The WBC officially ordered a bout between former heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr. on Wednesday as a final eliminator to determine the next mandatory challenger for the WBC title Tyson Fury currently holds. 

Soon after the development, Ruiz shared a training video on social media with the caption "ready for whatever comes my way." 

For a six month stretch in 2019, Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) and Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) controlled the heavyweight division and were on a collision course to meet for an undisputed bout. Both fighters are tied to PBC, and it appeared to be a foregone conclusion at the time that they would eventually clash once they took care of business in their respective fights. 

Ruiz, however, failed to defend the titles he won from Anthony Joshua by losing a landslide decision to the Brit, and Wilder soon after lost his title to Fury. 

Now, if the sanctioning body’s order pans out, the two uncrowned contenders will face each other in order to take another positive step toward a title shot.  

“For me, I feel like I can take a punch. I’m not saying that [Wilder] doesn’t hit hard or nothing,” Ruiz told Boxing Social. “I’m gonna get in, I’m gonna throw my combinations, I’m gonna be fast, explosive, and I throw that right hand, in his temple, and he’s gonna go down … We’re right here trying to stay busy and trying to stay focused.”

Wilder is coming off a first-round knockout of Robert Helanius in October. Ruiz did not sound too impressed by the feat. 

“We knew he was going to get that win easy,” he said. “That was his sparring partner, so what do you do with sparring partners, you know exactly what you’ve gotta do, you know exactly what they do.” 

Ruiz, meanwhile, last faced Luis Ortiz in September and dropped the Cuban twice in a competitive unanimous decision win. 

Wilder has previously knocked out Ortiz twice. The Alabama-born Olympics bronze medalist winner has also knocked out the likes of Chris Arreola and Siarhei Liakhovich – opponents Ruiz has gone the distance with and won via unanimous decision. 

Despite Wilder’s devastating knockout power, “The Destroyer” Ruiz is self-assured with his abilities. 

“I’m really confident,” Ruiz recently said in a separate interview. “Nobody can really match my style. Once they get inside that ring, I’m like a different person. I feel the abilities that I have, the power, the quickness, the movement, and me being short is an advantage … It’s harder for the taller guys to fight shorter guys that move around and that are fast. I’m gonna win [against Wilder].”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on