Will Andy Ruiz Jr face Deontay Wilder after Arreola?
By Dan Ambrose: Fans want to know if Andy Ruiz Jr is willing to step it up against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder if he successfully gets past the 40-year-old Chris Arreola this Saturday night on May 1st in their PPV match on Fox Sports PBC at the Dignity Health Park, in Carson, California
In the weeks leading up to his comeback fight against the past his prime Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs), former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) has droned on constantly how improved he is since he joined Canelo Alvarez’s gym and is now being trained by Eddy Reynoso.
Andy had trimmed down from the portly 310 lbs that he weighed in the aftermath of his humiliating 12 round drubbing at the hands of Anthony Joshua in December 2019 to a svelte 257 lbs that he expected to weigh against the former two-time heavyweight world title challenger Arreola on Saturday.
Ruiz says if he beats Arreola, he’ll be interested in fighting one of these three heavyweights:
1. Anthony Joshua – the payday fight Ruiz is chasing
2. Tyson Fury
3. Deontay Wilder
Considering that IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) will be tied up with WBC champ Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) for two fights in 2021 that will occupy the entire 2021 year, Ruiz is going to need to take on someone else this year if he gets past Arreola.
Will Ruiz dare face Deontay Wilder?
It’s basically going to have to be up to Ruiz and his promoters whether they want to step up and face the 6’7″ Wilder next or choose to fight another old 40+-year-old heavyweight.
Ruiz won’t be able to make excuses that he needs more fights to get the ring rust out before facing Wilder, given that ‘The Bronze Bomber’ hasn’t fought since his rematch with Fury in February of 2020.
In other words, if Ruiz chooses not to fight Wilder next, you can only draw one conclusion. He’s just plain scared of the powerful ex-WBC champion.
“What I have learned the most from Canelo is discipline. Perfect movement and speed, but the biggest thing I learned is discipline,” Ruiz said about how Alvarez has rubbed off on him during his time training at the Reynoso gym in San Diego, California.
Fighting Arreola on Saturday will give Ruiz, 31, a chance to show how well – or not so well – Reynoso’s training has impacted his game.
We’ve heard all the empty praise that Ruiz has heaped on Reynoso about how he’s positively impacted his career, but the proof is in the pudding.
If Ruiz looks as vulnerable and pedestrian as he did in his last fight against Joshua and his loss to Joseph Parker, you’ll have to conclude that Reynoso is not the magic genie that is going to transform him into something he was never designed to be.
“He is a brilliant fighter, who will arrive with more mobility, more physical condition, more mentalized, he wants to reach the forefront, return to being a world champion and that is instrumental to get there,” said Reynoso about Ruiz.
“In every athlete, motivation is fundamental, and he is very motivated,” said Reynoso.
Is it just smoke & mirrors with Andy Ruiz?
Even if Ruiz does improve due to him losing 30+ lbs, it’s I’mprobable that he’s going to beat Wilder, Joshua, or Fury. That’s why it would be best for Ruiz to take on Wilder next because if he loses that fight, he won’t get the boxing public’s hopes up for the third match against Joshua.
Additionally, Ruiz must earn the third match against Joshua rather than having it given to him on a silver platter just based on him having a large fan base in the U.S.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said that it was essential that Ruiz EARN the third fight with AJ by beating a couple of big-name heavyweights to show the boxing public that he’s come back from his loss.
You can’t call 40-year-old shopworn Arreola a big-name heavyweight. Yeah, Arreola was a good heavyweight 10+ years ago, but he’s badly over-the-hill now.
You got to do better than that if you want to show that Ruiz is for real and has come back from his loss to AJ.
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- Deontay Wilder picking Usyk to defeat Joshua in rematch