Last night’s unanimous decision victory marked Ruiz’s first fight since losing the heavyweight gold back to Anthony Joshua in December 2019.
Seemingly back on track, the question is, who’s next?
6. Dillian Whyte
Assuming his plans to face Francis Ngannou in the Octagon don’t pan out in the immediate future, kickboxer turned boxer Dillian Whyte will need a new opponent. Riding high off his victory over Alexander Povetkin back in March, Whyte could do with a new challenger to his WBC interim heavyweight strap.
Could Ruiz be that man?
5. Derek Chisora
Visibly devastated by last night’s loss to Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora will likely be looking to bounce back as soon as possible. With another crack at regaining the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title unlikely to occur any time soon, perhaps a fight with another viable contender is just what Chisora needs. It would certainly be a hard-hitting affair.
4. Deontay Wilder
‘The Bronze Bomber’ is finally readying himself for a return following his 2019 loss to Tyson Fury. With the Fury vs Joshua superfight up in the air for now, it’s plausible Wilder will get his rematch sooner than expected. If not, a clash with a fellow former heavyweight champ could be Wilder’s ticket back into contention.
That is, of course, if he can beat Ruiz…
3. Kubrat Pulev
The Bulgarian slugger has not fought since his loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2020. At 39, Pulev will need to get a move on with fighting again if he wants any chance of getting another crack at championship glory. A throwdown with fellow Joshua victim Ruiz would make sense and could be a turning point for the victor.
2. Joseph Parker
It’s a long shot for the near future, but Andy Ruiz Jr would presumably like to avenge his December 2016 loss to the Kiwi hard man at some point. Parker picked up a majority decision to secure the vacant WBO heavyweight championship that night.
A lot has changed in the near five years since, but a Parker vs Ruiz Jr fight would still be very exciting.
1. Anthony Joshua
The one upset in Anthony Joshua’s prodigious career came via a shock defeat to Ruiz at Madison Square Garden. A jaw-dropping TKO finish to an incredibly heated fight from June 2019 etched Ruiz’s name into the history books. He later lost his titles back to Joshua in December of the same year.
Given Joshua was able to get a rematch so quickly, would it not be fair for Ruiz to get another shot too?