IBF orders purse bid for Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Filip Hrgovic
By Jim Calfa: The IBF has ordered a purse bid for a battle between heavyweight contenders Filip Hrgovic and Andy Ruiz Jr for February 28th for the interim title.
Currently, IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is in negotiations for a fight against WBC champ Tyson Fury on April 29th. It’s still unclear if that fight will take place.
The former IBF, WBA & WBO champion Ruiz Jr (35-2, 22 KOs) has already been ordered to face Deontay Wilder in a WBC title eliminator. However, the former WBC champion Wilder reportedly isn’t pleased with the money he’s being offered by PBC, and he’s considering fighting against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Ruiz with many options
If Wilder elects to go in the direction of the Ruiz Jr fight, then that’s a match that Andy will likely take over the IBF-ordered match against ‘El Animal’ Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) because there will be more money to be made from that contest.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Hrgovic is coming off a controversial 12 round unanimous decision win on August 20th, 2022, against Zhilei Zhang in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Boxing fans overwhelmingly viewed Zhang as the winner of that fight. The judges scored it for the 30-year-old Croatian Hrgovic with scores 115-112, 114-113, and 115-112.
Ruiz could still proceed with a WBC heavyweight title eliminator vs. Deontay Wilder. The former champ could always see if a big bid comes in to face Hrgovic, which is an easier fight than Wilder. But there should be far more money in a Wilder fight. https://t.co/LLYTq9U1LP
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) February 13, 2023
The 33-year-old Ruiz Jr has slowly clawed his way back to a high ranking after slacking off and losing his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles in his rematch against Anthony Joshua in December 2019.
Ruiz ate & partied his way out of his three belts by enjoying himself too much after his upset seventh round knockout win over Joshua in their first fight in June 2019.
Andy can’t blow this chance
The Imperial, California native Ruiz Jr made millions from the first fight against Joshua in New York, and he didn’t handle the sudden wealth well, electing to blow off training sessions for the rematch and blowing up to a portly 283 lbs. Ruiz’s net worth is $10 million.
After the defeat, Ruiz Jr dumped his trainer and rededicated himself to training. In Ruiz Jr’s only two fights since his loss to Joshua, he’s beaten 40-year-old Chris Arreola and 43-year-old Luis Ortiz.
Ruiz’s management has chosen to match him exclusively against older fighters to ensure he doesn’t get beaten again. During this time, Ruiz Jr has called out Joshua, trying to get him to agree to a third fight, but he’s not shown interest.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said they would give him a third fight if he beat some quality fighters to prove himself. Unfortunately, Ruiz has not followed Hearn’s directions and focused on facing older fighters rather than risk losing.
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