By: Sean Crose
When looked at as a whole, the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder franchise has been pretty entertaining as far as heavyweight pairings go. It may not be Ali-Frazier, but what is? I might take some heat for this, but I would argue it’s perhaps up there with (or just behind) the Ali-Norton or Bowe-Holyfield trilogies. There were a lot of exciting moments in those Fury-Wilder battles, after all. And while Fury made it pretty clear in the third and final fight who the better man in the ring was, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the two men square off again. Hey, if Juan Manuel Marquez was able to land a pitch-perfect knockout punch on Manny Pacquiao ten years ago, who knows what might happen if Fury-Wilder 4 comes to fruition?
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, however. For the WBC is reportedly on the verge of ordering Wilder to face Andy Ruiz in a world title eliminator to determine who gets lined up for a fight with Fury…and there’s no guarantee former WBC titlist Wilder will defeat former IBC, WBA and WBO titlist Ruiz. Truth be told, Wilder-Ruiz would be a good matchup, one serious fans would definitely tune in to see.
WBC honcho Mauricio Sulaiman is quoted by Marca as saying: “At the (WBC) convention all the final eliminators are going to be ordered which includes Ruiz-Wilder.” Seeing as how the convention will be going down next week in Mexico, it’s clear that things should become official pretty soon. “Andy Ruiz is a fighter of great diversity,” Sulaiman added. “He is a beastly puncher. But styles make fights, ‘The Destroyer’ is much shorter than Wilder, it can be complicated for him.” Ruiz stunned a whole lot of people when he stopped then WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua back in 2019. Joshua returned six months later, however, and easily handled an out of shape Ruiz in the rematch, subsequently winning his title belts back.
Now both Wilder and Ruiz are on the title hunt again. Ruiz has gotten himself in better shape and has earned wins against Luis Ortiz and Chris Arreola since returning to the ring in May of 2021. Meanwhile, Wilder returned to the ring just last weekend and thoroughly demolished longtime contender Robert Helenius with a single shot. It was quite the comeback statement. With another crack at Fury on the horizon, there is no about Wilder will be eager to get through Ruiz. Then again, Ruiz has motivations of his own…and he’s proven he’s no man to sleep on.
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