontay Wilder if he comes out of retirement: Andy Ruiz Jr
After losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles to Anthony Joshua in the 2019 December rematch, Andy Ruiz returned to the squared circle in May last year, defeating Chris Arreola via unanimous decision at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Now, “Destroyer” is just a little more than a month away from taking on Luis Ortiz, a former WBA interim champion and two time WBC title contender. With a zest for hard work, Ruiz told FightHype.com that his mind set on “hard-hitting” but “awkward” Ortiz, and will not misjudge him like he did Arreola.
However, its his fellow former heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder who Ruiz wants to bring out of retirement. The second half of 2019 had both of them at the top of the division- Wilder holding the WBC crown, while Ruiz had his unified belt. Now, void of any belts, one ex-champ wants another ex-champ in the squared circle, a fight which the WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman himself addressed as “the most interesting non-title heavyweight fight” last December.
“I have to get back and work hard. The name is there, the talent is there, and all I have to do is stay disciplined and work hard and have all the right fights on me,” said Ruiz, “I didn’t want to take easy fights, so I waited. That’s why we’re fighting Luis Ortiz because he’s a hard-hitting guy, an awkward guy. I’m not underestimating him like my last fight [against Chris Arreola in May] or nothing. We’re actually training hard. If I win [against Ortiz], I would want to fight Wilder if he comes out of retirement.”
Wilder reigned as the WBC heavyweight champion for five years until February 2020 came and he was completely overpowered by Tyson Fury in their rematch, losing his belt in the process. The trilogy against “The Gypsy King” last October had nothing different of an outcome, as Wilder went down to his rival for the second time in three occasions.
All that being said, “Bronze Bomber” has been hinting at making a comeback to boxing in the past few months, but Ruiz says he will understand if Wilder decides not to.
“[Wilder] was kind of saying that he didn’t want to, and makes more money outside of the ring than inside the ring. That kind of showed that he doesn’t really want to,” Ruiz went on, “I don’t blame him. All the hard work and dedication that he did over the years. He accomplished a lot and was a champion for so many years. I can’t blame him. If he wants to enjoy his life without getting hurt, without getting punched in the face. He already did it. We all work hard, so we don’t have to work hard in life. He already did all the hard work, but so did I. I have enough money to where I don’t have to work any more. We have houses that we’re making, and I make money every month.”
All that being said, Ruiz still wants to have the WBC title around his waist and says he won’t hang his gloves up until he clinches the coveted green and gold belt.
“I got all these houses, but my dreams are not done. I want that WBC belt. I told my son, ‘I’m not going to retire until I have this WBC belt.’ Even if I lost again and lost another time, I’m still fighting until I get this belt. I want to stay champion, stay relevant with the WBC belt. Little by little, we’re getting there,” Ruiz added. [H/T Boxing Scene]