There will never come a point in his career where Andy Ruiz won’t desire a rubber match with Anthony Joshua.

“Before we retire, I would love to fight Anthony Joshua again,” Ruiz told “There has to be that trilogy, especially in the heavyweight division. Me and him, we have unfinished business.”

A third fight between the pair of former unified heavyweight titlists remains a future priority for Ruiz, even in the wake of Joshua’s repeat defeat to current WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO champ Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13KOs). Their August 20 clash saw Usyk have to settle for a split decision in a fight he otherwise clearly won, thus leaving Joshua with his third loss in his past five fights.

The first defeat came at the heavy hands of Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs), who became the only fighter of Mexican descent to win a piece of the heavyweight crown following a seventh-round knockout of England’s Joshua in June 2019. The title reign was short-lived, with Ruiz showing up ill-prepared for their rematch in dropping a twelve-round decision six months later in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Joshua (24-3, 22KOs) made just one successful defense of his second reign, a ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev in December 2020. Ukraine’s Usyk ended his second title reign with a twelve-round, unanimous decision last September in North London, repeating the feat in their August 20 rematch in Jeddah.

Meanwhile, it has been a slow climb back to the top for Ruiz. Just one fight has come since his rematch with Joshua, climbing off the canvas to otherwise soundly outpointing Chris Arreola last May 1 in Carson, California. The next step in his quest to become a two-time champ comes this Sunday, as he faces former title challenger Luis Ortiz (33-2, 28KOs) atop a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from Arena in Los Angeles. The fight is a semifinal eliminator, with the winner advancing in the WBC rankings though not guaranteeing a straightaway title shot.

Becoming a two-time champ is important to Ruiz. So, too, is proving he’s so much better than where he last left off with Joshua.

“The rematch with Usyk didn’t go his way, he didn’t get those titles back and he blew off some steam afterward,” acknowledged Ruiz. “Things happen for a reason. But he’s coming back, I’m going to be here and I would love for me and him to fight again.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox