Long before Deontay Wilder made his return to the ring this past weekend, Andy Ruiz Jr. expressed an overwhelming desire to face the pernicious knockout puncher. Having lost his WBO, WBC, and WBA heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua in their immediate rematch at the tail end of 2019, Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) picked up his second consecutive victory earlier this year at the expense of Luis Ortiz.

As Ruiz waited patiently for Wilder to join him in the win column, the 36-year-old former champion took on fringe contender, Robert Helenius. Considering their history, spending countless hours in heated sparring sessions, the Swedish product sauntered through Brooklyn’s Barclays Center beaming with confidence.

Nevertheless, Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) quickly took care of business against his good friend, leaving him motionless on the canvas in the opening round. Although the Brooklyn crowd roared and cheered in amazement, Ortiz shrugged his shoulders as he reminded the rest of the world that he predicted Wilder would have no trouble with Helenius.

“I told everybody," said Ortiz to Blue Blood Boxing TV. "It’s easy money.”

Next up for the violent puncher from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, could be the aforementioned Ruiz. However, in any event, Ortiz is convinced that despite suffering defeat at the hands of the Mexican star, a showdown against Wilder would result in a deathly outcome.

“He’ll kill Andy Ruiz.”

Though Wilder has openly welcomed a matchup against the former unified champion, he recently revealed that he’ll attempt to bypass Ruiz as he seeks a more appealing bout against WBA, WBO, and IBF trinket holder, Oleksandr Usyk.

In the mind of Ortiz, he believes that Wilder should in fact pursue a mouthwatering showdown against Usyk, or possibly a long-awaited matchup against Joshua. As for Ruiz, Ortiz maintains that he shouldn't be allowed to move forward with his career without swapping fists against him once again.

“Andy Ruiz needs to give me the rematch. Give me the rematch.”