A bout between Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr. has been much desired and seriously discussed ever since both boxers controlled shares of the heavyweight crown in 2019.
The fight has still not come to fruition over four years later for the former heavyweight titlists, but in recent days, both sides have been making public callouts, and even revealing negotiation terms.
First, it was Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) who posted a video on social media saying Ruiz (35-2-2, 22 KOs) was offered a lot of money, and urged him to get the fight done. Ruiz’s father Andy Sr. said Wilder was a liar, and even said they were offered a 70-30 purse split. His son, meanwhile, posted a video online saying, “Wilder, we’re coming, man – we’re just negotiating right now.”
After the pay split became public, Wilder opened up about the financial ramifications around the fight.
“Let’s ask Andy’s dad what was the offer given because we didn’t talk about no money. So how does he know it was a 70-30 offer? I didn’t talk to Andy’s dad about any type of money whatsoever,” Wilder said in an interview with Elie Seckbach of ESNews said during a Boxing Wags Association charity event on Wednesday.
“Andy was only a champion for as long as a blink of an eye. I’m a five-year, ten-title defense champion. There is a difference. What I possess is power. I put people on the edge of their seats every time. People come to see my God-given talent. Now, on the other hand, with Andy – what do we see from him? A short, fat fighter with small [arms] so it makes him look fast – T-Rex – that’s it. You don’t put nobody at the edge of their seat, and ain’t nobody getting excited.
“The only reason this fight will be exciting is because they want to see how fast I will knock him out, and that’s it. I can tell you this, though. Soon you’re going to see [Ruiz become] nonexistent in the boxing world. You’re going to see him on the shelf because he ain’t going to have nobody to fight … Andy is going to be 33 years old, broke, and can’t support his children because his daddy made decisions for him. He should make decisions for himself.”
After courting offers from the middle east for a potential fight against Anthony Joshua later this winter, Wilder still finds himself to be in an advantageous position after an exciting yet winless trilogy against Tyson Fury.
“[The Joshua fight is] looking very promising,” said Wilder. “I also got other offers as well overseas, and stuff like that. So nobody has got to worry about who I’m fighting because my life is very, very great.
“So don’t worry about who I’m fighting and who I can fight because I can fight anybody in the world. They would love to see me come to their country and come see me in the United States, no matter what. Andy, that ain’t so much the case.
“So they really got to think about this in the situation that they’re in. Andy is nowhere compared to me. No levels at all, period. They’re talking about a 50-50. You ain’t nowhere compared to me, bro.
“You were only a champion for a very, very short period of time. You never [successfully] defended it or nothing. So stop that. Like I said, if you miss out on this opportunity, it’ll probably be the last opportunity. You’d better think about it.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.