Andy Ruiz has his sights on becoming WBC heavyweight world champion, but first wants to fight fellow American Deontay Wilder – who held the belt for five years.
Wilder was in attendance at the weekend as Ruiz beat Cuban Luis Ortiz by unanimous decision after knocking down his opponent three times. Ruiz won the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles in 2019 beating Anthony Joshua before losing the re-match six months later and now wants the WBC belt.
Wilder returns to the ring next month against Finnish boxer Robert Helenius and a win could set up an all-American heavyweight clash against Ruiz. "That's one of the dream fights that I've always had, just like Ortiz," said Ruiz.
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"It's just another step closer to getting that WBC belt that I've always been praying and wishing for. Hopefully he (Wilder) gets his victory on October and we can make this fight happen.
"He's under Al Haymon (boxing manager) just like me so it's a fight that can be easily made. I'm ready, I want to stay busy and go straight to the gym as I didn't feel at my 100 per cent, but we got the victory.
"Anthony Joshua caught me when I didn't see a punch. With Ortiz I was cautious and looking at all the punches where he would hit me so.
"There was a punch where he got me good, but they all hit hard. I feel the advantage of how I took that punch well was because of the weight I had on. I felt strong and explosive, I was a little too cautious because he hits hard so I had to be smart."
When asked by FightHype if he would entertain a fight against Ruiz, Wilder said: “Most definitely, that’s what it looks like the road is going.
"Everybody is hinting at that fight. Most of the time when there are hints at a fight, most likely the powers that be are trying to line something up. We’ll see what happens."
Wilder was a keen spectator as he watched his potential next opponent Ruiz drop Ortiz twice in the second round and once in the seventh to take an unanimous victory.
“Ortiz just came up short tonight," added Wilder. "I thought he should have let his hands go a little bit more. He was very cautious.
“Andy put up a great fight. He fought the right fight, so you’ve got to give a big up to him. We all do good and bad things in there (the ring). That’s up to our description as we go back in the ring to see what we have to fix and what not to fix. Overall it was a great fight."
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Wilder and Ruiz are both hoping to fight Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight title with the former stating that if the Oleksandr Usyk unification fight doesn't happen then he is waiting.
"If it overprices itself they know where to find me," added Wilder who had retained the WBC title 10 times before being beaten by Fury.
"£500 million definitely prices itself out. I'm here Deontay Wilder is back to make the division stronger and exciting again. We'll see what happens, boxing is strictly a business and you've got to treat it accordingly. I'm up for the challenge of anybody in the heavyweight division, I'm not ducking or dodging. I only have three years left until the end of me at 40 and then I'm out of here."
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