Andy Ruiz Jr is set for a WBC heavyweight final eliminator vs Deontay Wilder or Robert Helenius after outpointing Luis Ortiz in their big showdown in Los Angeles.
The WBC designated the fight as an eliminator (along with Wilder vs Helenius in October) and Ruiz made the most of the opportunity to punching out a unanimous decision (113-112 and 114-111 twice).
The bout was close though, and it was three knockdowns by Ruiz which would prove crucial in the final reckoning. Two came in the second round – one courtesy of a powerful right – and the third in Round 7.
Tyson Fury remains WBC king
Tyson Fury meanwhile is STILL the WBC heavyweight champion as he prepares to announce his next fight. The likelihood though is that it will not be a unification showdown vs Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian wants time to recover from his rematch win over Anthony Joshua and does not want to face Fury until 2023.
With that in mind ‘The Gypsy King’, who says he is coming out of the retirement he announced following his April KO of Dillian Whyte, says he will announce an alternative opponent in the coming days.
The aforementioned Wilder, himself a former long-time WBC champ, is #1 on the latest rankings and a fourth fight with Fury cannot be out of the question in the future. He is followed by another unbeaten Brit in the shape of Joe Joyce.
New Zealander and former WBO champ Joseph Parker is third in the list with the highly talented and unbeaten ‘Cuban Flash’ Frank Sanchez at #4. Ruiz Jr is at 5 while further down the list Dillian Whyte is down to #7 following that KO defeat by Fury in April.
Helenius is #9 ahead of his showdown with Wilder in New York in October, while Swede Otto Wallin, Croat Filip Hrgovic and British veteran Dereck Chisora are all in the latest top 15.