The long rumoured bout between two former heavyweight champions in Andy Ruiz Jr and Deontay Wilder has been officially ordered.
The two PBC fighters will face off to determine who’s next in line for a shot at Tyson Fury’s title – one which Wilder handed to him in defeat. A statement was made by the WBC‘s President, Mauricio Sulaiman, at the sanctioning body’s 60th annual convention, confirming that the bout would be a final eliminator.
A heavyweight showdown between the two men represents one of the more intriguing clash of styles available in the division from the current crop of fighters. Wilder will likely go down in history as one of the hardest hitters the sport has seen, whilst Ruiz shocked the world with his hand speed and counterpunching ability when he beat Anthony Joshua in Madison Square Garden to win the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles.
The Mexican is coming off a well-earned victory against Luis Ortiz – a fight in which he showed good punch resistance that he will no doubt need when it comes to facing ‘The Bronze Bomber.’ In the other corner, Wilder has just re-announced himself on the heavyweight scene with a devastating first round knockout of Finland’s Robert Helenius. The comeback bout marks a first win since his two losses to Fury.
Speaking of the champion, the final eliminator puts him in a curious situation. With a fight scheduled against Derek Chisora, and one then pencilled in against Oleksandr Usyk for the small matter of unifying the belts and crowning an undisputed champion, many fans think ‘The Gypsy King’ may seek retirement afterwards. If he doesn’t, and if he has remained undefeated when all’s said and done, he will either face a fresh challenge in Ruiz or an old foe in Wilder.