When talking about what’s next for Andy Ruiz Jr, the guess is he will rematch Anthony Joshua, who has a rematch clause and probably will use it.
But some have wondered — and rightly so, given what we know about these blood-suckers — whether or not one or more of the sanctioning bodies involved (WBA, IBF, and WBO) might fool around and strip Ruiz of a title for not fighting a mandatory.
We saw it happen a few years ago when Tyson Fury upset Wladimir Klitschko, had a rematch clause with Klitschko, and the IBF pretty much immediately stripped Fury for not fighting his mandatory.
But promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t think that’ll happen in this case.
“The rematch takes precedence over the belts,” Hearn said at the post-fight press conference. “The next mandatory is the WBO, and I’ve already spoken to Paco Valcarcel, who would have no issues with the rematch.
“The rematch, every belt will be on the line. Andy has the chance to defend his titles and go on in fights with Wilder and Fury, but for us, AJ will want to win his belts back, but he’ll want to beat Andy Ruiz. I believe every one of those belts will be on the line.”
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO) will hopefully get the chance to defend all the belts he won, as Hearn expects. He won them, he deserves that opportunity.
For what it’s worth, the IBF mandatory challenger right now is Kubrat Pulev, who is currently suspended in California, and the WBO doesn’t actually have a mandatory challenger right now, nor does the WBA. The WBA has a “world” titleholder in Mahmoud Charr and an “interim” titleholder in Trevor Bryan, and they’re due to fight at some point.