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Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Luis Ortiz possible next, the winner gets WORLD title shot


By Dean Berman: A highly appealing fight is being talked about taking place between former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and former 2-time world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz for mid-2020, according to ESPN MX. The Ruiz vs. Ortiz winner could then potentially fight for a world title against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder if he defeats Tyson Fury this weekend.

Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) and Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) are both with Premier Boxing Champions, as is Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), so it makes for an easy fight to make between one of them and WBC champ Deontay.

Andy Ruiz with a lot to gain fighting Ortiz

If Ruiz Jr. can beat Ortiz, it would say a lot about his talent, especially if he comes into the fight in shape in the 250s. Ruiz Jr. will have to be in top shape for him to defeat Ortiz, because if he’s weighing in the 280s as he did in his loss to Anthony Joshua last December, then he’ll lose for sure. Ortiz won’t be content to just box Ruiz in beating him. He would be looking to knock him out and put an exclamation point on his victory.

Fans have been talking about Ruiz Jr. and Ortiz facing each other next for the last couple of weeks since Andy revealed that his manager had already found his next opponent.

This is a risky return fight for Ruiz Jr. to be taking with him coming off of a one-sided 12 round decision loss to Anthony Joshua. The Cuban southpaw Ortiz is one of the most talented heavyweights in the division, and one of the most technical. Joshua, Fury and Dillian Whyte never showed any interest in fighting Ortiz despite the fact that he was unbeaten and seen as the boogeyman in the division.

Where Ruiz is right now with his career, he absolutely has to fight a dangerous guy like Ortiz for him to gain back the respect from the boxing world.

Ortiz gave Wilder his 2 toughest career tests

Wilder got tired of seeing Ortiz ducked by the top heavyweights, so he gave him a voluntary title shot in March 2018 and stopped him in the 10th round in an exciting fight. Ortiz had Wilder badly hurt in the 7th round and close to being stopped.

Wilder came back two rounds later to stagger Ortiz in the 9th, and then knock him out in the 10th. Rather than just walk away from the fight, Wilder gave Ortiz a rematch last November and stopped him in the 7th. However, Ortiz performed admirably in winning the first six rounds. Ortiz was making Wilder look bad through the first six rounds. In the 7th, Wilder suddenly landed a big right hand that dropped Ortiz. The referee stopped the fight.

The way that Ortiz looked against Wilder, it may prove to be difficult for Ruiz to beat him. Even if Ruiz Jr. is in shape, he’ll have a tough time against Ortiz.

Andy Ruiz Jr. could have fought Dillian Whyte

It would be interesting to know if the money that Ruiz Jr. gets for the Ortiz fight is equal to or better than the 2 offers he received from Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn for him to face Dillian Whyte in April or May. Had Ruiz Jr. fought Whyte and beaten him, he’d be the WBC mandatory to Wilder, and no one could complain that he’s being given a title shot that he didn’t earn.

If Ruiz Jr. makes considerably less for fighting the 40-year-old Ortiz rather than Whyte, that would be disappointing news. But with there being so little time before April or May, Ruiz might not be ready to go by then.

He still needs to lose the weight that he put on from after his first fight against Anthony Joshua last June. Ruiz came into their rematch at 283 lbs on December 7 and lost badly in a 12 round unanimous decision defeat in Saudi Arabia.

“andy_destroyer13: Got the news from my manager on my next opponent. Guess who I’m fighting next below 🏆,” said Ruiz Jr. on his Instagram site recently. “Life is a journey. Ups and downs. Wins and losses. I’m human. I make mistakes. And I learn from them. I move forward.”

Ruiz Jr. would be risking his career against Ortiz

Losing to Ortiz would likely be the end game for Ruiz’s career, and it would all but impossible for him to come back from another bad defeat. With Ortiz, he’s capable of beating Ruiz by a knockout. Ortiz wouldn’t be playing it safe the way that Joshua did last December. That’s not how Ortiz fights.

It might be better for Ruiz’s management to bring him back against a softer target like Dominic Breazeale, Adam Kownacki, Charles Martin, Gerald Washington, Oscar Rivas or Joseph Parker.

Those guys are fighters that Ruiz can beat if he’s in shape. Unfortunately, you can’t count on Ruiz Jr. coming into one of his important fights in shape. If he wasn’t willing to come into his rematch with Joshua in good shape, then it’s reasonable to assume that he won’t take a fight against Ortiz seriously enough to be well trained.

“I’m coming after everything they said I couldn’t have. You’ll always be misunderstood, criticized, and doubted on the path of chasing a dream,” said Ruiz Jr.

“Finished training and feeling really good. Thanks to GOD for all my blessings he has given me. A lot of hard work, sweat and tears. Don’t let anybody put you down and say you can’t do this or that. Trust in GOD And believe in yourself. Anything is possible 🙏”

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