Andy Ruiz Jr.’s ultimate goal is to become a two-time heavyweight champion of the world.
With Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua presumably preoccupied with fighting each other twice, though, Ruiz would welcome a showdown with a fellow former champion. If Ruiz beats aged underdog Chris Arreola on Saturday night, he’ll urge his handlers to arrange a fight against Deontay Wilder.
“That would be an exciting fight,” Ruiz told BoxingScene.com. “That would be an all-action fight. He’s a banger. I’m a banger as well. And he’s fought Chris Arreola before. I’m gonna fight him on May 1st, so I think that would be a really, really good fight. I would love for that fight to happen.”
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) has not fought since Fury defeated him by seventh-round technical knockout to win the WBC belt 14 months ago at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Former IBF champion Charles Martin might be the opponent Wilder faces in his comeback bout, but Wilder-Ruiz would be a fascinating fight.
Ruiz and Wilder are affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, as is Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs).
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) will begin his own comeback against Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs, 2 NC) in the 12-round main event of a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View show at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California (9 p.m. ET; $49.99). Most oddsmakers have installed Ruiz, of Imperial, California, as at least a 20-1 favorite versus Arreola, a 40-year-old Riverside, California, native who will end a 20-month layoff.
The 31-year-old Ruiz will fight for the first time since England’s Joshua out-boxed him and won a unanimous decision in their 12-round rematch in December 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Joshua regained the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles Ruiz won when he upset the British superstar by seventh-round technical knockout in June 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) are expected to meet in a heavyweight title unification fight either late in July or early in August in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Their two-fight deal could tie them up for a year, which would force Ruiz to explore other options if he beats Arreola.
“If everything goes good, you know, there’s a lot of fighters out there for me to fight,” Ruiz said. “There’s Wilder, there’s Tyson Fury. I know he’s gonna fight Anthony Joshua soon, but I gotta stay busy, I gotta stay active and whoever they put in my way, you can best believe I’m gonna give it all I got and train hard for whatever comes my way.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.