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Andy Ruiz Jr asks “Who’s next?”

Image: Andy Ruiz Jr asks "Who's next?"

By Dan Ambrose: Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr wants fans to choose who he should fight next following his tougher-than-expected victory over 43-year-old former two-time world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz in a WBC title eliminator last September in Los Angeles, California.

Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) had hoped to battle #1 WBC Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder in a final title eliminator to decide a mandatory for champion Tyson Fury, but that’s not going to happen. Deontay will go in a different direction for his next, possibly against Anthony Joshua.

With Wilder out of the picture, Ruiz, ranked #1 WBO, #2 WBC, and #3 IBF, will need to look elsewhere for his next fight in 2023.

Hopefully, whoever Ruiz faces, it’s not his only fight in 2023 because he’s only fought twice since losing his IBF, WBA & WBO titles to Anthony Joshua in December 2019. The inactivity of the 33-year-old Ruiz has been troubling because he should have fought more than just twice in three years.

Some people feel that the millions that Ruiz Jr made in his two fights with Joshua in 2019 have sapped his desire to work hard and to get off the couch each day like ordinary folks. The laze has gotten a hold of Ruiz and won’t let go.

Whatever ambition Ruiz had, it appears to be gone. Even now, with his weight loss and victories over 40-year-old Chris Arreola and 43-year-old Luis Ortiz, he’s still fighting only once a year.

Great options for Andy Ruiz’s next fight:

Felip Hrgovic
Jared Anderson
Luis Ortiz – rematch
Ivan Dychko
Tony Yoka
Joe Joyce
Frank Sanchez
Arslanbek Makhmudov
Joseph Parker
Otto Wallin
Martin Bakole
Zhilei Zhang

It’s doubtful that Ruiz’s handlers would let him anywhere near any of those heavyweights because the chances of him losing would be high.

Ruiz almost lost to Luis Ortiz, and if not for those two rabbit punch knockdowns that he scored, he would have been beaten by the 43-year-old Cuban southpaw. The scores were 114–111, 114–111, and 113–112.

Joe Joyce would be an ideal opponent for Ruiz to fight because a victory over him would make Andy the interim WBO champion.

Ruiz could then challenge the winner of the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight or at least be in a position to eventually challenge one of them after they fight two or three times.

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