Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr were ordered last November by the WBC to meet in a heavyweight eliminator, but to date, absolutely nothing has come of said order.
This week, Wilder said that Ruiz has been “unreasonable” in his demands, having approached his team for a possible fight, and remarked, “When you’re serious, holla at me. Until then, do what you do, bro. You got a lot of weight to lose, man. You can talk that talk but only few walk that walk. So if you want to see what a knockout feels like, to get your brain splattered, holla at me, bro. I ain’t far.”
Ruiz came back today with a reply.
“Let’s get it! What you mean ‘I’m scared’? Bro, I ain’t scared of nobody,” Ruiz said in a post on social media. “The only person I’m scared (of) is the man up above. ... You wanna talk about money, you wanna talk about respect, how you’re gonna blow my brains out. Bro, you’re gonna have diarrhea before you step into that ring.”
“Let’s make this shit happen,” he continued. “I’m training hard, I’m trying to get this. I’m trying to humble your ass down. Let’s just be fair, bro, let’s be reasonable. Let’s tell Al Haymon to cut the check, and let’s show everybody what we’re about.
“I’m here to win, baby, it’s not about the money. I’m here to fuckin’ win and become champion again. Let’s get it. But remember, you’re gonna have diarrhea before you step into that ring.”
He seems really into the “diarrhea” bit.
The 33-year-old Ruiz (35-2, 22 KO) has fought just two times since his frankly embarrassing effort in his rematch loss to Anthony Joshua in Dec. 2019, six months after pulling what may have been the Upset of the Decade.
In May 2021, he beat a badly faded Chris Arreola over 12 rounds, and he scraped out a narrow decision win over a 43-year-old Luis Ortiz in Sept. 2022.
Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KO) was notably and very visibly at that Ortiz fight last year, and it seemed like Premier Boxing Champions were angling to potentially put it together. Deontay, now 37, fought in October, starching Robert Helenius late in the first round. That was his first fight in a year, following a rugged 11th round knockout loss to Tyson Fury in their third encounter.
Wilder’s team didn’t seem particularly interested in a Ruiz fight whenever asked about it, in all honesty, preferring a potential bout with Oleksandr Usyk, but Usyk has mandatories to field if he’s not going to face Fury, and he’s not going to face Fury.
It also seems from the outside like both Wilder and Ruiz were hoping some other, even bigger fight might come along, but that’s clearly just not going to happen in 2023 for either of them. There is an outside chance, perhaps, that Wilder could fight Fury or Anthony Joshua in December, but far from any guarantee.
In short, Wilder vs Ruiz may just be the biggest fight actually available for either Wilder or Ruiz if they want to fight this year, and one assumes both would like to fight this year. It’s no accident or coincidence that they’re both talking about it now that the other top names in the division are all tied up.
And it is a big fight; Wilder generates interest just by being Wilder, and Ruiz does have a fan base and some notoriety, he’s an excellent B-side in terms of marketing and whatnot.