Andy Ruiz Jr. continues to search for a willing collaborator.
The former heavyweight titlist from Imperial, Calif. took to social media recently to comment on his protracted absence from the ring, while calling out the likes of Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, and WBC titlist Tyson Fury.
Ruiz has not fought in more than a year; the last time he fought he defeated Luis Ortiz by 12-round unanimous decision on a pay-per-view card held at crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) was expected to fight fellow former titlist Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) earlier this year but the two apparently could not come to terms on their purse, despite the fact that both fighters are backed by Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions. Ruiz has repeatedly suggested that Wilder’s team was lowballing him.
“Everybody’s asking when am I fighting?” Ruiz said in a video posted on Instagram. “When am I going to fight? Why don’t I fight Wilder? Nobody wants to fight. I’m staying ready, baby. Tell Joshua, let’s do the trilogy. Tell Wilder I”m ready. Make me another contract. Usyk, Tyson Fury, everybody wants to go through the shortcuts. But I’m here, baby, we’re working.”
It is not likely that Ruiz will be able to fight any of those names before the end of this year, barring an agreement with Wilder.
Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) is set on fully unifying the heavyweight division against Fury, who, in turn, is scheduled to take on former UFC star Francis Ngannou in a high-profile “crossover” fight on Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia. Usyk is coming off a stoppage win over mandatory contender Daniel Dubois last month in Poland.
Joshua has been in talks with Wilder for a fight to take place in Saudi Arabia early next year, but those negotiations recently appeared to take a significant roadblock. Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has suggested that business turmoil in the so-called Oil Kingdom may mean Joshua ends up fighting someone else in December.
Ruiz fought London’s Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) twice. The first fight, in June 2019, was a historic upset, with Ruiz stopping Joshua in the seventh round to win three heavyweight titles.
But Ruiz would lose his belts six months later in the rematch, in Saudi Arabia, dropping a unanimous decision to Joshua.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.