By Dan Ambrose: Andy Ruiz says he wants Deontay Wilder or the winner of Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk next if he successfully defeats Luis Ortiz on September 4th on FOX Sports PPV at the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles.
Ruiz’s fight with ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) is a WBC heavyweight title eliminator, which means the winner will be mandatory for champion Tyson Fury.
However, Fury will likely only return to the ring for a big payday against the Joshua-Usyk II winner, and he will not bother fighting Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) or any contenders.
Ruiz talks about leaving Eddy Reynoso
“I feel good. Like I said, we didn’t come, and cherry pick any opponent. We picked Luis Ortiz because he’s a hard opponent,” Andy Ruiz Jr. said to Fight Hub TV.
“He’s a lefty, he’s crafty, but I feel I’m focused, I’m motivated. I want those titles back, so Luis Ortiz is in front of me, and I have to climb the ladders.
“I just think everybody wants beef, and wants to hear this, and wants to hear that. We’re on good terms,” said Ruiz when asked about what happened with him and his former trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“What fighter wouldn’t want his own facility to go train and this and that. Of course, I had to change trainers because I felt he had a lot of experience as well. He trained [Orlando] Salido for Lomachenko.
“When we do mitts, he’s a lefty as well. Having him in my corner is the best thing I could have done for this preparation.
“Me and him [Reynoso] are on good terms and with Canelo as well, but I think the main focus is Luis Ortiz right now and having my team right here helping me out and backing me up. I just got to get it on, and I hope to God, I get that victory on September 4th,” said Ruiz.
Andy wants Wilder
“A lot of people criticize me for my last fight, and a lot of people criticize him from his last fight,” said Ruiz about Ortiz. “I think two lefties make the style different. I think for this fight, we’re both going to come out good, and hopefully, I have my hand raised in there at the end.
“Hopefully, that’s why we’re having different sparring partners. We’re preparing for people that are going to be trying to box around, trying to keep the jab from me. We’re going to have sparring partners that are right there and ready to go.
“I want him to exchange punches with me, of course. I think that’s where my fight comes in, but it all depends on when the bell rings to see who makes the styles.
“Of course,” said Ruiz when asked if he’d like to fight former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next if he successfully defeats Luis Ortiz.
“The heavyweight division is so open right now. I just got to get this win first against Luis Ortiz. Like I said, it’s a hard opponent, but, of course, I would love to fight Wilder if he comes out of retirement.
“I don’t know if he said he’s going to come out of retirement, but I would love to fight him. We’re both under PBC and Al Haymon, and that fight would be easy to make. Maybe right here at the Staples again,” Andy said.
Ruiz open to fighting Joshua or Usyk next
“If it’s Usyk, Joshua, I want the trilogy as well,” said Ruiz. “There are so many things that I want to do, and that’s why I’ve got to stay focused and stay disciplined, and I’ve got to stay active. The main thing is winning on September 4th,” said Andy.
It might take a better win than defeating 43-year-old Luis Ortiz for him to get the trilogy match that Ruiz desires against Anthony Joshua.
AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already said that Ruiz needs some significant wins for him to consider making a trilogy fight with Joshua.
If Ruiz beats Ortiz, it would be the second 40+-year-old fighter he’s beaten since his loss to AJ in December 2019, and the victory won’t create fan interest in a trilogy fight.
It’s obvious what Ruiz is doing by targeting older fighters to ensure he doesn’t lose. The fans would see right through this scheme. To get the trilogy with Joshua, Ruiz needs at least two wins over the following heavyweights:
- Filip Hrgovic
- Daniel Dubois
- Joe Joyce
- Deontay Wilder
- Joseph Parker
- Frank Sanchez
“I think he can,” said Ruiz about his belief that Anthony Joshua can beat unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch on August 20th.
“In the heavyweight division, anything can happen. It only takes one punch to change a fight. I think it’s up to the one that is more hungry. I know Anthony Joshua goes down and comes back up. He loses and fights again to win.
“I don’t know. Usyk is a hard guy too. His style, he throws combinations, and when I win on September 4th against Luis Ortiz, you never know.
“If Wilder doesn’t, and we don’t make the fight, we could look for Usyk,” said Ruiz.
Oleksandr Usyk would be a terrible style match-up for Ruiz because his mobility and boxing skills would enable him to take advantage of his slow feet.
We saw Joshua and Joseph Parker outbox Ruiz using movement, and neither of those guys possesses the mobility that Usyk has going for him.
“Yeah, that would be an amazing fight too, but he wants a half a billion,” said Ruiz when asked about his interest in fighting WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury next.
“I’m a big fan of his too. Before I call out anybody else, I want to focus on that guy right there, Luis Ortiz. He’s going to be the toughest fight right now that I’ve had, especially because of his style and his awkwardness. We’ll see,” said Ruiz.
It’s safe to say that Tyson Fury won’t give Ruiz a title shot if he gets past Ortuz because his focus appears to be getting the biggest payday possible and then retiring.