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Andy Ruiz Jr. won’t be able to command as much money if he loses to Dillian Whyte

Image: Andy Ruiz Jr. won't be able to command as much money if he loses to Dillian Whyte

By Tim Royner: Johnny Nelson warns former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. that he shouldn’t be poking Dillian Whyte with a stick because it could end badly for him. Nelson sees Ruiz Jr. as someone that is in a similar situation as one-hit-wonder Buster Douglas.

Last June, Ruiz pulled off a major upset in stopping champion Anthony Joshua in the 7th round in New York. In their rematch, Joshua beat fat and out of shape Ruiz by a 12 round decision last December.

In February 1990, Douglas, a 42-to-1 underdog, pulled off a huge upset in stopping IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in the 10th round in the Tokyodome in Japan.

Eight months later, an overweight Douglas was stopped in the third round by Evander Holyfield in October 1990. Douglas’ career was never the same after that defeat.

Nelson sees Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) as another Douglas, and that’s why he needs to choose his next opponent carefully for him to maximize his earnings. Facing Whyte would give Ruiz a good payday, but it would be risky.

Ruiz Jr. would likely need to face Whyte in the UK, which would put him potentially at the mercy of the judges and the referee.

Image: Andy Ruiz Jr. won't be able to command as much money if he loses to Dillian Whyte

Andy Ruiz has to make the most of his next fight

“Dillian Whyte isn’t bull s***. So if he said, ‘Come let’s do it,’ then he means it,” said Nelson to IFL TV about Dillian wanting to fight Andy Ruiz. “Ruiz is a millionaire now, so he’s living the lifestyle. So he’s got money, he’s got dollars.

“And so he nows in his next fight, he’s got to make the most of it because he’s a good scalp. It’s the fight after that; he’s not going to be able to command as much money. He wants $4 million, $5 million, and he might get that for his next fight.

“So I can understand him holding out trying to get as much money as he can. After this fight, he knows that great big check is gone. That’s why he’s got to be smart. Do you remember when Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson, and his next fight was against Evander Holyfield?” said Nelson.

Ruiz indeed needs to make the most of his next fight because if he loses, his paydays could drop off the slide of the clip. Ruiz lost his last fight to Joshua, so he can’t afford another defeat. Above all, Ruiz needs a victory this time.

If Ruiz is going to fight Whyte, he’ll need to be in good shape, and ready to throw combinations. Moreover, Ruiz will need to be prepared for some of the roughhouse tactics that he sometimes uses when things aren’t going his way.

Ruiz making a mistake if he messes with Whyte

“That year, Buster Douglas was the richest sportsman in the world for that year because his next fight was against Evander Holyfield,” said Nelson. “And then after that, his stock plummeted [after he lost to Holyfield]. So Ruiz understands that someone is going to pay.

“I think he’s poking the stick at the wrong dog if he’s going after Dillian Whyte because Dillian Whyte will hound you. He was doing that with Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, and he was doing that with all of them.

“I like watching how he operates. And I actually like that side of him because people got to react to him.

“I think Whyte is the only one that will sit in the room with anybody and will give as good as he gets. He’s the only one. If you put Anthony Joshua at the table with Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder, I think he’d verbally be out-sparred.

“I think if you put Dillian Whyte at the table with any of them, he’d give as much back or more,” said Nelson.

Johnny is selling Ruiz Jr. short in making it out like Whyte is someone that he should be afraid of. Perhaps Nelson is basing his opinion of Ruiz Jr. based on his physique or how he performed against Joshua.

But the truth is, Ruiz is a more talented fighter than Whyte, and he beats him if he’s in shape, and he has quality judges working. Ruiz Jr. probably won’t beat Whyte if he has a set of judges that score the fight in a nonsensical way.

Whyte is a good fighter, but in terms of talent, he’s limited. He’s at the same level more or less of Dereck Chisora and Oscar Rivas. Ruiz is better than those fighters when he’s in shape.

Image: Andy Ruiz Jr. won't be able to command as much money if he loses to Dillian Whyte

Hearn not ruling out Ruiz as Whyte’s next opponent

“There’s no reason why not because Whyte needs an opponent, and Ruiz can fight who he wants,” said Nelson when told that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn isn’t ruling out Ruiz as Whyte’s next opponent. “You put it down to the businessmen.

“Even Tony Bellew said he might come out of retirement and beat Ruiz. I get it. He’s hot property, Ruiz. He’s the guy you think, ‘I want to beat the man that beat the man. But remember, before Ruiz lost to Joshua, everybody else thought that about Ruiz.

“You look at this little fat guy and think, ‘I’ll do it,’ and they underestimate what he can actually do because of how he looks.

“Julian Jackson, when he used to box. I remember when Herol [Graham] boxed him. You knew he could bang. Herold didn’t do his homework on Julian Jackson. The only guy to beat him to that point was Mike McCallum, and he did his homework. Julian Jackson got in close and put his hands up. Graham boxed him, as if ‘I’ve got this.’

“The fight was almost stopped until Herol made the same mistake everyone else did. He looked at Julian Jackson, thinking, ‘This guy can’t see. I’m outboxing him.’ The second he sees you, that’s the problem.

“He had such bad eyesight that once you got in close, he took you out. So you’ve got to give your opponent that respect. Andy Ruiz never got that respect from his previous opponents, and that’s why he was unbeaten going into,’ said Nelson.

Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) is already facing Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) next. Before Hearn can start thinking about setting up a Whyte-Ruiz fight, he needs to wait until Whyte beats Povetkin.

Andy Ruiz being judged by how he looks

“With Andy Ruiz, forget about what he looks,” said Nelson. “It’s what he can do. Don’t underestimate him. The only reason I would question him now is his desire and hunger because his life has changed. So that’s the only reason why I would question the situation with Andy Ruiz.

“The last time Dillian Whyte was out, he wasn’t happy with his performance because of his weight. Wach isn’t the type of fighter you choose for one of those fights. Now he’s put himself in position by getting his body ready for when it’s ready,” said Nelson.

A lot of boxing fans are judging Ruiz by how he looks and off of his last performance against Joshua. If the Ruiz Jr. that beat Joshua shows up against Whyte, he beats him handily.

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