Andy Ruiz Calls For Fight Vs. Deontay Wilder
Andy Ruiz Jr is trying to rebuild his reputation in the heavyweight division.
And he thinks the way to do that is by taking on former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. But first, he has to face Luis Ortiz on September 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
“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,” Ruiz told FightHype.com.
“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.”
Ruiz, a former unified heavyweight champion, admitted that after he shockingly defeated Anthony Joshua in June 2019, he slacked off. He gained 15 pounds and fought at 283 pounds in their rematch.
The two first met at Madison Square Garden and Joshua was putting his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts on the line for the first time.
Ruiz got to the best of Joshua, recording a technical knockout in the seventh round of 12.
After that, the two met again under an agreed rematch. This time they fought in Saudi Arabia where Joshua edged Ruiz with a unanimous decision win – regaining the titles he once had.
Ruiz didn’t fight again until May 2021 where he fought Chris Arreola in a comeback bout. Ruiz won that by unanimous decision.
But back in 2019, there was a time when Ruiz and Wilder ran the heavyweight division.
Before running into Tyson Fury, Wilder held the WBC title from 2015 to 2020. Wilder’s belt was the last one Ruiz would have needed to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
But Wilder lost his belt about a year after Ruiz and was unable to regain it in his trilogy fight against Fury in October 2021.
“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,’” Ruiz said.
“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.”