Andy Ruiz and Murat Gassiev decline IBF eliminator against Filip Hrgovic
By Dan Ambrose: Andy Ruiz Jr. and Murat Gassiev have reportedly declined to take part in the IBF heavyweight title eliminator against Filip Hrgovic. The former IBF/WBA cruiserweight champion Gassiev (28-1, 21 KOs) is rumored to be injured.
Dan Rafael is reporting the news of Ruiz and Gassiev turning down the fight with the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs). The next two that will be asked to face Hrgovic in the IBF’s rankings are these fighters:
12. Demsey McKean
13. Zhang Zhilei
It’s difficult to imagine either of those who heavyweights turning down the chance to fight the 29-year-old Hrgovic for the possibility of becoming the IBF mandatory challenger to champion Usyk.
The two-time Olympian Zhilei ‘Big Bang] Zhang (23-0-1, 18 KOs) is getting up there in age at 38, so it’s likely he’d take the fight with Hrgovic, but you never know.
If you’re the promoter for the 6’6″ Zhang, you might not want to throw him in with a puncher like Hrgovic because it’s not a good match-up for the Chinese fighter.
As for the former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs), there’s a possibility of him facing Deontay Wilder next.
Ruiz is a popular cog that is used by the champions Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury as an opponent once the smoke clears from this years’ fights.
Recently, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka had accepted the fight with Hrgovic, who he twice beat in the amateurs.
However, Yoka couldn’t take the fight due to his contract issues with Martin Bakole. But at least there was one fighter that was willing to face Hrgovic.
The 6’6″ Dempsey Mckean (20-0, 13 KOs) is already scheduled to fight at the end of this month against Ariel Esteban Bracamonte on February 27th, which probably makes him unsuitable as an opponent for Hrgovic unless he feels like waiting until the end of the month.
Hrgovic’s recent wins:
- Emir Ahmatovic
- Marko Radonjicl
- Rydell Booker
- Alexandre Kartozia
Per source, Murat Gassiev and Andy Ruiz both passed on a chance to negotiate an IBF heavyweight title eliminator with “The Boogeyman” @Filip_Hrgovic. That makes 7 IBF-ranked heavys to pass so far. Next on the clock when letter issued will be Demsey McKean & Zhang Zhilei. #boxing
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) January 31, 2022
Joseph Parker wants Andy Ruiz rematch
— Joseph Parker (@joeboxerparker) January 29, 2022
Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker would like to fight Andy Ruiz Jr. in a rematch of their fight in 2016.
Ruiz and a lot of boxing fans felt that he’d done enough to deserve the victory, but there hasn’t been the opportunity until now. It’s a little late for the rematch to be offered to Ruiz, as his star has surpassed Parker’s.
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