Andy Ruiz Jr. and Luis Ortiz have been on the verge of sharing a ring for years. and it looked like the heavyweight grudge match might finally go down in 2022. Ruiz himself Tweeted a mockup poster, while Eddie Hearn, who’d unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a fight between Ruiz and Dereck Chisora, told TalkSPORT that PBC was working on putting the matchup together.
Then Ruiz (34-2, 22 KO) elected to fight kickboxer Tyrone Spong, who hasn’t boxed since 2019 and got annihilated in an attempted return to MMA this January.
“King Kong” (33-2, 27 KO) didn’t mince words when speaking to El Nuevo Herald, calling Ruiz a “coward” who took a fight that “interests nobody” and “does nothing for his career.” Ortiz’s team tells Jake Donovan that Ruiz requested an extra month to prepare for a fight with Ortiz, which they accepted, only to turn around and face Spong instead.
Odds are this was due to Triller offering stupid amounts of money for a gimme, much like Michael Hunter blowing off an IBF eliminator with Filip Hrgovic in favor of facing Mike Wilson and capsizing his career in the process.
What’s so dumb about this is that Ortiz is more than beatable at the moment; the guy’s >=43 and needed a dramatic comeback to get past Charles Martin earlier this year. A win over Ortiz puts Ruiz right back into the title picture, and yet here we are.
Look, I get that money talks and “FIGHTING FOR PRIDE AND HONOR” is a fiction meant to entice fighters to accept less than what they’re worth, but if Ruiz actually did stab Ortiz’s team in the back like this and waste some of the very last of the Cuban’s fighting years, that’s just a dick move.